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Chestnut tart - best recipe I've ever found on any website

Made the chestnut tart a la mode de Pierre Hermé shown in: http://fxcuisine.com/default.asp?Disp...
(fxcuisine.com is a very interesting website in general, quirky in a very good way).
Wanted a dessert for a Chinese menu I was making - since chestnuts are sometimes used in savory dishes, thought it would be an appropriate choice.
Used the cooked chesnuts in foil pouches imported from China and Clément Faugier purée de marrons and creme de marrons.
The tart went very well with the menu and was utterly delicious.
The crust recipe itself is a keeper (almond pate sablée).
Highly recommended to fellow chestnut maniacs...

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  1. Thanks for the pointer to fxcuisine.

    I also love chestnuts and found a great recipe in the quirkily fantastic book Breakfast Lunch Tea, The Many Little Meals of The Rose Bakery. I made these last Xmas. The Rose Bakery is in Paris and is owned by an English baker Rose Carrarini. Among the fab desserts, many cakes made with unusual flours such as nut (almond, pistachio, etc.), polenta, and rice flour to name a few. Her Chestnut and Chocolate Tartlets are amaing. I'll paraphrase for anybody interested.

    2 Replies
    1. re: oakjoan

      Please do. I love anything chestnut. Chocolate is just an added bonus.

      1. Thank you for the link. It looks wonderful. And I love Pierre Herme. His pastries are the best I've ever had. The article about his store was great to read. True -- he's not the most famous or the largest, but his stuff truly are masterpieces of culinary art. His macarons are in a totally different league from Laduree, even though Laduree is so much more famous. I've been a bit too chicken to attempt his macarons right now. But the chestnut tart looks to be much more manageable.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Miss Needle

          It's very easy and quite fun to make. I made the pastry in the food processor and being rolling-pin averse, pressed it into my pan - an 11" tinned steel tart pan. Made the filling in the food processor too...

        2. Sounds fantastic. It's probably not too sweet? Looks like the chestnut flavor would really come through, what with three different forms of chestnuts in the filling.

          1 Reply
          1. re: karykat

            It isn't, because the chestnuts themselves are unsweetened -at least until you caramelize them ;-) - and neither is the purée - just the creme de marrons. This is a fabulous dessert, was wonderful barely warm and is excellent chilled...

          2. Thanks for this recipe Buttertart!

            I have been living off the foil bagged chestnuts lately...My fruit store sells them for a buck!

            Last night I pureed them and made some chestnut-whipped cream for an olive oil cake, but I was disappointed. (it was just ok)
            So I have been seeking a recipe all morning - and this sounds perfect!

            31 Replies
            1. re: NellyNel

              Funny thing, I was just thinking it was time for another one of these. It's delicious and beautiful. Great recipe. I love those foil-bagged chestnuts - for the whipped cream you might have wanted to simmer them in a little sugar syrup and add some vanilla or rum prior to puréeing. You could also use the Turkish ones that come in jars in syrup, drained.

              1. re: buttertart

                I am so looking forward to trying this!

                Arent they great? ...and for a buck??

                All day I was wondering what I could have done to make that whipped cream delectable!
                I thought maybe a dash of maple syrup...but of course you are right! I should have simmered them in sugar syrup!!
                I did add vanilla btw.
                Though I must say, it does taste better today, and my co-workers have been complimenting it :"the cake was okay - but that cream was fantastic"!

                1. re: NellyNel

                  There is nothing like chestnut flavor, I love it. souschef is another big fan, have you noticed?

                  1. re: buttertart

                    That I am. If I can find roasted chestnuts I am making that this weekend.....or sooner. Looking at the recipe I was thinking that it could use a little rum.

                    1. re: souschef

                      Buy. the. Chinese. ones. in. foil. packages. They are excellent and absolutely no melamine in them ;-) (I visited the prduction area in northern China, very nice.)

                      1. re: buttertart

                        Okay, if I can find some stamped "buttertart approved" I will buy them :)

                        1. re: souschef

                          Look for Hebei province packer info.

                          1. re: buttertart

                            All of a sudden I'm seeing packets of roasted shelled chestnuts in every grocery store around here. The brand is Galil, and it's featured as a Rosh Hashanah sale item this week for 99 cents. Now that I have this recipe, think I'll stock up.

                              1. re: buttertart

                                All I know is they are kosher. Also a small packet, 3.5z which apparently is about a dozen. I'll research and get back to you shortly.

                                1. re: coll

                                  I'd be interested since it would be a clever marketing strategy on the part of the Chinese.

                                  1. re: buttertart

                                    It looks like it is imported from Israeli (the importing company is here on Long Island so probably why I'm seeing it everywhere). Do they grow chestnuts in Israeli? The only other info I'm coming up with is that Galil is an Israeli army assault weapon, nice name for a food company!

                                    1. re: coll

                                      I can't find any specific reference to chestnuts grown there but they have a big fruit industry so they certainly could be. It's also possible that they're packed in and exported from Israel but grown elsewhere.

                                      1. re: buttertart

                                        I'll buy a package or two this weekend and see if I can report any further.

                            1. re: buttertart

                              I just found out that my favourite Italian deli carries them - $1.69 for 100 gm. Good chance they are from Italy as most of their stuff is. That;s where I buy my Jambon de Paris, tartufo, etc.

                              1. re: souschef

                                That's very reasonable. They might come from Italy as in having been exported from there but be of other provenance. A lot more wine comes out of Italy than there are grapes grown there.

                                1. re: buttertart

                                  I think Italy does grow a lot of chestnuts; I think marrons glacés are big there too. Advertised here every year on the market are raw chestnuts imported from Italy. I can hardly wait to make marrons glacés again.

                                  1. re: souschef

                                    Of course you're right. I can't wait to taste them.

                                  2. re: buttertart

                                    Went to the Italian deli. Product of China. Think I'll wait till chestnut season. The damage done by the melamine incident cannot be repaired.

                                      1. re: buttertart

                                        My 99 cent chestnuts are from China too. I bought a couple anyway because I had a clerk and then a manager running all over the store, saying "Where did I see them?" I don't think a couple of oz will kill me outright, and will be good for experiments.

                                        1. re: coll

                                          We've gone through at least 20 of the bags so far. No ill effects. It's not soemthing that lends itself to adulteration. The FDA does look at food imports after all (boy, do they, my food customers are getting hit with holds and exams left and right this past few months).

                      2. re: NellyNel

                        PS those chestnuts are good in sauerkraut and stuffings and in Chinese red-cooked meat dishes too.

                        1. re: buttertart

                          Yes!

                          I think I'd have to say Chestnuts are one of my all time favorite foods...I adore the flavor.
                          Are you also a fan of white sweet potatoes?
                          They taste almost exactly like chestnuts IMO.....maybe even MORE delicious??!!

                          1. re: NellyNel

                            Hmm, have never tried them. Must do so!
                            They also make a lovely soup (cook w celery, onion, carrot, scrap of garlic, purée and thin with cream, season). Great at the holidays. It's in the soup cups in front of naughty Liam in my avatar as it happens.

                            1. re: buttertart

                              Buttertart you HAVE to try them!!
                              they are sooo delicious - you will love them..they really taste like a sweeter chestnut with a potato texture - just imagine it - with a smother of butter - WOW

                              Oh the soup sounds good.
                              Have I ever mentioned how much I love your avatar photo?
                              it's the BEST!!!
                              Liam is gorgeous!

                              1. re: NellyNel

                                I will! First chance I get. Thanks for the tip.
                                Thanks re Liam! He's even bigger and more gorgeous now, he was 11 mos then - now 20 mos. Personality very much reflected in the pic, a humorous fellow!

                                1. re: buttertart

                                  ..i mean seriously - he's adorable...I can tell he is quite a character!
                                  (And I don't compliment cats freely!)

                                  I have a sweet white potato in the fridge at home - I know what I'm having for dinner!!
                                  Have a good night!!

                                  1. re: NellyNel

                                    You too! I'll give him your regards.

                          2. re: buttertart

                            Yes, great compliment to red cooked, especially pork.

                            1. re: buttertart

                              I have a recipe I got here for french green beans and chestnuts, with a maple whiskey type sauce, which is why I started buying chestnuts in the first place. Very nice holiday dish.

                      3. Buttertart, just looking at the pictures on the link it looks like the cream is whipped before being mixed with the other stuff. Did you whip it?

                        Instead of buying a can of creme de marrons just to use only 70 gm I was thinking of using extra chestnut puree with vanilla and a bit of extra sugar. How much extra sugar would you use? I know that creme de marrons is very sweet. I am reluctant to buy it as I know it will get thrown out as I can't eat it on its own.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: souschef

                          I don't remember. Given my slipshod methods I rather doubt it.
                          I'm sure you could sub - is there some way of finding out the calorie counts of the two products? That should allow you to figure out how much sugar to add.

                          1. re: buttertart

                            It just occurred to me that a can of creme de marrons has chestnuts, water sugar and vanilla, and the texture is more liquid than puree de marrons. So I am betting that the creme de marrons has puree and simple syrup instead of straight sugar. Solution: add simple syrup in small quantities to the puree in a food processor till I get the texture I am familiar with.

                          2. re: souschef

                            I noticed that, too. Looks like from the picture it's double cream, which we don't have here. I've never seen it in person, but perhaps double cream that thick out of the package?

                            1. re: emily

                              Yeah, I can't get double cream here either; I think it's 45% bf. The recipe says heavy cream, which is probably double cream.

                              BTW recently in a grocery store a guy came looking for heavy cream and asked a store employee for it. The employee gave him some creme fraiche, saying it was the heaviest they had. The guy looked innocent, so I asked him what it was for, and he said that they were going to make some cocktails, but he knew nothing about it as his wife was doing it. I told him to take whipping cream instead. Lucky for him I was there.