Chestnuts, the edible fruit of a tree in the beech family, have glossy brown shells and dark fuzzy membranes that must be removed before use. Often referred to by the French "marrons," these sweet nuts are sold raw or roasted, whole or in pieces, candied or puréed.
To peel chestnuts:
Score an X on the flat side of each shell. Set the chestnuts in a pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Place in a preheated 400°F (200°C) oven for about 15 minutes, until the shells begin to turn brittle and peel back at the X. While still warm, peel off the shells and skin. For other nut varieties, see almonds, Brazil nuts, candlenuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts.