Drying Chestnuts

Source: The Chestnut Growers' Information Book

Follow Ann Creber's step by step method using the Ezidri Snackmaker food drier:

  1. Cut the nuts in half (a cleaver works well) and place them, cut side down on the drier trays.
  2. Set the heat to medium and allow nuts to dry for 8 to 10 hours.
  3. At this stage the shell will almost slip off and the pellicle (the firmly attached brown skin which encases the actual nut) can also be removed fairly easily.
  4. Alternatively you can place the cooled nuts in a well sealed container (or firmly closed plastic bag) and remove the skin later (family entertainment on a cold wintry evening!).
  5. Using a conventional oven, chestnut halves should be dried on a wire rack at about 125°C for up to 10 hours. (Fan forced ovens take less time, so test for dryness after 8 hours.)
  6. Store nuts in the pantry until needed. They will keep for up to 12 months.
  7. When using peeled nuts, they will need first to be re-hydrated. Simply cover them with boiling water and leave overnight (for up to 12 hours). Drain off liquid and then use nuts as you would fresh ones.
  8. Remember that the nuts are still raw at this stage and will need to be cooked for the same length of time as fresh nuts.
  9. Boiling chestnuts is a simple method. Place in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes after which they can be pureed, sieved or chopped.