How to make Chestnut Flour

chestnut flour

 

Like most chestnut related products chestnut flour costs a fortune. Fortunately it can be made at home pretty cheaply. Unfortunately peeling the little blighters can be an intensely traumatic experience.  You have been warned.

 

Chestnut flour lacks the gluten found in regular flour. Whilst this does mean that it can eaten by people who cannot eat wheat; it also means that on its own you are never going to be able to produce those stretchy doughs that you need to make pasta and bread. If you want to bake with it; replace 20% of your normal flour with Chestnut flour.

You can also use it to thicken sauces and make macaroons. When using in sauces make a small amount on the side to make sure the chestnut flavour doesn’t clash.

milling chestnuts

How to make Chestnut Flour

Score the chestnuts and roast at 180 for around 30 minutes

Peel chestnuts and chop roughly

Return to the oven on a very low heat to dry them out for a few hours.

Blend in a food processor

Using a fine sieve sift out the chestnut lumps from the flour.

Enjoy!

 

 

Comments

    • We got about 50# of chestnuts this year from our trees. I needed a fast way to stabilize them so I pressure-cooked them (in shell) for 5 minutes then froze them in bags. When thawed they can be used as is or dried, etc. for flour. I think it works pretty well. They aren’t crisp- especially after freeze/thaw but they taste good and I don’t see many other ways to keep them for so long.

    • Betty Henderson

      I boil them every year, primarily to use in my Chestnut Cornbread Dressing for Thanksgiving & Christmas. I have also ground the boiled chestnuts in my food processor to make a cornmeal-consistency nut flour. It is fine enough to bake with, but because of the moisture content at this stage, I would recommend freezing the ‘flour’. Someone suggested roasting nuts in the oven and then processing in a food processor, but we burned up two of our food processors trying. They are good to eat from the oven, but if left for a while, they become rock hard. I can’t figure out how to mill them at this point. Someone suggested a Vitamix, but I have not tried that yet.

      • This year we harvested 70 pounds of chestnuts. I diligently gathered them daily as they dropped. Then let them age at room temperature for 3 days. We unfortunately have weevil infestation- likely since the nuts were not harvested for many years. They seem to infect about 10-20% of the nuts this year- bad but not insurmountable- and I have a plan.

        During that time any weevil larva bored out of the nuts which were ‘inhabited’. This is why they need to be collected every day- they can’t sit on the ground long. This interrupts their life cycle as they think they are boring out to dig into the soil- instead they end up on my aging trays- so LESS weevils in coming years! (If you are into entomophagy, the larva taste like what they eat… chestnuts!)

        The aging also lets the starches change into sugars- I learned this from the practices of commercial chestnut growers and I think it makes a difference in flavor.

        From aging I rinse all nuts and then pressure cook them at low 5-10 psi for 10 minutes. Then I immediately freeze the nuts in bags (in the shell).

        When ready to use I let the frozen nuts defrost for 24hrs in the refrigerator then remove the meat. It sticks in the shells some but a good tool- like a small spoon- will help dig it out. I cut them in half and dig out from each half. It is still moist and tastes fine at this point to use in dressing or places you would use fresh chestnut. You will find nuts with holes that have had larva inside, or still do. I just inspect and discard anything I don’t want.

        To make flour it’s easy to grind in a food processor or blender then dry at 150F for 24hrs on sheets or pie plates. The result is a medium flour- depending on how much grinding for using in baking, etc.. I’ve tried to dry the meat and then grind- don’t waste your time, it’s almost impossible to grind after drying.

        I find so far this is the easiest way to handle our chestnut crop. If anyone has tips or ideas I’d be glad to learn more…

  1. Chestnut lover

    I am from Europe and every year buy fresh chestnuts since living in US- I always boil them in a pressure cooker for 1 hr or in a regular cooking pot for 2 hrs until they start to open up- cover them with plenty of water before that.
    then can stay out of the water in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and reheat them for 1 min in the microwave in portions to eat every night- warm! I have tried to roast them and they turn out very dry and still taste raw.
    I hope this helps

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