Jan 12, 2014

Tart with chestnut cream

We could eat chestnuts desserts every day...if only I figured out how to peel them more quickly.

Recipe adapted from Giallo Zafferano and Giada de Lauretiis
time: 1 hr to prepare chestnuts + 1 hr cooking + 40 min baking + 10 min cooling

650 g (1 1/2 lbs) chestnuts
190 g (almost 1 cup) sugar
240 ml (1 cup) or more water
1 vanilla bean, split open and seeds removed
zest from 1 lemon, grated
300 g (2 cups) regular flour OR what I used: 1 cup (150 g) regular flour and 1 cup (120 g) whole spelt flour
195 g (1 5/8 stick) cold butter, diced
40 g (2 1/2 Tablespoons) sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
zest from 1 lemon, grated
60 ml (4 Tablespoons) ice water

Prepare filling: Preheat oven to 180C/355F (fan forced). Make cross incisions (half way down the nut) in the smooth end. Place nuts on a baking sheet and then in the oven for 15 min. Turn the heat off. Open the oven door. Take 4 nuts at the time out of the oven and peel the shell and skin off, using a small knife and your fingers. In a food processor with steal blades, blend nuts till fine (2-3 minutes). In a medium sauce pan, mix water with sugar. Add lemon zest and vanilla (bean and seeds). Bring to slow boil and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. Remove vanilla bean (hint: store it in sugar). Add blended nuts. Using a hand-held immersion blender, blend the mix till creamy. Cook on low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Meanwhile...

Prepare crust: In a food processor with steel blades, bland flours with zest, sugar and salt. Add butter, pulse till coarse meal texture, about 10 seconds. Add water, puls more, till mass forms (and not any longer). Transfer the dough onto a rolling board. Give a couple of thrusts with the base of your palm. Form a disc, wrap it in a plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for 1 hour. Meanwhile...

Preheat oven to 180C/355F (fan forced function). Prepare a 28cm/10inch tart form. Line your rolling board with a large piece of parchment paper. Place your chilled dough on top (cut off 1/3 of it and place it back in the fridge) and roll till thin and a little bigger that your form. Use flour if your rolling pin sticks to the dough. Place the paper with the dough in your form. Perforate dough with a fork. On top, line a piece of aluminum foil. Place a handful of dry beans as weight and set it in the hot oven for about 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove beans and aluminum foil. Meanwhile...

Roll the leftover 1/3 dough till thin and cut it (with a pizza cutter) into strips. Spread the filling on top of pre-baked crust. Arrange strips on top and set the tart in the hot oven for about 35-40 minutes. Remove from heat. Let it cool some and serve.

  • the chestnut filling tastes very close to a toffee candy;
  • but a little less sweet and with that fantastic hint of chestnut;
  • the peeling of chestnuts...very hard with the oven method (versus cooking in water) as well, the only difference was that this time...I was sitting down;
  • the original recipe had a much sweeter crust and no pre-baking;
  • to be sure...I most often pre-bake my crust, especially when the filling is wet;
  • if the filling becomes too thick to spread...reheat it a bit and add 4-5 Tablespoons of water;
  • I switch the oven to top grill function for the last 5-10 minutes to give tart some color...optional;
  • chestnut desserts have quickly become my familys' favorite.


  1. This looks stunning, Ela. The homemade chestnut cream sounds amazing.

  2. This tart looks so yummy, and the chestnut cream filling sounds like it would taste so creamy and delicious!

  3. I've never baked with chestnuts, and it sounds like it's a lot of work. Glad you liked the final product!

  4. Nicely done! Love the chestnut cream!

  5. I'm craving something sweet and this tart looks perfect. Love the lattice design, so pretty!

  6. This tart looks great, especially love that added lemon! Yummy!

  7. I adore chestnuts!I bet this is a really tempting dessert!
    Have a lovely week,dear Ela!

  8. A lovely tart and great idea. I'm sure it tastes absolutely wonderful.



  9. I love all things chestnut! I always boil mine because I don't know how to roast/peel properly at all! I also bought home chestnut cream when we went to Paris and I'm almost out. I have to buy some more and maybe I can use that as a tart filling one day. This sounds sensational!

  10. This tart looks good!Can’t wait to try this one!

  11. Hi Ela, I wonder if I could use a can of marrons glace for this beautiful recipe of yours?

    1. Liz, I went to the original site to see if I can find some answer. One person just added pieces of marron glace to the cream for an extra flavor, together with zest. I have never tried marron glace...so I'm not much help here. :) ela

  12. You know I love all with chestnuts!! and this look amazing Ela!!

  13. Wow this looks amazing!! I would love to try some :) YUM! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Ela, this is one breathtakingly beautiful tart! I love the crosshatching...so lovely.

  15. This looks delicious. And your design is stunning amazing job!

  16. Chestnuts are one of Mother Natures' best gifts and I love what you have done with them:)
    Must try your home made chestnut cream, it looks so tempting.

    1. ...and yes, you can store this cream locked in a jar (with sterilizing and all...), according to the Italian site.

    2. i don't think gonna be enough to me this tart, look to great and delicious crunchy, got to have more of that :D