Chestnuts boiled in milk, an autumn dessert of the Lombard tradition

Are you crazy about chestnuts, but are you a little tired of eating them always and only roasted in the classic pan with holes or in the oven? Then you might be interested in brushing up on a recipe that comes directly from culinary tradition of Lombardy and give your autumn-winter a completely different flavour. Let’s talk about chestnuts boiled in milka preparation that readers of this region could remember their childhood, above all the grandmothers. In fact, they were above all the ones who prepared this sweet which the children were fond of.

Chestnuts boiled in milk

Preparing chestnuts boiled in milk is very simple. There are two methods to do this: first boil the chestnuts in the water and then pour them into a bowl with cold milk to eat them almost as if they were breakfast cereals; or boil them directly in the milk. This second school of thought is the most appreciated and is also the one that guarantees a tastier final result, with the milk becoming more flavoured.

The proceedings

The first step is soak the dried chestnuts in water, about 300 grams, for at least a couple of hours. If you are not eager to try the dessert, you can also leave them overnight. After the necessary time, it will be possible to remove them more easily the cuticles covering the autumn fruits.

At this point, it should be brought to a boil in a pot a liter of milk with a pinch of salt, two tablespoons of sugar andif you want to, a little cocoa or a pinch of cinnamon to prepare the sweet version. Once the milk has reached temperature, add the chestnuts, lower the heat and cook everything for about two hours. Before consuming them, it is advisable to let them rest for a few minutes with the heat off.

A dessert of the Lombard tradition

Chestnuts boiled in milk are known by various names throughout Lombardy, from the mountainous areas to the Lower Padania. From the parts of Cremona the dessert is known by the name busecchina. A Pavia and surroundings are called buicka term that refers to the way the fruits swell when boiling, and traditionally they are eaten on Saint Anthony’s day, January 17th. In the Brescia areainstead, they take the name of milk bills.

The variants of chestnuts boiled in milk

Like almost all traditional dishes, chestnuts boiled in milk also have their variations. One of these provides adding rice and transforms them from dessert or snack to first course. If you are curious, you can prepare it by adding a couple of handfuls of soup rice when there are twenty minutes left of boiling the chestnuts in the milk and stir in a knob of butter before serving everything. Alternatively, you can opt to pour everything into a buttered pan and put it in the oven to obtain an original sweet rice cake.

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