Expecting another bumper crop this fall. Beginning in October we begin harvesting our chestnuts. Most we sell as fresh, raw chestnuts locally. Our orchard run (unsorted) chestnuts are $5.00 per pound. Premium, size sorted chestnuts are $8.00 per pound. We have been experimenting with converting the unsold chestnuts into candied chestnuts, canned whole and pureed chestnuts and have some wonderful results. We will happily ship our dried or fresh chestnuts to you (send us a message for shipping costs). Our chestnuts range in size from 1/2" to 1 1/2 - 2" with the larger sizes being best for roasting. The smaller chestnuts are best used to mix with squash, stuffing and other wonderful side dishes and desserts.
How to prepare your fresh chestnuts for roasting
If chestnuts are not scored, they can explode due to the pressure inside as they cook. That’s easy to avoid. Making an X avoids the pressure build up and makes them easy to peel after roasting. Though it is a thin shell, it is smooth requiring a tight grip and a sharp knife to slice through it; a sharp serrated knife works best. We have found that using an inexpensive ($15.00) chestnut cutter prevents cut fingers and reliably cuts each chestnut perfectly.
How to cook those yummy fresh Chestnuts
Chestnuts can be roasted on an open fire, barbeque grill, cooked in your oven, boiled or microwaved.
- If you are using small chestnuts for recipes that require chopped, grated or crumbled chestnuts we would recommend cutting the chestnut in half and putting them in a pot of cold water, bring to a boil, and simmer for three minutes. Remove from the heat. Carefully scoop out a few at a time and peel off the shell and skin with a sharp knife.
- If roasting on an open fire, your grill or a skillet on the stove, be sure to stir the chestnuts so they don't burn on one side or the other. Takes about 5 minutes when you have good, hot coals or moderately high heat.
- When cooking in the oven, preheat the oven to 425 F. Prepare the chestnuts by making an X cut in each. Arrange them on either a baking rack or a baking sheet. Transfer the chestnuts to the oven and roast them until the skins have pulled back from the cuts and the nutmeats have softened (exactly how long will depend on the chestnuts, but at least 15 to 20 minutes). Remove the nuts from the oven, make a mound of them in an old towel, wrap them up, squeeze them hard—they should crackle—and let them sit for a few minutes. Then peel the chestnuts and eat!
- If you want just a few chestnuts to munch while watching TV, make the X-cut in 3 or 4 large chestnuts, throw them in your microwave on full power for about 3 minutes. When they are ready, the shell will have peeled back and be easily removed with fingers or a knife.