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Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Smooth and grainy - Le paradoxe de la confiture de châtaigne à la vanille

[Smooth and grainy - The paradox of chesnut and vanilla jam]

From Christine Ferber's Mes confitures (page 161)

Some weeks ago I decided to have a ‘jam-making’ weekend to celebrate my new cookbook from Christine Ferber.

I had heard lots of positive reviews about Mes confitures and couldn’t resist getting my hands at it.
Thus I randomly picked three recipes – all very vanilla-ish:
- confiture de châtaigne à la vanille [chesnut and vanilla jam]
- confiture de potimarron à la vanille [pumpkin and vanilla jam]
- confiture de tomate rouge à la vanille [tomato and vanilla jam]

Les châtaignes
I love chestnuts and their earthy smell.
They remind me of Christmas; especially of fairs where you would get piping hot chestnuts served in newspaper cones.
And while I’m on a confessional mood I should tell you that I am a severe crème de marron addict.
I can eat it straight from the pot – with a spoon.

Confiture de châtaigne à la vanille
I first thought it was supposed to be like a spread but after having read the recipe twice, I notice Christine doesn't call for a food mill. She just say 'crush any big bits with a wooden spoon'.
I find it quite original - chunky crème de marron.

Hence I was slightly disappointed when a lovely lady from Christine Ferber’s shop in Alsace told me it was a smooth jam.
I had had high expectations about a deconstructed crème de marron.

Anyway, it didn’t stop me from boiling the chestnuts and peeling them.
It actually took a lot of time and nerve to peel the chestnuts. I burnt my finger almost a billion times resulting in my poor thumbs being really sore and red!
Hopefully the nearly ready jam will ease my pain. Comfort food, they call it!

Indeed I wasn’t disappointed: the jam turned out as excellent as I expected it to be.
Sweet, but not overly so.
A perfect texture - smooth and grainy, but in a good way.
A delicious nutty taste you don’t get in bought-crème de marron (even the Faugier one).

Confiture de châtaigne à la vanille

1,2 kg chestnuts (= 800g peeled chestnuts)
1kg sugar (fanny: 800g would be enough)
400ml water (fanny: I had to add another 400ml of water)
1 vanilla pod

Start by cutting a little ‘x’ on each chestnut, add them to boiling water and boil them for 3 minutes.
Peel them; while you’re doing it don’t think about the pain but about the luscious jam you’re making (it really helps).
In a large pan, mix the peeled chestnuts, sugar water and seeds from the vanilla pod. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes or until the chestnuts are tender.
Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.
The next morning, put the mixture back into a pan and bring to the boil stirring continuously.
Pass through a food mill and cook the resulting smooth paste on low heat for 10 minutes.
Ladle the jam into sterilized jars immediately and seal.

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12 sweets:
Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

Hello Fanny,

pourquoi ne pas tricher et prendre des marrons déjà cuits?

Moi j'ai une préférence pour la Bonne Maman, plusproche du fait maison, mais bien sûr, j'adore la tienne a l'air parfaite!

13 December, 2006 12:50 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

tu as fait le bon choix !
C'est un délice !

13 December, 2006 14:29 

Blogger *fanny* said something sweet:

Coucou Julie - c'est vrai que la prochaine fois je prendrais des marrons déjà cuits. Mais je voulais quand même essayer une fois, mais l'on ne m'y reprendra pas!!!
PS merci pour le 'tip'. Je n'ai encore jamais gouté la creme de marron bonne maman.

Coucou Grignote - c'est vrai que la creme de marron maison c'est TROP bon.

13 December, 2006 14:43 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

yummy yummy! that looks great!

13 December, 2006 16:47 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

yummy yummy! that looks great!

13 December, 2006 16:53 

Blogger nosheteria said something sweet:

My word, that jam looks stupendous, grainy or not!

13 December, 2006 18:19 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

J'ai découvert la confiture de marrons il y a 2 ans et depuis ce moment, je ne peux plus y résister ! Et si en plus tu nous propose une recette de Christine Ferber, je dis bravo !

13 December, 2006 18:24 

Blogger leedav said something sweet:

I'm so jealous that you can actually go to Christine Ferber's shop!

14 December, 2006 01:36 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

J'ai recu le livre il y un mois et je viens de faire une marmelade de clementines delicieuse. J'ai bien envie de faire une nouvelle recette chaque mois.
Tres bell confiture de chataigne!

14 December, 2006 06:10 

Blogger Julie said something sweet:

I love roasted chestnuts and just made some to eat while we decorated our Christmas tree. I would try this jam, despite the pain, if only I had a food mill. Any alternative suggestions? It sounds so heavenly.

14 December, 2006 20:10 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

yum! i love chestnuts so much!!

14 December, 2006 21:38 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

Mieux que la crème Faugier??? hum hum, je vais essayer ta recette! grazie mille... ;-)

17 December, 2006 18:58 

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