Making Marrons Glacés (Candied Chestnuts)

My love of marrons glacés (candied chestnuts) began when I was working in a university hospital, and a student returning from studying in Paris brought back a large box of them. I was smitten! Several years later I was gifted 3 kilos of them from a confectionery in Geneva for Christmas. These were on another (higher) level than my first bite. I looked up prices; they were horrendous, so I decided that I should try to make them myself. The boxes we get in delis here are (to be diplomatic) crap.

These are absolutely the most difficult things I have ever made. After buying the nuts, you have to pick through them to eliminate the wormy ones, which results in you throwing away a whole bunch. Then you have to heat them in water to loosen the shells and inner skins and peel them (a tough job); you throw away more. Then you have to cook them in water, under boiling point; if the water boils, they break up. Then you have to soak the nuts in sugar syrup for 24 hours, after which they go into a more concentrated syrup for another 24 hours. This is repeated for 3 more days, after which you glaze them.

I understand why they are so expensive.

In his book, “Entertaining in the French Style”, the late French chef Roger Vergé said that one thing he loved to do was pop a marron glacé into his mouth with a piece of dark chocolate and a swig of Cognac, and then chew it all together. I tried it a few times; Heavenly!

I have pictures of a batch I made a few years ago.


I made marron glace a few years ago out of some vacuum packed chestnuts I bought in an Italian store. i wound up with a huge large jar - there was a certain amount of crumbling with this approach, but it kept forever in the back of the frig and was wonderful over icecream nesselrode, etc. The recipe I used was in Better than Storebought by Helen Witty and Elizabeth Schneider Colchie which addresses both fresh and high quality dried chestnuts.

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I have that cookbook! I’ve never made marrons glaces, but I’ve used several of the recipes in there - very helpful.

Very impressive! They look wonderful, but sounds like more work that I would want to spend. Also I hate peeling chestnuts. My fingertips hurt just thinking about it!

Well done! I tried once. Once. I recall getting the nuts at an Asian market, and don’t recall worms!

Looks like it was on CH

Thanks. I was the one (as “Souschef”) who posted it on CH.


Thanks for sharing. Never attempted marrons glacés it at home. I like candied fruits more, especially citrus, used mostly in baking. That too, need labourious effect, which is not unlike the candied chestnuts. They cost a fortune too, I now find a tip to buy the less beautiful ones from pastry shops that are targeted for bakers.

yes, its a keeper.