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Whole Chestnuts in Vanilla Syrup

Ingredients
  • 3 pounds fresh unshelled chestnuts
  • 2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 cup brandy
Instructions

Cut an X on the flat side of each chestnut. In a jelly-roll pan roast the chestnuts in a preheated 375 oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the shells have cracked and the chestnuts are tender when pierced with a knife. Let the chestnuts cool slightly and remove the shell and the papery inner skin. In a large saucepan combine the brown sugar and 4 cups water and heat the mixture over low heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Bring the mixture back to a boil and add the peeled chestnuts and the vanilla bean. Bring the mixture back to a boil and let it cool. Let the chestnuts soak, covered, overnight. Return the mixture to a boil and with slotted spoon transfer the chestnuts to warm jars. Divide the brandy evenly among the jars, add enough syrup to cover the chestnuts, and seal the jars. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 50 minutes. Let the jars cool completely before checking the seals and storing. Makes 2 quarts.

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