The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Italian sweet chestnut liqueur recipe

a pile of chestnuts

Chestnuts for Italian liqueur recipe

We make a wide range of fruit liqueurs every year but have never made a nut one. I was delighted to find this recipe for Italian sweet chestnut liqueur when I was nosing about on the Internet last week.

The promise of this had Danny sitting, knife and chestnut in hand, for a good hour and a half last night. Shelling chestnuts is a bore. It’s fiddly. It’s very frustrating if you have bought a batch with a few bad ones as you can’t tell the state of the kernel within from the external appearance of the nut. But if you can tempt someone to help you, and have something distracting to listen to on the radio, it is well worth the effort.

We bought vacuum packs of chestnuts from the deli in the past. They are fine but do not compare with the rounded flavour of sweet chestnuts that you have prepared yourself.

Besides being onerous, the shelling can be bloody. You must be careful not to let the knife slip. Eventually I put a plaster on my right forefinger and this helped enormously.

As described in the last chestnut post, use a small bladed knife. Start at the tip and work down towards the base, choosing the flatter side of the nut. The rest of the shell peels away easily if you can remove the base of the nut first.

If a kernel is mouldy, has black patches or holes in it, discard it immediately.

If you run out of puff remember that you can freeze shelled or unshelled chestnuts and come back to them another time. Just put in a freezer bag, expel as much air as possible, secure the top and freeze.

As we haven’t made this recipe before, I can’t vouch for it as yet. It does look promising. I will update this post as soon as we have tasted the liqueur in a few weeks time. The link to the recipe was here but unfortunately the recipe has vanished.

  Leave a reply


  1. Sicilian method is to soak them overnight then the skins slip off much easier.

  2. Kate Clarke


    I’m very excited about this recipe and now can’t wait for our chestnuts to come into season.

    As for peeling the little blighter’s we have discovered that snipping off the rounded end of the shell is less bloody and quicker than the slicing method.

    Good luck with the liqueur. I’ll be watching for future posts with great interest.


  3. Hi, I was given a huge bag of chestnuts in the autumn and froze them whole (following advice read here).

    I wanted to let you know that I have just peeled a batch for a stuffing, but this time I peeled them whilst still frozen and the outer skin is so brittle it comes off very easily.

  4. ladybird lady

    i also had great difficulty removing the inner skin and ended up with very few whole nuts.
    they seemed to either crumble as soon as the skin was half off or the skin was stuck on on and not budging.
    i made it anyway with the bits and it looks gross but m sure it will taste good

  5. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Pat

    I haven’t had a problem removing the inner skin.

    When the chestnuts have softened itâ„¢s easy to remove the skins if you snap the nuts in half, the skin should easily peel away. We found that the nuts that were still hard were the bad ones. Discard these as they would taint the good nuts.

    We have a great chestnut puree recipe here

  6. pat dukes

    How do you remove the chestnut skin easily? I have always tried to cook it by boiling, or baking but the inner skin seem to cling to the meat and is frustrating. Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags are not allowed.

2,245,807 Spambots Blocked by Simple Comments

Copyright © 2006-2023 Cottage Smallholder      Our Privacy Policy      Advertise on Cottage Smallholder

Skip to toolbar