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Chestnut Puree Recipe and The Mount Blanc Dessert

Chestnut puree is something unique, something precious that is not meant to be average but a special one. Mount Blanc dessert is even more of that!

Chestnut-puree-recipe-or-The-mount-blanc-dessert-2-SunCakeMomIt’s interesting to see how the world changes and what we take granted one day it’s gone on the other. This was the history of chestnut in the United States too where a 4 billion strong American chestnut population disappeared almost overnight.Well, it was 40 years to be precise but in evolutionary terms that’s not even a snap. It’s like people getting a flu but, in this case, it was a fungus. Chestnut blight came from the Asian Chestnut trees that were introduced to New York at the beginning of 1900 and spread to the whole of the country.

The only reminder of the once abundant American Chestnut is in old furniture, ships, barns, reclaimed lumber and maybe some old dusty recipes.

This isn’t the first disappearance of the chestnut from the culinary world though. There were times when Chestnuts were main source of food for many people across Europe. In places where cereals couldn’t take roots chestnut flourished beautifully.

Chestnut served as a main carbohydrate source for communities around the Mediterranean breeding countless type methods and recipes to enjoy its virtues. Chestnuts were used to make flour and from that all sort of cakes and bread.

Unfortunately, these recipes were invented before the recipe sharing cult became a trend and few survived through word of mouth because around the 18th century chestnut flour popularity started to wane.

Bakers started to turn their back on the not raising chestnut flour and preferred the gluten rich wheat that was able to produce more complex pastries. People started to see it as a pleasantry isn’t worthy their money and food for only those who can’t afford better.

Chestnut never fully recovered from this blow and never came back, although it may something to do with its price nowadays than looking down on it. As more and more people are looking for alternatives to gluten filled wheat products chestnut is gaining popularity year after year.

And what’s not to like about it, anyway. It’s a naturally sweet fruit. Despite being called nut, it’s full of carbohydrates, contrary to most nuts that are made up of protein and fats. It’s edible raw and responds to all forms of cooking methods.

The only annoying thing about chestnut is their peeling that isn’t particularly easy. But to be honest no nuts give their seed easily.

When buying chestnut fresh, mind to select only the ones that are firm to pressure. Those that have a slight give upon pressing them have lost some of their water already and not recommended to buy. Although, it could be no problem, it could also mean that mold started grow between the seed and the outer layer ruining the whole fruit.

When the cleaning process is done, the chestnut is ready to be part of amazing creations or just simple but fulfilling recipes. The most basic chestnut puree recipe doesn’t make life difficult but calls for pureed chestnut with a bit of rum and an occasional extra sweetener then serve it with whipped cream on top.

Everything goes uphill from there. So uphill that it is called a mountain. Mont Blanc (White Mountain) is a French dessert resembling a snowy mountain hence the name. As it is with mountains, it needs several stages to climb the top peak but luckily this one is quite doable.

The only special equipment we will need is a pastry bag or at least a pastry tip to scale the mountain side and we are ready to conquer this French peak. Failing that we can still descend back to the base and have a plain chestnut puree with cream and cherry on top.Chestnut-puree-recipe-or-The-mount-blanc-dessert-3-SunCakeMom

Ingredients:

Filling:

  • 1 lb / 500g Chestnut
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Honey or sweetener of choice
  • 2 cup Water
  • 2 cup / 300 ml Whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon Honey or sweetener of choice
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract

Base:

  • 1 cup / 150g Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking powder (follow instruction on packaging)
  • 5 tablespoon / 75g Butter
  • 1 Egg

How to make:

Chestnut cooking methods:

In the microwave
  • Cut the chestnuts in half.
  • Transfer to a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of water so that they don’t dry out.
  • Cover bowl and microwave for 5 minutes at 800 Watts.
In the oven
  • Preheat oven to 390°F / 200°C.
  • Make a shallow incision with a small, sharp knife in a crisscross manner preferably on both side. This will help the chestnuts cook quicker, it will keep them from exploding and make them easier to peel.Chestnut-puree-recipe-or-The-mount-blanc-dessert-process
  • Transfer them onto a baking tray.Chestnut-puree-recipe-or-The-mount-blanc-dessert-process-2-SunCakeMom
  • Roast for 25-30 minutes.Chestnut-puree-recipe-or-The-mount-blanc-dessert-process-7-SunCakeMom
Boiled
  • Press the sharp blade of a knife on the top of the chestnuts and make an incision. Repeat the same process to create a crisscross incision.
  • Transfer to a pot and add enough water to completely cover the chestnuts.
  • Place pot over high heat.
  • As soon as it comes to a boil, cook for 25-30 minutes.

Mount Blanc:

  1. Cook the chestnut with one of the above mentioned methods.
  2. Meanwhile the chestnut is getting ready prepare the meringue. Beat two egg whites until hard peaks form. Beat the lemon juice and honey with it.Beat-egg-white-until-hard-peaks-form-SunCakeMom
  3. Fill the egg whites into a piping bag or tool and create 1½” / 4cm diameter and 2″ / 5 cm high meringues. Or something similar to that.Chestnut-puree-recipe-or-The-mount-blanc-dessert-process-6-SunCakeMom
  4. Place them in the oven until golden brown color starts to appear on the edges. It takes about an hour on 225°F / 105°CChestnut-puree-recipe-or-The-mount-blanc-dessert-process-11-SunCakeMom
  5. Meanwhile the meringues are getting ready peel the chestnuts.Chestnut-puree-recipe-or-The-mount-blanc-dessert-process-8-SunCakeMom
  6. Transfer them into a pot with two cups of water.Chestnut-puree-recipe-or-The-mount-blanc-dessert-process-9-SunCakeMom
  7. Cook the chestnuts for 20 minutes on low heat then place them into a food processor. Refill the water if necessary.Chestnut-puree-recipe-or-The-mount-blanc-dessert-process-12-SunCakeMom
  8. Puree them well. Add water to the puree if required to get a solid paste that will be able squeeze through the piping bag. It will get more solid when cooled down but mind not to get it runny. Chestnut-puree-recipe-or-The-mount-blanc-dessert-process-13-SunCakeMom
  9. For best results the puree should be pressed through a sieve as to not block the piping bag when making the mountain side but if we feel lucky just skip this step.
  10. Start making the base for the Mount Blanc by mixing together the flour, baking powder, butter and egg by hand.Flour-egg-butter-honey-gp-SunCakeMom
  11. If the mixture feels dry justFlour-egg-butter-mixed-dry-gp-SunCakeMom add more butter, milk or water to it in tiny amounts until it gets together into a ball.Flour-butter-mixed-dough-gp-SunCakeMom
  12. If there is time, put the dough into the fridge to chill a bit. If time is short start making the base by rolling out the dough into a lightly floured surface.
  13. Cut the base out by a cookie cutter, special tool made for this task only. Or with a large cup.Chestnut-puree-recipe-or-The-mount-blanc-dessert-process-10-SunCakeMom
  14. Place them into the oven until golden brown. This takes about 10 – 15 minutes in a 350°F / 180°C oven.Chestnut-puree-recipe-or-The-mount-blanc-dessert-process-14-SunCakeMom
  15. While the cookies are cooling whip cream with sweetener and vanilla then fill it in a piping bag.Beat-cream-SunCakeMom
  16. When the cookies are cool enough place the meringue in the middle.Chestnut-puree-recipe-or-The-mount-blanc-dessert-process-15-SunCakeMom
  17. Start applying the cream around the meringue with the piping bag in a spiral from the bottom to the top.Chestnut-puree-recipe-or-The-mount-blanc-dessert-process-16-SunCakeMom
  18. When the cream is done, fill a piping bag with the chestnut puree and pray that it won’t block the piping head.
  19. Apply the chestnut cream in the same spiral form around the cream.

Done and creamed!Chestnut-puree-recipe-or-The-mount-blanc-dessert-1-SunCakeMom

Crack it hard!

Chestnut-puree-recipe-or-The-mount-blanc-dessert-4-SunCakeMom

5 from 2 votes
Chestnut-puree-recipe-or-The-mount-blanc-dessert-2-SunCakeMom
Chestnut Puree Recipe and The Mount Blanc Dessert
Prep Time
2 hrs
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
3 hrs
 
Chestnut puree is something unique, something precious that is not meant to be average but a special one. Mount Blanc dessert is even more of that!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French, Sugar free recipe
Author: Edi Baker - SunCakeMom
Ingredients
Filling:
  • 1 lb / 500g Chestnut
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Honey or sweetener of choice
  • 2 cup Water
  • 2 cup / 300 ml Whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon Honey or sweetener of choice
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract
Base:
  • 1 cup / 150g Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking powder follow instruction on packaging
  • 5 tablespoon / 75g Butter
  • 1 Egg
Instructions
Chestnut cooking methods:
In the microwave
  1. Cut the chestnuts in half.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of water so that they don’t dry out.
  3. Cover bowl and microwave for 5 minutes at 800 Watts.
In the oven
  1. Preheat oven to 390°F / 200°C.
  2. Make a shallow incision with a small, sharp knife in a crisscross manner preferably on both side. This will help the chestnuts cook quicker, it will keep them from exploding and make them easier to peel.

  3. Transfer them onto a baking tray.

  4. Roast for 25-30 minutes.

Boiled
  1. Press the sharp blade of a knife on the top of the chestnuts and make an incision. Repeat the same process to create a crisscross incision.
  2. Transfer to a pot and add enough water to completely cover the chestnuts.
  3. Place pot over high heat.
  4. As soon as it comes to a boil, cook for 25-30 minutes.
Mount Blanc:
  1. Cook the chestnut with one of the above mentioned methods.
  2. Meanwhile the chestnut is getting ready prepare the meringue. Beat two egg whites until hard peaks form. Beat the lemon juice and honey with it.

  3. Fill the egg whites into a piping bag or tool and create 1½" / 4cm diameter and 2" / 5 cm high meringues. Or something similar to that.

  4. Place them in the oven until golden brown color starts to appear on the edges. It takes about an hour on 225°F / 105°C

  5. Meanwhile the meringues are getting ready peel the chestnuts.

  6. Transfer them into a pot with two cups of water.

  7. Cook the chestnuts for 20 minutes on low heat then place them into a food processor. Refill the water if necessary.

  8. Puree them well. Add water to the puree if required to get a solid paste that will be able squeeze through the piping bag. It will get more solid when cooled down but mind not to get it runny.

  9. For best results the puree should be pressed through a sieve as to not block the piping bag when making the mountain side but if we feel lucky just skip this step.
  10. Start making the base for the Mount Blanc by mixing together the flour, baking powder, butter and egg by hand.

  11. If the mixture feels dry just add more butter, milk or water to it in tiny amounts until it gets together into a ball.

  12. If there is time, put the dough into the fridge to chill a bit. If time is short start making the base by rolling out the dough into a lightly floured surface.
  13. Cut the base out by a cookie cutter, special tool made for this task only. Or with a large cup.

  14. Place them into the oven until golden brown. This takes about 10 - 15 minutes in a 350°F / 180°C oven.

  15. While the cookies are cooling whip cream with sweetener and vanilla then fill it in a piping bag.

  16. When the cookies are cool enough place the meringue in the middle.

  17. Start applying the cream around the meringue with the piping bag in a spiral from the bottom to the top.

  18. When the cream is done, fill a piping bag with the chestnut puree and pray that it won't block the piping head.
  19. Apply the chestnut cream in the same spiral form around the cream.

Edi Baker - SunCakeMom

X-gen Master of the rolling pin, mother of the ONE and a full time teacher.
Kneading out the every day life nuisances under the low humming noise of the airflow oven.

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