Mum likes picking up bargains. I think its so she can spend lots more of her cash on my tasty teas. I am a pretty picky eater these days. After the festive season she says luxury foods like canned chestnuts and fresh nuts can be bought for a snip. If you are lucky enough to live near fruiting sweet chestnut trees, use double the weight and slit the shells, boil, shell, mince, spend a week digging the bits out of your claws and know why Mum uses the canned variety.
Mum was looking at old cookery books for ideas and bemoaning the sickliness of the desserts. She got out her pots, pans, mixing bowls and made a horrible clatter. Its quite hard to get a decent rest in this house when she sets to so I resigned myself to supervising and learning the recipe so i could pass it on to you, my esteemed reader.
Season of Goodwill Chestnut Tart
For pastry: 8 oz gluten free plain flour, 4 oz margarine/butter (don’t forget to pay the butter tax! see last blog entry), egg or water to bind:- as little as possible.
Filling: 1/2 tin/ 100g chestnut puree, 5 oz greek strained yoghurt, juice and rind 1 orange, 3 eggs, separated, 1oz clear honey, 1 oz caster sugar (to taste: more if you have a sweet tooth), Topping: 2 oz walnuts, 1 oz demerara sugar, 1 oz very dark chocolate grated (Mum used thyme infused chocolate), soy cream yoghurt or drizzles to taste
Rub fat into flour lightly and bind so can be pressed into tart tins/ baking dishes. If you have an ordinary cooker bake blind for 20 mins in a medium oven. Cool. If you have an ancient but trusty Aga which cooks from the base evenly, you can just add in the filling: In a large bowl whisk egg whites till stiff. In second bowl combine other filling ingredients. Fold in the whites till filling is light and fluffy and gently spoon into the tart bases. Bake with attention till tart is set and browning, about 30 minutes in a medium oven gas 5, 375F, 190C, bottom of the Aga roasting oven while your smug cat steams happily on the back shelf on the top.
Drizzle with demerara sugar (optional) and chopped walnuts. Return to oven for 5 minutes. When tart is cool, add grated chocolate and serve with more yoghurt/ maple syrup/ soy cream.
Note: If you hate making pastry, just use crushed GF biccies- thats cookies if you are over the Atlantic. We like to enjoy cooking in this house and know we can’t all create in the same ways. GF ready-made pastry is not worth the extra cost unless you get that at bargain price too. A mix of crushed seeds might be good too: lucky Mum bought that extra tin for practice.
and if you wonder why its only 1/2 a tin used: the rest went to make a chestnut and vegetable soup with pumpkin, yummy!