Fresh chestnuts, 1 quart, Butter, 2 teaspoons, Lemon-juice, 2 tablespoons.
Syrup Sugar, 2 quarts, Vanilla bean, 1-inch length.
Use freshly gathered chestnuts if possible. Score each nut on one side with a sharp knife, then cover them with boiling water, cook for 5 minutes, and then drain and dry them. Add a teaspoon of butter to each pint of chestnuts, and placing them in a pan, shake them over the fire for 5 minutes, which will loosen both inner and outer skin and these must now be removed together, while the nuts are hot.
Cover the bared nuts with cold water, adding the 2 tablespoons of lemon-juice, and let them stand overnight, when the nuts will be firm, and will not break in cooking.
In the morning drain and let them dry, and then cover them with a syrup made of 2 pints of sugar and a cup of water, for each pint of nuts used - or in this case, 2 quarts of sugar, and 2 cups of water. Cook without boiling for 2 hours, or until the nuts look clear.
Drain off the syrup, taking care not to break the nuts, and reduce the syrup by rapid boiling. If the nuts are to be put away in syrup, then 5 to 8 minutes' boiling will be enough and in this case, when the syrup is cooked down, put back the nuts, and add the desired flavoring: This should be, either; an inch-length of vanilla bean for each quart of nuts, or, the juice and thin rind of one lemon, or, 2 tablespoons of maraschino.
After the flavoring is gently stirred in, pour the nuts and the syrup into small glasses, and seal when cold.
This makes an ideal flavoring for ices; or, the nuts and a little of the syrup may be served in frappe glasses with whipped cream.
Sweet potatoes may be prepared in the same manner instead of chestnuts.