Chestnut pastries with vino cotto


These wonderful Italian pastries are a treat that I do from time to time, and they are always elicit the response of -“Are there any more?”. You do need to source chestnut puree and chestnuts from your local speciality store, so you do need to plan ahead just a little if you want to make these, but it certainly is worth the effort. The drizzled topping of vino cotto is just beautiful with these.


500g plain flour (sifted)

2 eggs

25g unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 teaspoons baking powder

150ml milk

vanilla ice-cream to serve

Chestnut filling

500g chestnuts

200g unsweetened chestnut puree

80g icing sugar, sifted, plus extra to serve

1.25 tablespoons vino cotto, plus extra to serve

1 tablespoon Marsala

1 lemon, zested

1 egg, lightly beaten

Mound flour on a clean work surface and make a well in the centre. Break eggs into the well, then add the butter, baking powder and milk. Using a fork, draw in flour, working from the centre outwards, then using your hands, work in the remaining ingredients. Knead the dough for 6 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Enclose in plastic wrap and rest for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, to make the chestnut filling, soak chestnuts in warm water for 15 minutes. Using a sharp knife, make a small horizontal slit in each chestnut and peel off the skin, then place in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Cook for 20 minutes or until very soft. Drain, then cool. Place in a bowl with the puree, icing sugar, vino cotto, Marsala and lemon zest, mashing until smooth.
Reheat oven to 180C. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface until 2mm thick, then cut into 10cm squares. Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the centre of each square, then brush edges with beaten egg. Fold squares over to form triangles, enclosing filling, and crimp edges to seal. Place pastries on an oven tray and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
Dust pastries with extra icing sugar, drizzle with extra vino cotto and serve with ice-cream.

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