December 06, 2012

Chestnuts Puree (Pireu de Castane)

This is one of my favourite  desserts!  It is one of the desserts one would find on the menus of restaurants and dessert shops all over Hungary and Romania. I was delighted to enjoy some when I was there in the fall, (actually, a little more than just "some"). I do like to make my own though, and this time of the year, it is the perfect time.  Chestnuts are in full swing in the supermarket... The dessert is simple to make, but it does require time and patience ( lot of it, for pealing them), but if you like something bad enough, ( like I do), it’s worth the time and effort !

Chestnut Puree

4 lb. ( 2 kg.) chestnuts in shell
2 to 2-1/2 cups hot milk
1/3 cup icing sugar 
1/2 cup butter, unsalted
4 tbsp. rum flavouring
2 cups whipping cream
1 tbsp. icing sugar
Wash chestnuts. Place in a pot and pour enough water to cover them. Cook chestnuts for about 2 hours or until they are done. (Take one out, cut in half and check for softness - flesh should be soft).

Strain off water and let them cool enough to handle. Clean them by removing the peal or cut them in two and scoop out flesh with a knife (rounded tip knife works better).

Place all the flesh into a large bowl.  Pour hot milk over chestnuts. Let stand a bit to cool then place half the chestnuts in food processor. Add half the sugar, half the butter, half the rum flavouring and mix together until smooth and creamy. Add a little bit of more milk if needed.

Remove to a bowl and proceed with the remaining chestnuts, adding the rest of the sugar, butter and rum flavouring.

Beat whipping cream with the icing sugar until soft peaks form.

To serve, place some whipping cream in the bottom of individual footed glass bowls. Push the puree through a potato-press over the whipping cream.

Garnish top with more whipping cream.

Bon appétit!

Makes: 12-14 servings
Leia’s Culinary Treasures

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