Remove outer casings from chestnuts and boil the nuts in some water for 8 minutes. Remove the inner skin. Make a syrup with the sugar, water and vanilla pod, and when it is thick, put in the chestnuts and boil gently for 10 minutes. Remove the vanilla pod and pour nuts and syrup into a bowl and leave overnight. Reheat the syrup and chestnuts and boil for 1 minute, then pour back into the bowl and leave for 24 hours. Repeat the process three more times, until the syrup has been absorbed. Put the chestnuts on a wire rack covered with paper and dry them slowly in an open oven. Store in a wooden box lined with greaseproof paper and store in a cool dry place. Chestnuts dry more quickly than other candied fruits and lose their flavour, so they should be eaten quickly.
© 1978 Mary Norwak estate. All rights reserved.