This section is from the book "Simple Italian Cookery", by Antonia Isola. Also available from Amazon: Simple Italian Cookery.
Take twenty good chestnuts and roast them on a slow fire so that they won't color. Remove the shells without breaking the nuts, and put them into a saucepan with one level tablespoon of powdered sugar and one-half glass of milk and a little vanilla. Cover the saucepan and let it cook slowly (simmer) for more than a half-hour. Then drain the chestnuts and pass them through a sieve. Put them back in a bowl with one-half a tablespoon of butter, the yolks of three eggs, and mix well without cooking. Allow them to cool, and then take a small portion at a time, the size of a nut, roll them, dip them in egg, and in bread crumbs, and fry in butter and lard, a few at a time. Serve hot with powdered sugar.
Take forty good chestnuts and roast them over a slow fire. Do not allow them to become dried up or colored. Remove the shells carefully, put them in a bowl, and pour over them one-half a glass of rum and two or three tablespoons of powdered sugar. Set fire to the rum and baste the chestnuts constantly as long as the rum will burn, turning the chestnuts about so they will absorb the rum and become colored.
Take four very ripe peaches, cut them in two, take out the stones, peel them, and cut them in thin slices. Put them in a bowl and cover them up until wanted. Put in a saucepan one glass of red wine, two tablespoons of powdered sugar, a piece of cinnamon, and a piece of a rind of lemon. Boil these together, and then pour the liquid over the peaches in the bowl while still boiling. Cover the bowl, and allow it to stand for at least two hours. Then turn into the dish in which you will serve the peaches and the wine.
Put into the saucepan one pint of red or white wine, the first preferred. Add two heaping tablespoons of sugar, a piece of rind of lemon or orange, and a small stick of cinnamon. Put it onto the fire and stir until the sugar is dissolved. When the wine boils, strain it through some cheese-cloth and pour it into glasses, and serve hot.
Take one-half pound of almonds. Remove the shells and skins, and put them into a large receptacle of cold water. Add three bitter almonds to the number. Remove them from the water, and pound them up in a bowl, adding from time to time a little water. Then add more water and put them into a cheese-cloth and wring it, to extract all the juices you can. Then pound them some more, adding water, and squeeze out as before. To the milk you have extracted from the almonds add four tablespoons of powdered sugar and one-half tablespoon of orange water; put into the freezer and freeze.
If desired, you can put half the quantity of almonds and the other half of cantaloup seeds, pound together, and proceed in the same manner. This combination is refreshing and delicious.