Autumn foraging - Chesnuts wrapped in bacon
While kicking around the duck pond on a lazy Saturday afternoon we collected a good handful of Chestnuts. The time is now - so if you've got a tree get out there and gather, these little beauties are far too good to waste.
They are prickly little things but I've found if you stomp on the spiky husk then roll your foot around, the nut pops free and saves your fingers. So have a go at roasting your own - then make them twice as good by wrapping in bacon.
Soak the nuts in water for 15 minutes then make sure you cut a good deep cross in the flat end, otherwise you'll be cleaning exploded nut from the inside of your oven for weeks (learnt this the hard way), pop on an oven tray and roast at 200 degrees for 15 minutes.
When they are done, take them out of the oven, cover with a tea towel and crack gently in hour hands, give it another 10 minutes and the shells should peel away fairly easily.
Sprinkle with salt and eat them straight out of the oven, or wrap in 1/3 of a rasher of streaky bacon, spike with a tooth pick and bake for another 10-15 minutes - AMAZING! these also make perfect and very impressive party pass-arounds if you have the patience.
footnote - don't be fooled by the beautiful but lethal horse chestnut, to tell the difference is easy, horse chestnuts are huge, round and have a husk that is only slightly spiky/nobbly. The edible chestnut is smaller with a distinctly pointed end and a husk that is sharp and spiky (much like a kina!)