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Crème de Marrons (Chestnut Cream)
Crème de marrons is a glamorous dessert and a perfect festive, vegan and gluten-free centerpiece for Christmas/New Year's Eve breakfast party! Chestnut cream is a versatile indulgence: a rich and nutty spread, a delicious cake/biscuit/crêpe filling, an incredible sweet addition to smoothies.
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
  1. Place the water, brown sugar and cinnamon stick in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat and simmer for 20'. Remove from the heat, and cool to room temperature.
  2. In case you prefer to boil and peel fresh chestnuts: Rinse the chestnuts in cold water; wipe them off with a clean damp cloth. Using a small sharp knife cut a cross into one side of the chestnuts. This will make them boil more easily. Chestnuts are slippery, so be careful; place the chestnut on a cutting board or onto a dish towel and grasp it firmly before cutting. Place the chestnuts in a large saucepan, cover with cold water, and boil for 20'. Test whether the chestnuts are properly cooked. Remove from the heat. You can wear gloves to make handling the hot chestnuts easier. Take half of the chestnuts, wait at least 1'-2' until they are cool enough for you to handle them, and peel off the shells and skins. After half of the chestnuts are peeled, drain the rest of the nuts and peel them. The shell splits open at the cut, the cross cut portion bursts open, this make it easier to peel. By peeling a small portion of chestnuts at a time, you keep your boiled chestnuts warm in order to make the peeling process easier.
  3. Prepare your jars for canning.
  4. Purée the chestnuts in a food processor with sugar syrup until smooth. Transfer to a saucepan. Bring to the boil over medium-low heat and stir well using a wooden spoon.
  5. Simmer only for 2'-3' as the cream thickens quite fast. Starch content in different chestnut cultivars varies which affects the texture of the cream. If needed, thicken the cream with cornflour: In a cup stir 1 tbsp. of cornflour into 3-4 tbsps. of water; cornflour dissolves easily in water. Pour the mixture into the cream. Stir the mixture continuously to prevent lumps from forming, and cook for a few minutes until it thickens. Remove the cream from the heat.
  6. Ladle the cream into hot jars.
Recipe Notes

Useful Information

  1. My recipe makes approximately 1 kilo of homemade crème de marrons (chestnut cream).
  2. Starch content in different chestnut cultivars varies which affects the texture of the homemade crème de marrons (chestnut cream) and thus adding cornflour is optional.

Ways to use crème de marrons

  1. Crème de marrons (chestnut cream) is served on its own; crème de marrons is considered a very elegant dessert for special occasions.
  2. Turn a simple sweet crêpe into a fancy winter dessert by filling it with your homemade crème de marrons.
  3. Spread crème de marrons (chestnut cream) on toast for a festive breakfast; crème de marrons is the centerpiece for Christmas/New Year's Eve breakfast party.
  4. Chestnut cream is a delicious topping for pancakes and waffles.
  5. Make an impressive chestnut-biscuit pudding! Crush some homemade digestive biscuits. Spread a layer of crushed digestives in individual dessert bowls or dessert glasses and press lightly. Spread chestnut cream over the layer of biscuits. Set in the refrigerator, cool and serve. Decorate with candied chestnuts.
  6. In pastry kitchen crème de marrons is used as a cake, tart/tartlet, tsoureki (traditional Greek Easter sweet bread) and cookie filling.
  7. Chestnut cream is a deliciously decadent addition to any smoothie.

Retro recipe

Crème de marrons recipe dates back to the late 19th century. Crème de marrons was developed unintentionally and by accident by Clément Faugier! The original recipe consisted of candied chestnuts, chestnut purée, glucose syrup, sugar and vanilla. Contemporary recipes for homemade chestnut cream are simpler and healthier. My recipe is vegan, gluten-free and light. This is one of my favourite and trusted winter recipes perfect for the chilly winter days.

Alcohol and Dessert Pairings

Rum (straight and in cocktails) complements and balances crème de marrons. Whiskey and cognac match up well with crème de marrons.

Jars sterilisation process

You should make sure that your jars are clean to maintain the freshness of the crème de marrons. Sterilise your jars by washing them (and their lids) thoroughly in hot soapy water. Rinse them well. Heat oven to 100°C. Place the jars and their lids on a baking sheet and put them in the oven for 20'. Using a funnel, ladle the cream into the hot jars, filling to just below the rim. It is important that the cream is still hot when filling the jars. Cover with a lid. Immediately flip the jar upside down. Leave to cool completely. When cool it creates a suction that pulls the lid down. When you open the lid, you can hear a pop. Canned crème de marrons can be stored in a cool dry place. Refrigerate after opening.

Crème de Marrons (Chestnut Cream)

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