Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chestnut fritters (Fritelle di farina di castagne) - as made in Ferrara, Italy

Before I share this delicious Italian recipe with you
 I would like to introduce you to the main ingredient used : chestnut flour.

This was bought in Italy
Chestnut flour is a grayish tan colored sweet tasting flour made from ground chestnuts. It has a sweet and slightly smoky taste and makes an interesting flavor addition to many recipes especially to those that include almonds, chocolate, honey and hazelnuts..

Being  a gluten-free product it is considered a good cooking option for people with celiac disease or other gluten allergies.
It is kind of starchy which makes it more similar in nutrition to typical grain flours.
We rarely come across chestnut flour, but believe it or not, it was a traditional substitute for wheat flour in Italy during the middle ages, and was very much used for making bread and pasta. Unfortunately we combine chestnut flour with wheat flour for most of our pasta, gnocchi and bread recipes that call for it. 
It makes an interesting ingredient in pasta recipes. If you make your own pasta, try substituting part of the regular flour with chestnut, then topping the pasta with a pine nut sauce for a delicious flavor combination.

Nutrition facts
  • 1/4 cup almond flour contains 160 calories, with 6g carbohydrate, of which 3g is fiber, 6g protein and 14g fat
  • 1/4 cup of chestnut flour contains 95 calories, with 21g carbohydrate, of which 1g is fiber, 1g protein and 1g fat
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose white (wheat) flour contains 114 calories, with 24g carbohydrate, of which 1g is fiber, 3g protein and 1g fat
As you can see it is very low in fat


  • 2 cups sifted chestnut flour
  • milk
  • sugar
  • raisins
  • lemon or orange zest or vanilla
  • a bit of rum
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • oil for frying
Soak raisins in water until soft. Sift the chestnut flour into a bowl.  Add the milk and beat to form a smooth pasteAdd desired sugar, and the rest of the ingredients. Work the mixture in a bowl with a wooden spoon until you have a smooth, fairly liquid paste. Heat about a ½” of oil in a large sauté pan. add fritters in a single layer. Fry until golden on one side, then flip and continue cooking on other side until golden brown and heated through. Serve immediately.

To serve
Drizzle with honey or sugar

If you can find chestnut flour, you must try this recipe and then put the rest of the flour in the freezer to make it last longer.


  1. Another thing I need to add to my list of "need to try"!

  2. WOW...this sounds rich and tempting... I'll have to look for it. Thanks, Jenn

  3. I added two more ingredients suggested by my italian mother in law. she is an amazing cook. I will have to share her recipes with you sometime!


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