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Chestnut, Fig and Onion Jam



Best methods for preparing chestnuts.


Oven method

Wipe the chestnuts clean, they sometimes have fine dust or mildew on them if they have been stored for a long time.

Soak in water for 30 minutes.

Score each twice in a cross shape, with a small sharp knife on the underside.

Roast on a baking sheet at 225C/425F/Gas 7 for 25 minutes.

Allow to cool, but keep warm in a tea towel while you peel away the hard, outer shell and the softer inner brown skin. Once they cool it is difficult to remove the shell as they stick to the chestnuts.


Boiling method.

Wipe the chestnuts clean, they sometimes have fine dust or mildew on them if they have been stored for a long time.

Score the shell as above.

Bring a pan of water to boil and cook chestnuts for 20 minutes.

Keep the chestnuts in the hot water so that they stay warm and soft as you peel the nut away from the skin. Once they cool it is difficult to remove the shell as they stick to the chestnuts.


Raw chestnuts from the supermarket

CHESTNUT, ONION AND FIG JAM RECIPE


Ingredients


4 tablespoons olive oil

4 medium onions, finely chopped

1 teaspoon milled sea salt

½ teaspoon of black milled pepper

1 cup Port or Sherry

10 fresh figs, removing the tail and chopped into small pieces. Or 10 dried figs that have been soaked in boiling water for an hour, and chopped into small pieces

2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar

14 cooked peeled chestnuts, chopped finely

6 glass jars with lids, that have been cleaned and sterilised


  1. Use one of the preparations above to prepare the cooked chestnuts

  2. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large deep non-stick pan on a medium heat.

  3. Add sliced onions and 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper.

  4. Sauté and keep stirring until onions are beginning to turn light brown. Apx 5-10 minutes.

  5. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook until onions are soft, stirring occasionally. Apx 15 minutes.

  6. Remove pan from heat.

  7. Slowly add Port or sherry, chopped figs and vinegar; stir.

  8. Return to heat and stir until liquid evaporates. Apx 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

  9. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped chestnuts and sauté until coated with oil. Apx about 1 minute.

  10. Add to the onion mixture and blend all ingredients together with a wooden spoon.

  11. Taste with a clean metal spoon. Season onion marmalade with more salt and pepper, if necessary.

  12. Transfer mixture to a cold dish and leave to cool slightly.

  13. Spoon mixture into glass jars and seal. Or use the jam when cooled.

The cold jam, if refrigerated should keep for 6 months. It goes well with most hot and cold savory dishes. Salads, burgers, cheese, pork, ham, chicken, goose, turkey, and vegetarian dishes. I often layer a little into cold wraps and sandwiches. I invite you to be experimental! Please share your ideas.




Fresh goat cheese with Chestnut, fig and onion jam

How to Identify Edible Chestnuts


There are four distinct varieties of edible chestnuts: American, European, Chinese and Japanese. Follow the link above to learn more.


Chestnuts in their spiky shell before harvesting