5 Ways to Cook with Chestnuts This Holiday Season

December 19, 2017 by Kari Karch

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire sounds like a fun holiday way to spend chilly nights, right? So why not use nature’s sweet deciduous tree nut to cook up a winter festivity of culinary delights! There are so many delicious ways to use chestnuts and they are versatile enough to be used in sweet and savory dishes. You can steam them, roast them, bake and even fry them. But the added bonus of cooking chestnuts in your home is the holiday aromas that fill the space.

Kentucky Chestnut and Cherry Pavlova (vegan, gluten-free, low-fat)



  • 1 c caster sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. arrowroot starch
  • Pinch fine grain sea salt
  • Liquid from one 400g can of unsalted chickpeas, chilled
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract

Chestnut Whipped Cream

  • 2 cans coconut milk, chilled
  • 2 Tbsp. caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • ¼ tsp. almond extract
  • 2 Tbsp. chestnut puree

Cherry Topping

  • 1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and chopped
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1 Tbsp. caster sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Kentucky Whiskey


Preheat oven to 275 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, salt, and arrowroot starch. Set aside. In the bowl of your Kenmore stand mixer, add the chickpea water and apple cider vinegar. Whisk on low and increase the speed to high. When soft peaks begin to form, slowly add in the sugar mixture 1 tablespoon at a time. Increase the speed to high and add in the extract. The meringue should have stiff, glossy peaks. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking tray and place 2 large dollops of the meringue on the tray in a circle. Using a spatula, lightly spread the meringue in a circle and make a shallow well. Bake in the oven for 2 ½ hours then remove and cool completely.

While the meringue is baking, make the chestnut whipped cream by removing the top hardened layer of coconut cream from the can and placing in the clean bowl of your Kenmore stand mixer. (You can use the remaining liquid for another recipe.) Turn the mixer on medium and add in the sugar and vanilla bean. Whip until soft peaks form. Turn off mixer and remove bowl. Gently stir in chestnut puree and chill until ready to use.

To make the cherry topping, mix all ingredients and set aside at room temperature. Once meringues are cooled and hardened, top with a dollop of chestnut whipped cream and spread across the surface. Then top with a spoonful of cherry topping. Serve.


Kari Karch

Kari Karch is a 19-year veteran of the culinary industry, creator of Kiss the Cook, and the head chef and spokesperson for the Kenmore brand. She has made many notable appearances on ABC Morning News, on WGN, on the Cooking Channel and as a judge for the World Food Championships.