How to Make Chestnut Flour

Making chestnut flour requires finesse. Unlike other nut flours, such as almond, that you can simply grind into a coarse meal and call it a day, you have to coax chestnuts into a fine flour from start to finish. But when you process chestnut flour to a dry, silky consistency, you can use it in dishes too refined for coarse, mealy flours, such as gnocchi, crepes and clafoutis.

Things You'll Need

  • Filtered water or spring water
  • Nut-milk bag or cheesecloth and fine-mesh sieve
  • Rubber spatula
  • Food dehydrator and nonstick drying sheet
  • Parchment paper and sheet pan (optional)
  • Spice grinder

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Peeling and Preparing

Step 1

Slice each chestnut in half vertically, from the pointed tip to the rounded bottom. A sharp, heavy chef's knife works best. Work in 1-pound batches of unshelled chestnuts.

Step 2

Bring a few quarts of water to a boil in a large pot; you need enough water to cover the chestnuts by at least 1 inch. Add 1 pound of halved chestnuts to the boiling water.

Step 3

Blanch the chestnuts for 7 1/2 minutes and drain them in a colander under cold running water. Let the nuts drain in the colander for a few minutes and transfer them to a bowl.

Step 4

Drop the chestnuts from their shells into a separate bowl. Extract the nuts that don't fall out readily with the tip of a paring knife.

Step 5

Cover the chestnuts with filtered water or spring water and let them soak for 10 to 12 hours.

Processing

Step 1

Transfer the chestnuts and the water to a blender or food processor. Process the chestnuts until smooth; work in batches, if necessary.

Step 2

Scrape the pureed chestnuts from the blender to a nut-milk bag set over a bowl. You can also pour the chestnut puree into a sieve lined with two or three layers of cheesecloth set over a bowl.

Step 3

Let the chestnut milk drain into the bowl for about 5 minutes; then press the solids using a rubber spatula. Wring the remaining chestnut milk from the bag or cheesecloth. Store the chestnut milk in an airtight container for up to three days in the refrigerator.

Step 4

Scrape the chestnut pulp onto a nonstick drying sheet and spread it in an even layer, no thicker than 1/4-inch thick, using a spatula. Dry the pulp in a food dehydrator for 24 hours at 105 degrees Fahrenheit.

Alternatively, spread the chestnut pulp in an even layer on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Dry the pulp in the oven on the lowest setting for 24 hours or until it's completely dry; use a towel or oven mitt to keep the oven door propped open about 1 inch.

Step 5

Transfer the dry chestnut pulp to a spice grinder and process it into a fine powder. Store chestnut flour in the refrigerator for up to three days.

References

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