Roasted chestnuts and spiced apple cider

Spiced apple cider and roasted chestnuts- perfect for helping to decorate the Christmas tree or getting through a long list of online Christmas shopping orders. With a rich, almost fleshy and woody flavour, I like to roast a big batch of chestnuts, pinch a couple to fuel Sunday afternoon chores and save the rest for a stuffing mix or pie filling.

Having been lucky enough to try this spiced apple cider recipe for the first time this week, I've decided it's my tipple du jour and will be spurning frowns in the supermarket aisle with my three litre bottle of cider for the rest of winter. I urge you to do the same.

Ingredients for the chestnuts
Bag of chestnuts
Pinch of salt

For the spiced apple cider
Original dry cider
One apple chopped into small chunks
Brown sugar
Mulled wine sachet/flavouring
Extra cinnamon, cloves, or whatever you fancy.

Preheat the oven to 200C, and make a small cut in the pointy end of each chestnut so the flesh can cook and the tough outer shell won't burst. Place in an oven-proof dish and sprinkle over a pinch of salt. Cook for 20-30 minutes.

Heat around 1 litre of the cider, add the mulled wine sachet, around 2 tablespoons of sugar and any extra flavourings you'd like. Stir so it is well mixed through. Place chopped apple in clear glasses and once the cider is heated pour in and share around.

Once the skin of the chestnuts can peel away, and the inner flesh is hot to touch, remove from the oven and de-shell, taking away the tougher pith layer. Snack on them now with a little extra salt, or save for recipes later.