- grated zest 1 unwaxed orange
One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…
- grated zest 1 unwaxed lemon
Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…
- 500g granulated sugar
- 1 vanilla pod, split
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 100ml cognac
- 1kg cooked peeled chestnut (vacuum-packed are fine)
'Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...' that kitsch old Nat King Cole song perfectly…
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Put the zests, sugar, vanilla pod, cinnamon sticks and 400ml water in a large pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20 mins. Leave to cool, then add the Cognac.
Pack the chestnuts into sterilised jars (see tip, below), then pour over the syrup to cover. Seal and label. Keep in a cool, dry place for at least 1 week before eating. Store in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.
Sterilising your jars
Wash in hot soapy water, rinse, then drain and set upright in a roasting tin in one layer. Put in the oven at 180C/ 160C fan/gas 4 for 10 mins. If your jars have a rubber seal, remove before putting the jars in the oven. To sterilise the seals, simply boil in water.
Cut a slit in the side of each chestnut with the tip of a sharp knife. Throw a few at a time into a pan of boiling water. Boil for 7 mins, then scoop out onto a tea towel. When cool enough to handle, peel off the outside shell and fibrous inside membrane. The hotter the chestnuts, the easier they are to peel, so rubber gloves are helpful. If they're still hard to peel, microwave for 1 min, then peel. To cook through, return to the water and simmer for a further 30 mins.