Chestnut Crème Brûlée

by Eddy Van Damme on November 27, 2012

One of the most beautiful trees on earth is without a doubt the chestnut tree.  Sadly, in North America 4 billion chestnut trees were killed by fungus in the 1900’s, which is just one reason why chestnut desserts are hard to find on dessert menus.

Using fresh chestnuts is for many pastry chefs something which is too labor intensive. However, frozen I.Q.F. (individual quick frozen) chestnuts as well as chestnut puree is readily available.

The crème brûlée below is formulated using non sweetened chestnuts, if using sweetened puree reduce the sugar content in this recipe. When selecting fresh chestnuts ensure that the skin feels tight to the meat. Aromatize chestnut desserts with Vanilla, chestnut liquor or Cognac.


Chestnut Crème Brûlée

About 8 servings

5 oz Peeled chestnuts 150 g
8 oz Milk 240 g
1 oz Chestnut liquor 30 g
2 teaspoon Vanilla bean extract 10 g
pinch Salt pinch
7 oz Egg yolk 210 g
7 oz Light or medium brown sugar 210 g
18 oz Heavy cream 540 g
4 oz Candied chestnut pieces 120 g
  1. Combine peeled chestnuts with milk and blend to fine puree. Add liquor, vanilla and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl whisk yolks and brown sugar vigorously but without making the mixture light and airy. Add heavy cream and chestnut mixture.
  3. Pour in ramekins and place on tray filled with water. Bake at 160°C (325°F) until crème brûlée no longer trembles, about 55 minutes. (Depending on height of ramekin).
  4. Once cooled sprinkle surface with sugar and caramelize, decorate with candied chestnut pieces.



23 comments on “Chestnut Crème Brûlée

  1. Ashly Willis on said:

    This was so good!! It tasted like it had coffee in it.

  2. Niah Clark on said:

    Perfect for around the holidays

  3. Holly Josey on said:

    This sounds so delicious. I can not wait to try this I have never heard of a chestnut creme brulee.

  4. Yuko Ouchi on said:

    Using Chestnut, Mont- Blanc is a very popular cake for Japanese in this time of year. I wanted to make something different. As Chestnut crème Brulee, inspire me.

  5. Patchanittha Srikhum on said:

    Never thought of using chestnuts in Creme Brulee, it must be a perfect combination.

  6. sandra martinez on said:

    This is my first time knowing of this dessert, very beautiful in color. I will surely be making it myself

  7. valerie alexander on said:

    I admit i never knew how to utilize chesnuts but i tasted this dessert and it was very good and creamy. I look forward to experimenting with chesnuts with other recipes

  8. savanna cunningham on said:

    I love creme brulee! And trying it with the chestnuts gives it a twist.

  9. William McKinney on said:

    i would love to try the chesnuts it looks good and easy

  10. Andrew Weigel on said:

    I don’t think I have ever had a dessert that featured the chestnut! Can’t wait to make this. Thanks.

  11. Nicholas Pringle on said:

    Never thought of Chestnuts before. I am just visualizing the nut its self but that will have to be something I will have to try.

  12. Brenda Mata on said:

    Chef this looks delicious I can not wat to make it

  13. Trendalynn Austin on said:

    Now in this recipe do you have to use whole milk or can you use 2% milk?

  14. Andrea fields on said:

    I have to say that this is a very elagant desert, and i am wondering is the flavor and taste simulair to the classic Brulee?

  15. Lanz Doreza on said:

    Looks really good Chef, I may have to invest in some ramekins to try this recipe out myself

  16. Arunee Mongkhonsiri on said:

    Never thought to use chestnuts in creme brûlée before, I can’t imagine how test it will be, but this recipe look very good and easy to make. I will try it

  17. Christian S on said:

    chef eddy, i have a question, why wasn’t the milk/chestnut combination bought to a boil to temper the egg/sugar mixture before putting it into a water bath?..or does that not make a difference?

  18. Nereida Rios on said:

    Chef where may i purchase the chestnut liquor? If it is difficult to find what other nut flavored liquor be suitable for this recipe?

  19. Katerina Kyriazis on said:

    Once again, beautiful presentation. I do not like Chestnuts, is it possible for me to use Hazelnuts instead?

  20. Nhu Ta on said:

    I think this would be wonderful if it was hazelnut instead.. I mean chest nut is good but, if I don’t have chestnut can I alter this recipe from chestnut to hazelnut? or even pistachio? Would pistachio work since the taste is very strong?

  21. Eileen Mier on said:

    I enjoyed making the vanilla creme brulee with fruit sauce. I admit that at first I was a bit intimidated by the torch, but after I got over being nervous about the flame I had so much fun caramelizing the sugar. This recipe with chestnuts sounds interesting, I think I’ll try it next.

  22. Nereida Rios on said:

    your recipe for creme brulee is so easy to follow, i thought making it would be difficult
    the chestnuts would be a great component to the smooth creme brulee

  23. Scot Snodgrass on said:

    This is most definitely something I will try for the holidays.

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