As long as I can remember, I have been surrounded by authentic Hungarian food. Having both sides of my family originating in Hungary, I have been exposed to all sorts of Hungarian dishes such as toltott paprika, gulyasleves, and many more delicious cuisines. My family is very passionate about food to the point where recipes are passed down to each generation. Both of my grandmothers agree, “There is no excuse for a Hungarian woman to not know how to cook authentic Hungarian meals!”
Every year, my family gets together for the holidays. While most people celebrate Christmas on the 25th, Europeans usually celebrate it on the 24th, which my family does every year (I’ve never woken up to presents under the tree on Christmas morning). Along with opening presents, eating dinner together, and drinking spiked eggnog, my grandmother on my mother’s side prepares THE BEST desserts I have ever had the honor of trying. Back when she lived in Hungary, my grandmother took culinary classes for a good number of years to articulate her skills. It’s no wonder she is so talented in the art of food, specifically desserts
My favorite dessert dish she makes every year is this chestnut pureé with whipped cream on top. In Hungarian, the dessert dish is called gesztenyepüré. It is somewhat of an acquired taste. A few of my younger family members are not a huge fan because of the rum she adds to it or the texture, but I personally think it’s the best dessert dish out there. It also takes a lot of effort to make this dessert that only lasts one minute on my plate. Instead of buying pre-made Hungarian Pureé, she insists on making her own. This way, she can add or subtract whatever she feels necessary and make it original.
Ingredients to Make Hungarian Pureé
1. 2 pounds of raw chestnuts
2. 2 cups of water
3. 1 cup of sugar
4. 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees and place one layer of chestnuts on a flat pan. Leave in the over for 20 minutes or until shells start to peel off.
2. Take out of oven and let them cool for about 5-10 minutes. Then, start peeling off shells and let chestnuts cool completely.
3. In a saucepan, mix all ingredients together, except for vanilla. When it comes to a boil, let it simmer for about 30 minutes.
4. When all liquids have evaporated, stir in the vanilla.
5. Separate chestnuts from the syrup that is left, but keep the syrup. Grind chestnuts and add syrup to achieve desired consistency.
Ingredients for Gesztenyepüré
1. Hungarian Chestnut Pureé
2. 5 tablespoons of confectioner’s sugar
3. 3 tablespoons of fine sugar whipped with 1 cup of whipping cream
4. 1 tablespoon of rum
5. 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
6. Infinite amount of love
1. Mix all contents into one bowl.
2. Put the mixture through a ricer into serving bowls.
3. Top it with whipped cream and enjoy!