Chocolate-Chestnut Tart With Chestnut-Vanilla Syrup

Chocolate-Chestnut Tart With Chestnut-Vanilla Syrup

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  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • For the Sweet Tart Dough:

  • cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface

  • ½

    cup confectioners’ sugar

  • ¼

    teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 1

    stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, very cold, cut into small pieces, plus more for greasing

  • 1

    large egg yolk, stirred

  • For the Chestnuts and Syrup:

  • cups water

  • ¾

    cup sugar

  • 1

    vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise

  • 1

    cup peeled and cooked, bottled or vacuum-packed chestnuts, rinsed

  • For the Filling:

  • 5

    ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

  • ½

    cup heavy cream

  • ½

    stick unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces

  • 3

    tablespoons sugar

  • Pinch of fine sea salt

  • 2

    large eggs plus 1 yolk, cold

  • Coffee or vanilla ice cream, for serving


Make Dough: In a food processor, pulse flour, sugar and salt a couple of times to blend. Add butter and pulse until pieces are pea-size. Add yolk, a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. Once egg is incorporated, process in 10-second pulses until dough forms clumps and curds. Turn dough out onto a work surface. To incorporate butter more evenly and to catch any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing: Separate small amounts of dough from pile and use the heel of your hand to smear each piece a few inches across the counter. Shape dough into a disk and place between two sheets of parchment or wax paper. Roll dough out evenly, turning it over frequently, into a circle that’s 3 inches larger than base of your tart pan and ⅛- to 1/16-inch thick. Place dough round, still between papers, on a baking sheet or cutting board and refrigerate 2 hours or freeze 1 hour. (Well wrapped, the dough can be kept in refrigerator up to 5 days or frozen up to 2 months.) Remove chilled dough from refrigerator and let it rest at room temperature until pliable enough that it will not break when bent, about 10 minutes. Remove dough from paper and place in a buttered tart pan. Trim excess dough. (Alternatively, make a press-in crust: Butter tart pan and press dough evenly over bottom and up the sides of the pan. A thin tart shell won’t require all of dough. Gently press pieces of dough together.) Prick crust all over with a fork and freeze at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking. (Dough fitted into pan can be frozen up to 2 months and baked directly from freezer. Just add 5 minutes to baking time.) Place rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit foil snugly into chilled crust. If crust is frozen, bake as is; if not, fill with dried beans or rice. Bake 25 minutes, then carefully remove foil and weights. (If crust has puffed, gently press it down with back of a spoon.) Continue baking until firm and golden brown, 7-10 minutes more. Transfer to a cooling rack. Meanwhile, Candy Chestnuts: Bring 1½ cups water and sugar a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, swirling pan to dissolve sugar. Scrape soft pulp from vanilla pod and toss pulp and pod into pan. Add chestnuts and return liquid to a boil, then decrease heat to low. Simmer until liquid has thickened and reduced by about ½ and chestnuts are dark and glistening, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat. Use a slotted spoon to transfer chestnuts to a strainer set over a bowl, allowing them to drain for 2 minutes. Either leave chestnuts whole or cut them in half, then scatter them over bottom of prebaked tart shell. Strain chestnut syrup into a heatproof jar and set aside. Discard vanilla pod. Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 300 degrees. Place tart shell on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Make Ganache Filling: Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, heat cream and butter, stirring to make sure butter melts, until just starting to boil. Pour hot liquid over chocolate, swirl bowl so all of chocolate is covered and let sit 30 seconds. Use a flexible spatula or a whisk to gently stir cream and butter into chocolate. Start by making small circles in center of bowl, and then, when ingredients at center are blended, stir in widening concentric circles until ganache is smooth and glossy. Stir in sugar and salt. Add eggs and yolk, one at a time, stirring more vigorously so ganache remains smooth and shiny. Pour ganache over chestnuts. Place in oven and bake until filling has set and no longer jiggles, 27-30 minutes. If you poke a toothpick into center of tart, it should come out mostly clean. Transfer baking sheet to a cooling rack and let tart cool until warm or at room temperature. (Tart will keep overnight at room temperature or in the refrigerator.) Serve tart with a scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of chestnut syrup. Pass remaining syrup in a small pitcher.


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