If you've never tried chestnut puree, you've been missing out. This wonderfully sweet, nutty spread is incredibly popular throughout Europe, especially Italy which is one of the top chestnut producers in the world. Homemade chestnut puree is perfect for Christmas and it tastes a million times better than anything you'll buy in a store.
You can use it for both sweet and savory dishes. It's ideal as a filling for desserts like cakes, cookies, and chocolate truffles, or as a sweet way to complement savory dishes like a cheeseboard. You can even swirl it into your morning bowl of oatmeal! No matter how you choose to enjoy it, you're sure to love this easy homemade chestnut puree!
Making chestnut puree is similar to making other types of puree. It's super easy and doesn't take long. Start by whisking the milk and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly to help dissolve the sugar. Once it has dissolved, add the chestnuts and vanilla pod, and seeds to the milk. Simmer it on low for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Take the chestnuts out of the milk with a slotted spoon and put them in a food processor. Puree them until they're lovely and smooth. You can pour in a little of the milk until you get the perfect consistency. Let the chestnut puree cool, then spread it over a crepe or piece of toast, use it to make cookies, or save it for later!
There are so many wonderful festive ways to use chestnut puree. It's great as a filling in desserts like sandwich cookies, tarts, truffles, and cakes, but you could also spread it on toast, scones, or over pancakes as a sweet, nutty treat.
Use it as part of a cheeseboard instead of jam or jelly. Chestnut puree is fantastic added to oatmeal or yogurt, simply dip your spoon into the jar and eat it on its own!
You can use water or plant-based milk instead of cow's milk to make this chestnut puree vegan-friendly.
There are roughly 36 chestnuts per pound, which will give you about 2 ½ cups of peeled chestnuts.
You can buy cooked chestnuts or cook them at home yourself.
Add 1 ounce of chocolate to make a chocolate chestnut puree. Use chicken broth instead of milk and leave out the sugar and vanilla beans to make a savory chestnut puree.
Transfer the cooled chestnut puree to an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days. For long-term storage, you can freeze the puree for up to 2 months.
Whisk milk and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.
Once the sugar has dissolved, add in the chestnuts and vanilla pod. Bring the mixture to a low simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Discard the vanilla pod.
Place the chestnuts into a food processor and puree until smooth. Pour in enough cooking liquid to get your preferred consistency.
Let the chestnut puree cool, then use immediately or store for later use.
If you don't have vanilla bean pods readily available, you can substitute 1 to 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.