Cream Of Chestnut and Whiskey Tart – Ardeche Recipes

Having just returned from a fine few days cycling in the hills of the Ardeche in South West France I decided it was time to try out a few local Ardechoise recipes here in London. September has arrived with a bitter chill in the air and its this kind of weather that Ardeche food is made for.
Hidden in the mountains of the Massive Central, in the summer the Ardeche is a forgotten land of steep gorges, fast running rivers and fresh fruit. But its hard climate and rugged landscape for the rest of the year ensure that the local cuisine in this hidden corner of France is hearty and warming and just the thing for fueling the engine after a long days ride.
The most famous local delicacy in the Ardeche are the famed chestnuts or marron. Dense chestnut trees carpet every slope in this verdant region making a perfect home for the legions of wild bore that roam the slopes digging for the few nuts that have not been gathered by locals who sell them as the famed marron glace. Drowned in a rich syrup ‘marron glace’ are an expensive treat but if you can find some chestnut paste ‘creme de marron’ you can enjoy these Ardeche treats for a fraction of the price.

Chestnuts are different from other nuts in that they are low in fat and have high starch content which means they are a perfect way to recharge after a days ride and this recipe for a simple chestnut tart went down a treat with my brother and sister and good friend Alphonso who had had just home in from a tough JOGLE 2010.

  • 200 g shortcrust pastry
  • 1 X 500 g tin chestnut puree
  • 150 ml (1/4 pint) cream
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 50 g (2 oz) butter
  • 100 g (4 oz) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whiskey
  • cacao powder to decorate
1. Roll out the pastry. making sure not to stretch it and line a flan tin and bake blind for 15 minutes at 200°C, 400°F, mark 6.2. Mix the egg yolks, the cream, sugar and whiskey carefully into the chestnut puree making sure all are well blended.4. When the pastry case has cooled a little, add the chestnut mixture.5. Bake at 170°C, 325°F, mark 3 for about 25 minutes, when the chestnut mixture should be set.

6. Decorate with a little cacoa powder dusted from a sive and serve warm with whipped cream or a good scoop of vanilla ice cream.

The chestnut image in this post is courtesy of Archie Miles

This entry was posted on Monday, September 20th, 2010 at 09:00 and is filed under Cycle Trips, Cycling & Food, French Recipes, Recipes, World Cycling, World Food. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed or trackback from your own site. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


  1. This tart sounds amazing! I’ll be looking out for chestnut puree next time I go to the shops.

  2. Hello cycling matey
    Since you pinched my picture of sweet chestnuts off my website I think it might have been a polite gesture to give me a credit & perhaps a link to the website.
    In anticipation….
    Archie Miles

  3. sorry mate, and thanks for flagging me up on this – your names is now on the post at the bottom and on the roll over… i owe you some chestnuts
    Tom Kevill-Davies 
    The Hungry Cyclist – Pedalling The World For The Perfect Meal
    t. 0789 621 5282

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