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Chestnut Crunch (Croccanti di Marroni)
Something rather different, and not baked - this recipe was published by Giovanni Vialardi in 1854, and derives from the mountains of Cuneo and the Val di Susa in Piemonte, where chestnuts were a staple winter food. The marrone (marron, for the French) is larger, much more highly valued than the regular chestnut.
- 2 1/4 pounds marroni
- 1/2 cup sweet butter
- 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons whipping cream
- 1/4 pound amaretti, crushed
- 2 ounces raisins
- 3 eggs, separated (save the whites for something else)
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
- Bread crumbs for dredging
- Grated lemon zest
- Olive oil for frying
- 1 egg
- Boil the chestnuts until tender, then peel them, and press the nut meats through
a strainer (you can also use a food mill with a fine-holed disk; were you to use
a blender the texture would be different).
- Combine the mashed chestnuts, cinnamon, butter, a half cup of sugar, cream, amaretti,
three yolks, the raisins and a pinch of salt together in a bowl; the mixture will
be stiff. Spread it on your work surface to a thickness of about 3/4 of an inch
(2 cm) and let it cool.
- In the meantime, grate the zest of a lemon and mix it into the remaining sugar.
- Beat the remaining egg, and heat the oil for frying.
- Cut the chestnut mixture into 1-inch x 1-inch diamonds, roll them in the bread crumbs, dredge them in the egg,
roll them again the bread crumbs, and fry them until golden brown.
- Drain the pastries on absorbent paper and dust them with the sugar and lemon zest mixture.
Posted by FootsieBear at Recipe Goldmine 10/2/2001 3:13 pm.