Food & Drink: Weekend Cook

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The Independent Culture

Serves six

Total time: 2 hours

I LOVE just about any pudding involving chestnuts and always keep a tin or two of puree in reserve, though I prefer the unsweetened puree.


60g/21/2oz unsalted butter, softened

60g/21/2oz caster sugar

2 medium egg yolks

110g/4oz plain flour, sifted

25g/1oz ground almonds


250g/9oz cream cheese

450g tin chestnut puree

110g/4oz demerara sugar

150ml/5fl oz double cream

3 medium eggs, beaten

3 tbsp ginger syrup

1 knob stem ginger, finely sliced and then chopped

cocoa for dusting

For the pastry, cream the butter and sugar together and beat in the egg yolks. (This can be done in a food processor.) Add the flour and ground almonds and when the dough begins to form a ball, wrap it in cling film and chill for at least an hour. Preheat the oven to 190C/ 375F/Gas 5. Roll out the dough in a circle to fit a 20cm/8in cake tin (with a removable base), and line it. Prick the pastry with a fork and bake for 12 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool.

Reduce the temperature to 150C/300F/ Gas 2. For the filling, blend the cream cheese and chestnut puree in a bowl. Add the sugar, cream, beaten eggs and ginger syrup and beat until smooth. Sieve and add the ginger. Pour on top of the pastry case and bake for 30-35 minutes until the outside is set. The inside should quiver when gently shaken. Run a knife around the edge of the tin. Allow to cool,cover and chill for at least an hour, and preferably overnight. Dust with cocoa before serving.