chestnut pie

Being a big fan of anything chestnut, I jumped at the opportunity to try this, as it is reputed to be "the ultimate". Having tried it now, I'd have to agree. So if you are a chestnut lover like myself, and even if you aren't, I thoroughly recommend this dessert!


for the pastry
250 g fine flour (like pasta flour or similar) or plain flour
150 g butter
100 g icing sugar
1 egg
pinch of salt
1 vanilla pod
30 g ground almonds

for the filling
300 g cooked chestnuts
120 g caster sugar
100 g buter
2 eggs
6 egg yolks
150 g chestnut puree
70 g chestnut spread
50 ml double thick double cream


Pre-heat the oven to 180 C

First prepare the pastry. Mix butter and egg well using electric mixer. Add the contents of the vanilla pod and mix. add gradually sugar, then almonds , then salt and then flour.
When the dough becomes silky smooth and thoroughly mixed, wrap up in cling film and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes.

To prepare chestnuts, melt 50 g of butter and to it add all the chestnuts. Coat the chestnuts well in butter and cook on medium fire for a few minutes and then add the 60 g of sugar. Mix well and cook on high heat until the chestnuts start darkening, but don't burn anything. Leave aside.

To make the pastry case, roll out the pastry between two sheets of cling film. Butter and flour the tart tin or cake tin with removable bottom, then add the rolled out pastry. This tart is not very deep, around couple of inches, so make sure to stretch the pastry only as much as necessary. Pierce the pastry all over with the fork and line with aluminium foil. On top of the foil, pour ceramic beads or dry beans of some sort, or rice, and blind bake the pastry on 180 C for 20 minutes.

Once the pastry is baked, remove the beads and foil and assemble the filling.

Mix the remaining 50 g of butter with the cream, chestnut spread and chestnut puree, then add the remaining 60 g of sugar and all the eggs and yolks. Beat into a homogenous mix.

To assemble the tart, separate 8 - 10 chestnuts, and cut the rest in chunky pieces and arrange all over the bottom of the pastry case. Pour the batter over and decorate with the remaining whole chestnuts.

Bake for 25 - 35 minutes on 180 C until cooked.
Serve warm with a big dollop of cream or vanilla ice cream. Bon appetit!