Chestnuts flambe

Time 1 hour
Yields Serves 4 to 6
Chestnuts flambe

Heat the oven to 550 degrees. With a small knife, score the chestnuts with an “X” on the flat side of the shell. Roast them on a baking sheet until the shells where they have been scored curl and darken, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the chestnuts from the oven and immediately cover them with a towel that has been soaked in ice water and wrung out. When the chestnuts are cool enough to handle, peel away the shells and the thin skin covering the chestnut.


With a small pointed knife, remove the peel in a spiral from the orange.


In a medium frying pan, melt the butter. Add the sugar, the orange peel and orange liqueur.


Stir the syrup and let it thicken but not caramelize. Add the chestnuts and stir them gently into the syrup. Add the juice of half the orange and, when the chestnuts are warmed through, pour in the rum and flambe it by lighting it with a long match.


After the flame has died out, spoon the chestnuts with the syrup over vanilla ice cream.

Adapted from “Tempo di Castagne” by Carla Geri Camporesi.

Betty Hallock was the deputy Food editor, covering all things food and drink for the Saturday section and Daily Dish blog. She started at The Times in 2001 in the Business section and previously worked on the National desk at the Wall Street Journal in New York. She’s a graduate of UCLA and New York University.
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