Kesten Pire (Chestnut Puree)

Kesten pire is one of my favorite desserts–something I associate with Zagreb in the fall or winter when chestnuts are in season. It’s a wonderful and easily prepared dessert on its own, as well as a base for other cakes or breads. My pastry bag broke, so unfortunately for this photo its not presented in the traditional “stringy” way, but in any event still tastes wonderful.
  • 400 g of chestnuts
  • 70 g of sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of cream
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of rum (optional, or more to your preference)

If raw, roast the chestnuts in a 250 C degrees oven by slitting a cross in the center (this will prevent them from exploding) for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool enough to peel, then place in a pot.

Mash the chestnuts a bit and then add the sugar, water, and cream. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook for about 45 minutes or until the chestnuts have absorbed the liquid. If too thick, you can add additional cream. You can also add the vanilla and rum at this point. Most recipes call for adding it, though I find that even without both it has a wonderful flavor, so taste it first and see what you’d prefer.

Next let it cool a little bit, then place into a pastry bag and pipe into a glass in stringy pieces, if going traditional, or whatever way you feel inspired to do. Place in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

Top with fresh whipped cream and serve cool.

Enjoy!

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