My friend Eva gave me a can of chestnut puree as a gift. She is a Hungarian-American and told me that she, like many other Hungarians, eats chestnut puree straight from the can or jar.
But my thoughts went straight to "what can I do with this?"
My friend Susan, who is Swiss-American, told me that her favorite dessert is Chestnut Mont Blanc, which is basically sweetened chestnut puree mixed with whipped cream.
That sounded like a good start.
Mont Blanc is usually served on top of a meringue or genoise. But I didn't feel like fussing, so I decided to go with buttered chocolate cookie crumbs on the bottom. I placed the crumbs in a bowl and spooned what I call Chestnut Mont Blanc Mousse on top.
Then added a blob of schlag.
This will be New Year's dessert for us this year.
Btw, this would also do well as a pie or tart: spread the buttered crumbs in a 9-inch pie plate, tart tin or cake pan with removable bottom and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, remove from the oven, let cool and spoon the mousse inside the crust.
Some specialty stores cary chestnut puree and you can buy it online. If you can't find it, you can make your own: in a saucepan, cover a jarful of chestnuts (about 15 ounces) with milk and cook for about 15 minutes or until the chestnuts are soft. Drain the chestnuts but reserve the milk. Puree the chestnuts in a food processor or blender, gradually adding enough of the reserved cooking milk to make a smooth puree. If you make your own puree, be sure to add the sugar in the recipe.
Chestnut mont blanc Mousse
- 1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs (or chocolate graham cracker crumbs)
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- 1-1/2 cups chestnut puree
- 2 tablespoons sugar, optional
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
- 1 tablespoon dark rum, optional
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- chocolate shavings
Mix the chocolate crumbs and butter together, making sure all the crumbs are coated. Place the crumbs in a bowl or in a pie plate. (If using a pie plate, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the crumb crust for 10 minutes; let cool before filling.) If the chestnut puree is unsweetened, mix in the 2 tablespoons sugar and vanilla extract. Mix in the rum if desired. Whip the cream with the one teaspoon of sugar. Remove half the whipped cream and fold it into the chestnut mixture. Spoon the mixture on top of the chocolate crumbs (or into the pie crust). Top with the remaining whipped cream. Garnish with chocolate shavings.
Makes 8 servings