This sweetened chestnut puree is perfect for using as a jam, spreading onto cakes, serving in crepes or using as an alternative to butter in baking recipes. It's especially good at Christmastime.
- 250g fresh chestnuts
- 175g caster sugar
- 75ml water
- 1 vanilla bean
- Pinch of salt
Cut a cross in the bottom of each chestnut. Place into a pan of water with the salt. Bring to the boil, reduce to a rolling simmer and cook for 1 hour.
Remove the chestnuts from the pan and leave to cool before peeling. Place into a blender. Meanwhile, place the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Swirl the liquid around in the pan until it forms a syrup. Bring to the boil, reduce to a low simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
Place the syrup into the blender with the chestnuts. Blend until smooth. Scoop out into a clean saucepan.
Slice the vanilla pod in half and scrape out the seeds with the back of your knife. Place the seeds and the pod into the pan and stir to combine. Cook over a low heat for around an hour, until fragrant, rich and thick. Place into a clean sterilised jar and seal.