Chestnut + Coconut Mont Blanc Pies
These pies are a meeting of two of my favourite puddings: the cream pie and the mont blanc – those little whipped puddings made to look like snow-capped mountains. These are easily made vegan if you use dark agave instead of honey, as I will this year.
Serves 6- 8
For the crust
75g pecan nuts
120g medjool dates (6 fat ones), pitted
1 tbsp set honey or agave
A pinch of ground ginger
For the filling
250g of chestnut puree
4 pieces of crystallised stem ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp vanilla paste, or the seeds from a pod
2 tbsp set honey
4 marron glaces (optional)
4 clementines, peeled and sliced in rounds
For the cloud cream
2 × 400g tins of full-fat coconut milk, chilled
1 tbsp set honey
Seeds from 1 vanilla pod
Marron glaces, to taste
Dark chocolate shavings, for sprinkling
Put your coconut milk in the fridge to chill while you get on with the crust. Put the nuts into a food processor and blitz until you have a chunky crumble. Add the dates, honey and ginger and pulse a few more times, until the whole lot comes together.
Grease a 20cm springform cake tin and line with parchment. Press the crust mix into the tin, making a lip around the sides about 1cm deep. Refrigerate the crust for at least 1 hour.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Mix the chestnut puree with most of the stem ginger, vanilla, honey and most of the marron (if using). Put to one side.
Make the cloud cream: scoop the thick white top layer from your tinned coconut milk and put it into a bowl. Add the honey and vanilla seeds and whisk until thick, like whipped double cream, then refrigerate for 20 minutes.
When you are ready to eat, pile your chestnut mixture into the middle of the crust, and top with the sliced clementines. Give the coconut cream a final stir, then spoon it on top of the chestnut filling and use the back of a spoon to create pretty swirls.
Top with some grated dark chocolate, the rest of crystallised ginger and chopped marron glacé.
IMAGE: Issy Croker