Pear and Creme de Marrons Purses


photo

In France, Creme de Marron is very popular. It is even more popular around the holidays. You will find many desserts with creme de marrons as a filling instead of Chocolate or peanut butter. My mom loved Creme de Marrons, and she would eat it by the teaspoon. I found it okay, but really preferred chocolate over Creme de Marrons.

It is so funny how your tastebud evolves as you age. Today i like it better and I have been indulging. I am eating it for breakfast on toasted bread, for snacks by the teaspoon and for desserts. Yeah, I know.. not so good for my waist.. but it is holidays right;-) We can indulge….

This evening I will offer you a recipe that was well appreciated at one of my last cooking class. It is easy to make, very healthy and so so good!

Ingredients for 12 cupcakes size purses:

  • 1 pack of phylll dough thawed out
  • 3 pears peeled, sliced and cubed in very small cubes
  • 12 tbsp of Creme de marron, or chocolate paste such as Nutella if you do not have creme de marron.
  • 2 tbsp of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of melted butter, or olive oil.
  1. Roll the pastry out. Cut square of 6 inches wide. Peel off three layers of the phyllo and place those 3 layer square in each opening of the cupcake mold. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the diced pears with 2 tbsp. of brown sugar.
  3. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the diced pear mixture into each phyllo cup. Top the pear with 1 tbsp of creme de marrons, (or nutella if you do not have creme de marrons).
  4. Pinch the four sides together to close up the purse. With a pastry brush, brush the top of each purse with the melted butter, or olive oil.
  5. Cook in a warm oven at 400 for 12 minutes or until the top is a golden brown color.

photo

  1. Eat warm with ice-cream or whipped cream. YUM!!!

photo

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Creme de Marrons or Chestnut Cream


photoWhen I was a child, and it rained over night, we would go to the nearest forest and search for “cepes”. Cepes are big mushrooms similar to portobello that seem to pop up after a good rain. I remember never being very good at finding them, because they would often hide under the leaves.  So often while my parents searched for them, I , on the other hand would search for other things. And I would pick chesnuts. Chestnuts… Yumm.

We would roast them in the open fire at home in our living room using those huge pan with holes on them, or mom would boil them. Sometimes, mom would also serve them as a side for dinner. I really love, love chestnuts. And I am always very excited to find them in the store, though often they are of poor quality or have worms inside most of them.

Last week, as I was picking up some groceries at Costco ( yeah again..), I found a bag of chestnut and just picked it up just to see what they would taste like.

photo

I don’t know really what i was expecting…but they are not good to snack on. They are good to cook with though. A good friend of mine had just mentioned that his favorite was chestnut puree so I decided to make that with them. I had never ever made chestnut puree or creme de marron so after browsing the internet, I decided to follow the recipe found the recipe on Marmiton.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 bag of chestnut or about 567 gr.
  • 450 gr of sugar or about 1  3/4 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp of unsweetened real vanilla extract

Place the chestnuts in a large bowl and set aside.

photo

Place the sugar in a large saucepan with the water and cook. When the sugar is completely dissolved, take about 1/4 cup of the sugar mixture and empty it over the chestnuts.With an emulsion mixer, puree the chestnuts. Set aside.

photo

Continue cooking the sugar mixture and cook until the mixture starts boiling and the “bubbles” are big and almost look like soap bubbles. Remove the pan from the stove, pour the chestnut puree in it, add the vanilla extract and stir well. Place the pot back onto the stove and cook on low temperature for 15 minutes or until the mixture is very thick (and will not fall off a spoon if you were to place it upside down) . Be careful to stir often. When it is ready, remove the pot from the oven and let it cool.

photo

Chestnut puree is wonderful to eat as a spread on toast, as a filling in cakes, or by itself alone or with a bit of creme fraiche.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!