Source: The Chestnut Growers' Information Book
Follow Ann Creber's step by step method using the Ezidri Snackmaker food drier:
- Cut the nuts in half (a cleaver works well) and place them, cut side down on the drier trays.
- Set the heat to medium and allow nuts to dry for 8 to 10 hours.
- 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.
- 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!).
- 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.)
- Store nuts in the pantry until needed. They will keep for up to 12 months.
- 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.
- 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.
- Boiling chestnuts is a simple method. Place in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes after which they can be pureed, sieved or chopped.