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Air fryer winter chestnuts are simply devine. But there are so many ways to make chestnuts. For me, they have a nostalgic memory of my childhood – particularly the camping holidays in Porepunkah and Bright, where we would drink cold fresh water from the streams coming down from the Snowy Mountains and collect our own chestnuts from around the camp ground.
Surprisingly though, whenever I go to buy them in the winter time, the young whipper snappers at the checkout have no clue what they are, nor what they’re for. “What is this?” – these people must not have European parents!
Coles and Woolworths will always try to release early, right on what feels like a specified date when the chestnuts are still small. I go to a local farm shop called Olly’s who source from Melbourne and Sydney markets, so I have no doubt the ones you see in this recipe have come from either NSW or VIC. They’re as big as golf balls and easily about 60g+ grams in weight each.
I know there are so many ways to make them. And everyone’s way is ‘the best way’. I get that. We’ve tried all the other ways just to rule out whether our way was better or worse and our way always produces the best results.
It’s really simple.
So I don’t think this is a recipe as much as it is a process really. I found another excellent online resource for information on Australian chestnuts, including a trove of recipes and some beautiful pictures. Their description of the unique quality of Australian chestnuts dropping to ground when ripe/mature is reminiscent of my own memories of collecting them in Bright and Porepunkah as a child! For more info on the Australian Chestnuts authority, go to Australian Chestnuts – Make everyday meals special with chestnuts (chestnutsaustralia.com.au)
All about chestnuts
Chestnuts are a type of nut that is popular around the world. They are rich in nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, and potassium, and have a sweet, nutty flavor. Chestnuts are often used in stuffing, soups, and stews, and can also be roasted and eaten as a snack. In some cultures, they are an important part of traditional dishes and celebrations. Chestnuts are also known for their symbolic value, representing abundance and prosperity in many cultures.
Chestnuts have a long history of being used in different cultures and for different purposes. They are a staple food in many parts of the world, especially in Europe and Asia an are often used as a substitute for grains like wheat and rice, which were more expensive.
In some cultures, chestnuts were believed to have medicinal properties. They were used to treat ailments like fever, cough, and diarrhea.
Chestnuts were often eaten during the winter months, as they were a good source of energy and warmth.
In Italy, chestnuts are known as “the bread of the poor” and are used in many traditional dishes, such as chestnut soup, chestnut pasta, and chestnut cake. In Japan, chestnuts are used in many traditional sweets, such as chestnut rice cakes and chestnut yokan (a type of jelly).
Overall, chestnuts are a versatile and nutritious food that have been enjoyed by people around the world for centuries.
How to cook chestnuts
There are several ways to cook chestnuts. One common method is roasting them in the oven or over an open flame. To do this, make a small slit in each chestnut and place them in a pan or on a baking sheet. Roast them for approximately 20-30 minutes until the shells start to peel away.
Another method is boiling chestnuts in water for 15-20 minutes, then peeling the shells away. Chestnuts can also be sautéed in a pan with butter or oil until they are golden brown. They can also be used in recipes for soups, stews, and stuffing.
For our recipe though, I want to show you how much easier it is to use your air fryer to get the same amazing results!
Air Fryer Winter ChestnutsCourse: DessertDifficulty: Easy
There is nothing as comforting as chestnuts in the winter. By cooking them in an air fryer, you have a quick and healthy snack available to you with little mess and fuss. I cut them in an ‘X’ shape on the roundest side so that it cracks open and makes for easy peeling, leaving beautifully dense and fluffy chestnut meat inside!
1/5 kg of chestnuts
- Pre-heat air fryer. If you have one with a changeable temperature, set it at 180c. if you can’t go less than 200c, that’s ok. Warm-up for 3-5 minutes.
- While the air fryer is warming up, start preparing your chestnuts. Using a knife, cut an X into one side. I try and place the flat side if there is one on the board, and cut the rounder side.
- Once all your chestnuts are cut, place flat on your grill or air fryer tray. My air fryer has a flat basket (seen in the pics)
- If you can set your air fryer to 180c, cook your chestnuts for 12-15 minutes. Stop them at 12 to check and go in 1 minute increments if needed. I find 15 sometimes too much as it may overcook one end just enough that it is tricky to peel, and a minute here or there actually does make a huge difference.
- If you can only set your air fryer temperature to 200c, then go for 7-10 mins. Stop at 7 and then do each minute.
- Chestnuts are ready when the X has cracked open, and the outer shell and inner skin peel off easily.
- If you are unable to pre-heat for any reason, then let your chestnuts go to the maximum time recommended. Check them for doneness, and then do increments of 1 min, but no more than 3 minutes after cooking time would be needed.
Enjoy them straight away. If you can handle the heat of them, start peeling when they are hot, but be very careful not to burn yourself. Alternately, use some thin-ish gloves or kitchen towel to help peel them.
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