Chestnut, Apple + Blackberry Jam Tart For Three
Three is an awkward sort of number in the food world. Recipes seem to always cater for the easily dividable parties – those of two or for or six. Never three. Though this tart, admittedly by accident, yields a perfect three portions. A tad much for two and just the teensy bit too small for four. You could share it with your lover and your best friend. Or your mum and your dad. Or just eat all three yourself. Either way, as inconvenient as it may, be this tart divides precisely into thirds. I cannot get enough of chestnuts at the moment, they are so perfectly quaint and autumnal! The sweetness and nuttiness and smokiness of them makes me giddy. The aroma alone sparks cravings of woolen mittens and snowy forests and sleigh rides and all the other winter fairytale scenery that children raised in Australia are so blatantly denied of. This tart is full of flavours suited to chilly weather; apple, woody cinnamon, a good trickle of honey. It’s possibly worth noting that I consider ten degrees Celsius the temperature in which water freezes, so if you are from Europe you may beg to differ about appropriate cold weather food. But that’s okay. You should still try this tart because immodest as this will sound, it is very good.
Chestnut, Apple + Blackberry Jam Tart
(serves three, precisely)
150 grams of unsweetened* chestnut puree
Two generous tablespoons of honey
One teaspoon of vanilla extract
Two tablespoons of creme friache
A third of a cup of slivered almonds
One pink lady apple (Or any kind of apple, finely sliced)
A few generous spoonfuls of blackberry jam (I used St. Dalfourds)
Three teaspoons of cinnamon sugar
Icing sugar, to dust
One sheet of good quality puff pastry. (I used store bought, though there is a very good recipe here)
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. In a small bowl – so small that I even used a teacup – combine the chestnut puree, honey and creme friache until smooth. Fold your sheet of puff pastry in half. With a knife, cut a one centimeter border around the outside of the tart, about one millimeter deep. Not to the bottom. Just a little outline, to mark out where the filling will be. Spread the chestnut cream across the pastry, adopting the strict kindergarten philosophy of staying between the lines.
Dot blackberry jam here and there across the chestnut cream. Arrange the apple slices over the top. Sprinkle over the almonds, followed by a few more dots of the blackberry jam. Then dust liberally with cinnamon sugar.
Brush over the pastry with milk. Bake for half an hour, or until golden brown. Dust with icing sugar. Cut into three.
*you can find chestnut puree in most specialty shops. So often they are French. If you’re feeling crafty you can also make your own. I used unsweetened, though if you can only get your hands on sweetened don’t despair, just adjust the sugar to taste – you mightn’t need it at all. Here is a top notch recipe.