Rich, intensely flavored, and naturally sweet, this aristocratic dish is not as time-consuming as it appears to be. You can prepare the chestnuts in advance and freeze them if you like. My method of removing the chestnut meat is by far the easiest I’ve found. If you want larger chunks (for another recipe) then cook the chestnuts for half the time. This is wonderful as a Thanksgiving side dish, and a little goes a long way.
1ВЅ pounds fresh chestnuts
Вѕ cup heavy or whipping cream
Вѕ cup milk
1 tablespoon butter
- Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add the chestnuts and boil, covered, for 20 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and spoon out 3 or 4 chestnuts. With a large, sharp knife one at a time slice each chestnut in half and squeeze out the flesh into the container of a blender or food processor. If the flesh doesn’t come out easily use the handle of a spoon and scoop it out. Repeat with the remaining chestnuts, removing only 3 or 4 at a time from the hot water. (If the flesh of any chestnut is dark or spoiled, then discard it.) May be prepared to this point in advance, covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 week.
- Add the cream, milk, salt, and sugar to the blender or processor along with the chestnut meats, and pure until almost smooth. Scrape down the sides as necessary.
- Return the pure to the saucepan or a small skillet, and heat over medium-low heat until piping hot. If too thick add a little more milk. Add the tablespoon of butter and stir until melted. Serve immediately.