Chestnuts in vanilla syrup

all details

Fast street food is fun and keeps the hands warm, but chestnuts are serious business in Spain. This vanilla chestnut recipe creates a lovely aromatic syrup that can be enjoyed on French toast, crepes or with ice-cream. When peeling the chestnuts, the hotter you keep them the easier it will be to get the furry inner layer off. It cools down very quickly and sticks to the nut.

Autumn bounty: Chestnuts in syrup.
Autumn bounty: Chestnuts in syrup. Photo: Marcel Aucar


1.8kg fresh chestnuts

500g castor sugar

2 lemons

1 vanilla bean


Take each chestnut and, using a small, sharp knife, make cross-shaped incisions in their flat sides. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and blanch the chestnuts for three minutes.

Remove from heat and leave the chestnuts in the water. Using the blade of the knife, remove outer skin. Remove the inner skin using a knife, or wipe it off with a clean cloth (the ease of removing the skin depends on the age and variety of chestnut). Discard skins.

Put the sugar in a large saucepan with 1 litre of water. Using a vegetable peeler, peel lemon zest from the lemons in wide strips and add it to the pan.

Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthways, then scrape the seeds into the pan and discard the vanilla bean. Bring the liquid to the boil over a high heat and cook for five minutes.

Add peeled chestnuts. When the liquid starts to boil again, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, wash and sterilise two 1-litre preserving jars, lids and seals.

Making sure the jars are still very warm, remove the chestnuts from heat and transfer to the jars using a sterilised slotted spoon, filling the jars evenly. Pour in syrup and seal while hot.

Allow to cool, then store in a cool, dry place for up to three months.

Once opened, the chestnuts will keep, refrigerated, for two to three weeks.

Serving suggestion: Enjoy with Frank Camorra's crepes and orange cream.


Buy the best-quality chestnuts; lesser-quality nuts will taste grainy and will not cook well in the syrup. Look for smaller rather than large chestnuts.

Rate this recipe

Rate this recipe:

Use [left] and [right] keys to rate, [enter] to submit, [esc] to cancel.

Rate this recipe with 0.5 a star Rate this recipe with 1 star Rate this recipe with 1.5 stars Rate this recipe with 2 stars Rate this recipe with 2.5 stars Rate this recipe with 3 stars Rate this recipe with 3.5 stars Rate this recipe with 4 stars Rate this recipe with 4.5 stars Rate this recipe with 5 stars

Write a review

Thanks for voting!

Write a review

  • Main Ingredients - Nuts, Lemon
  • Course - Breakfast/Brunch, Dessert
  • Occasion - Dinner Party, Family meals

Similar recipes


Be the first to comment.

Make a comment

You are logged in as [Logout]

All information entered below may be published.

Error: Please enter your screen name.

Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

Error: Please enter your comment.

Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

Post to

You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

Thank you

Your comment has been submitted for approval.

Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

Most popular recipes


Cook discussions

Cook discussions

Cook discussions

Cook discussions

Cook discussions