BRUCIATE UBRIACHE – Burnt, Drunken Chestnuts

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This was a favorite recipe from my cooking classes in the 80’s. It could be served after a simple or elegant dinner, or for an after ski gathering.


  • 1 lb. chestnuts
  • 1/4 C. sugar
  • 1/2 C. rum


To roast chestnuts in the oven – To facilitate removal of the shell, you’ll need a really sharp knife to carefully cut an X along the bottom of the nut where it was attached to the outer hard spiny shell. This works better than cutting an X on the flat side and needs to be done before roasting. This will allow the steam to escape during roasting. Uncut chestnuts will likely explode in the oven from internal pressure if not pierced! Place the chestnuts in a single layer on a baking pan in a 400-degree F. oven for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway through. You will notice the shells peeling back. Remove from the oven and immediately tightly wrap them in a cotton dishtowel and a woolen cloth/old sweater. This will further steam the pulp, flavor it with the burnt peel and prevent them from drying out.

When they are cooked, remove the shells and place the the chestnuts in an ovenproof serving dish, add the sugar and mix together. If you are not going to use them immediately, keep them well covered so that they do not dry out. Just before serving, warm the rum on a low flame. Remove the cover from the chestnuts, pour the rum over the chestnuts and flame it. While the rum is burning, stir the chestnuts so that the sugar is flamed. As soon as the flame burns out, serve immediately.