I’m still in France, and finding it increasingly hard to stay gluten and dairy free in support of my children. But the way I figure it, it’s only the kids who are supposed to be on that diet, so I’m allowed to fall off the wagon for a month. I love the pastry available in the supermarket here – there are many kinds, brisée is a shortcrust pastry, and there are also some labeled as pizza pastry. I bought some gorgeous pre-made french puff pastry known here as feuillete. This utilises several ingredients that are easily found in french supermarkets, and now in many gourmet stores around the world. Even my local sells French feuillete by the roll and tinned chestnuts (marron)
- 100g butter with salt crystals
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups prepared chestnuts (can be bought like this in tins or vacuum packs)
- 1 sheet round feuillete pastry
- 1/2 cup cream
- 2 egg yolks
- more caster sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 180℃
- Place pastry in a lined tin, and roll over the edge neatly all around, and set aside.
- Over a medium/high heat in a small saucepan, cook butter, sugar and vanilla, whisking every now and then, until caramel forms. (It will start off looking like its just split, but eventually the texture will change to become creamy and smooth – about 5 minutes) Pour into pastry ‘bowl’ before it hardens, spreading out evenly.
- Blend 1/2 of the chestnuts with the cream and egg yolks (I used a stick blender in a tall jar), then pour over caramel.
- halve remaining chestnuts then push into the pie in a pretty pattern, then sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake until cream firms and pastry is golden brown and puffy (about 25 minutes)
Serve warm. Also great the next day out of the fridge! If you can only get square pastry, you may need a couple pieces to make the base large enough.