Emma's recent post on hoarding ingredients inspired us to break open this can of chestnut paste we bought at Bay Cities but weren't quite sure what to do with. We didn't want to go out and buy more ingredients, so we poked around the refrigerator and pantry. When we found apples, spices, and frozen puff pastry, we immediately thought of riffing on Patricia Samson's Delicieuse Home Made Apple Tart. Click through to see how our tarts turned out and let us know if you have other ideas for chestnut paste, too.
Ordinarily, we prefer making our own pastry (like the sort in our Fig and Lavender Goat Cheese Galettes), and we'd like to imagine ourselves the types to make chestnut paste from scratch. However, we're not above breaking out the pre-made stuff from time to time, and these turned out pretty scrumptious. (Wrap anything in puff pastry and it's hard to go wrong!)
The chestnut paste paired perfectly with sweet farmers' market apples, cinnamon, and cloves. If the paste hadn't already been sweetened, we can imagine it would go well with chestnut honey, which was mentioned more than once in the hoarding post comments.
Here's the original recipe with our modifications:
We used one 10 x 15-inch sheet of puff pastry cut into 4 rectangles. Instead of the apricot preserves, we spread each rectangle with about 2 tablespoons of sweetened chestnut paste. We used 2 medium-sized apples; in addition to the lemon juice, we tossed them with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of cloves. We also omitted the extra sugar. Since we didn't have any ice cream on hand, we served these with a dollop of of yogurt-chestnut paste mixture (crème fraîche probably would have been even better).
Emily Ho is a writer, recipe developer, and educator. She lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches classes on food preservation, wild food, and herbalism. Emily is a Master Food Preserver and founder of LA Food Swap and the international Food Swap Network.
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