Pan-fried chestnuts, apples and figs with spices

8 mins read
At Christmas dinner, my mother-in-law, a fan of Picard (where you can find a nice range of vegan products that only gets bigger with time!), had found a bag of spiced chestnuts with apple inside, with a little honey too.
I found the idea very good, as a big fan of chestnuts, I wondered why I hadn’t thought of that before, to tell the truth. So let’s give Caesar what is Caesar’s today: thank you Picard!

Chestnuts or chestnuts?

You’ve probably already wondered why we say chestnut cream but we pick chestnuts ?
It’s quite simply an abuse of language: you would be badly advised to go and bite into a chestnut that falls from a chestnut tree, because you would have the can very upset, because it picks up digestive problems and irritations of the esophagus.

This is often an abuse of language, but be aware that there are still varieties that exist, large chestnuts, which are cultivated precisely to make products which will then most certainly have a name like “chestnut cream”. How to sow doubt.

It’s all about you, outside, on a walk, never telling yourself that you can bite into chestnuts, and prefer chestnuts, which live together in a very pungent bug like a little hedgehog, and which will not have a round shape but rather drop.

Sweet Christmas spices

For this skillet, there was originally clove in addition to the spices that I added, except that I am allergic to it, so I obviously removed it from the recipe.

If you do not have all the spices individually, you can opt for the spice mixes found “ready-made” on the market, which are generally intended for making gingerbreadand which generally contain gingerof the cinnamonof the’aniseof the cardamom, from clove
To tell the truth, we could as well just put cinnamon, it works too, but it gives a little less relief in terms of flavors.

Of course, I can only advise you to have the ability to make your own mixes (and in fact, to dedicate an entire drawer to your spices, hahem): it’s much more customizable, and then you quickly use them both sweet and savory.
Obviously, the must remains to be able to use freshly ground spices, do not hesitate to get a spice grinder and do it when you use it, it will only be better and the flavor will be incomparable (for cinnamon I have a specific mill that I told you about in my article on the apple and cinnamon brioche and we really have a completely new and almost lemony flavor!).

Preparation of chestnuts with spices and apple

Even if it’s quite possible to do it when it’s the season, I didn’t prepare my own chestnuts: it’s long, very long (too long?).
Anyone who’s done it once knows how much you can love chestnuts and hate them when it comes time to peel them one by one.

I advise you to buy either vacuum chestnutseither in a jar : in cans they are generally bathed in their juice, I find them a little less good.
As for the appleyou have two options: either to have a “stewed” result with apples that will lose some of their hold during cooking (and in this case, we will turn to apples like golden), or to take apples that will keep their shape and a little firmness, like the pink lady, royal gala…
I chose some apples of a variety that I can’t remember the name of – I have to say there are so many, I googled, over 1000 – but which was from good resistance to cooking.

About the figs that I used, people who follow me on instagram know that I have a very generous fig tree: just before the autumn rains which make them ferment, I froze something like 2 kg, whole.
I used 4 small ones for this skillet, and their sugar caramelizes the rest of the ingredients and tie it all together a bit.
I realize that not everyone has frozen figs or figs, you can also put dried figs but preferably soft figs that look like moist prunes.

To make it delicious, I prepared this recipe with margarine, to color the chestnuts and apples.
I only thought about it afterwards, but for maximum taste pleasure, you can also add a little pecan nuts to this preparation, it will bring a little extra texture.

It is obviously a choice accompaniment for the holidays, it seems that there is still a little Christmas magic stuck in the pipes.
Otherwise, it is also a very nice recipe to eat with a little pan-fried seitan, very quick, but very festive.
To complete the picture of a good, easy meal that struts around, you can make a chanterelle sauce and you embark on a delight that is very easy to make, but which will make your taste buds tingle.

Pan-fried chestnuts with spices and apple

A festive pan-fried chestnuts, prepared with apple, sweet spices and a little fig. It’s the perfect accompaniment for the holidays!


  • 300 g apples
  • 150 g figs
  • 60 g margarine
  • 250 g chestnuts whole in a jar or vacuum-packed
  • 1/2 vs. coffee spices see notes


  • Peel the apples, then remove the core. Cut them into small pieces.
  • If you use frozen figs like me, take them out a few hours before to thaw them in the fridge. You can also use dried figs even if the rendering will be slightly different, in addition to maple syrup, for the syrupy side that figs bring.

  • Also cut the figs into pieces.
  • In a frying pan, melt your margarine, then add the apples, figs, chestnuts but also if you have dried figs, a good tablespoon of maple syrup.
  • Brown gently to melt the apples, which will also release their moisture and sugar.
  • Stir regularly and cover as needed.
  • After about ten minutes, add the spices, continue cooking over medium heat to concentrate the sugar and caramelize.
  • Serve hot.


The figs in this recipe were frozen figs from my summer harvest, whole. If you don’t have any, you can opt for soft dried figs with a little maple syrup, or a little fig jam.For this recipe I made a homemade mixture of cardamom, ginger and cinnamon. You can absolutely use only cinnamon, just like you can take a so-called “gingerbread” mix that is easily found on the market.