Crème de Marrons (Chestnut Cream)

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This chestnut spread is usually bought from the store, but if you have some time, you can make it at home. It’s used in a lot of desserts, and is delicious at breakfast with fromage blanc, yogurt, or crêpes.

Difficulty: Easy

Hands-on: 10 minutesTotal: 2 hours 40 minutes

Makes: 2½ cups


  • 1 lb. chestnuts, peeled (about 2 lbs. unpeeled)
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • ½ lb. sugar
  • 2 cups water


  • Fill a large saucepan with water, bring to a boil, and put the chestnuts in it for 20 minutes. Drain them, then pour the chestnuts into a blender, and process until smooth.
  • Slice top outer layer of the vanilla pod in half lengthwise. Pour the sugar, the vanilla pod, and the 2 cups of water in another saucepan. Put over medium-low heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the chestnuts to the saucepan; stir well, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • When the mixture sticks to your wooden spoon, remove from heat, and pour it in jars.
  • Seal the jars and put them upside down for a day if you want to store them (about 1 year). Put in the refrigerator and let it cool down at least 2 hours before using.