No Churn Roasted Chestnut Ice Cream
I’m always amazed at how Instagram and social media really influences our needs and wants. I don’t really use my personal account much anymore because I really can’t do both so my blog account is my main one and my feed is literally full of fantastic food and so I’m very influenced by it and always hungry going through it! If you want to know all the food trends happening and what’s in season just follow food bloggers. Living on an island affords you much when it comes to variety in food but sometimes you don’t always get some of the other things in season elsewhere like back home for example. Chestnuts are one of those things.
Around the holidays it seemed my feed was getting flooded with chestnut everything from purée filled pasta to breads, cakes and finally ice cream. And I have my friend Jennifer over at the Lemon Apron to credit for that one. She did a wonderful looking chestnut ice cream that I needed to try. She adapted her recipe from Bella over at Ful-filled. So I wondered what I could use as chestnuts to make this recipe. I remembered my first year here a friend’s mom was snacking on what she called boiled chataigne and gave me some to try. Me and my husband were trying to brainstorm what they tasted like and we came to the conclusion that it was chestnuts, something he never would have known to compare them to while growing up in Trinidad. This of course made total sense being as chataigne actually is the French word for chestnuts.
This fruit is called chataigne by Trinidadians but is called by other names on different islands. It is commonly referred to as bread nut which actually refers more specifically to the seeds or nuts inside of the fruit. The fruit looks very similar to Breadfruit in its natural form, the only difference is that the skin of the Chataigne has a “pickery” surface while the skin of the Breadfruit is smooth. The skin of both these fruits are vivid green in colour. The fruit has to be cut open and its contents extracted. The inside is made up of a white pulp and inside the pulp are brown seeds. These seeds are the Bread Nut and they are separated from the pulp. They are washed and can be either boiled or roasted. The pulp and seeds are curried here in Trinidad making a delicious dish. But I read up on bread nut and I read that when the seeds are roasted they taste like coffee and cocoa and heard that they are often used to make mashes and served along other dishes, so I was determined to make them into a purée for that said ice cream.
That was not an easy task. I tried two other recipes before I used the one by Bella and Jen which used milk to simmer the seeds in and I realized from Jen’s recipe what the issue was with the other two. The other two recipes had you simmering them whole and Jens calls for chopping the nuts finely and that is what made all the difference. So glad I checked and compared. My pour thumbs and fingers were in rough shape from all the peeling by the time I got through my last attempt and the market man must have really wondered what I was doing with all the chataigne I was buying. It was worth all the effort because it was a lovely purée and it made for a sweet treat in this ice cream.
I’m not seeing much chestnut purée going on in Insta world right now so I’m guessing either the season is over or the mention of them is over as the holidays have passed. I am still getting chataigne here in Trinidad so there are plenty of opportunities to make this ice cream here. And I know back home you can buy chestnut purée all year round and even packaged pre-roasted chestnuts so definitely feel free to use the store bought stuff to make this delicious treat as well.
I hope the pictures help with the process and hope you give this a go! I would also love to know what else you made with the purée too!!
For the chataigne/chestnut purée
- 1 cup of chataigne seeds or chestnuts roasted peeled and chopped finely
- 8 oz of whole milk
For the no churn ice cream
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 can of condensed milk (14 ounce)
- 1 tbsp of vanilla extract
- 1-2 oz dark rum (optional)
- ½ cup of toasted chopped walnuts
- 100 oz of dark chocolate chopped
- 1 cup of chestnut purée
Heat oven to 400°F
Carefully cut an “X” into the flat side of each chestnut shell. Place chestnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast until shells begin to peel back, about 15 to 20 minutes, tossing half way through
Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes to cool. Peel shells and let chestnuts cool completely. (The outer layer comes off fairly easy but the inside skin may take some effort. If there are some that are really stuck on set them aside and just place them all in a small pot of boiling water for a few minutes, drain and place them in a clean dish towel and rub the skin off them between the towel and the skin should peel right off)
Then finely chop the chestnuts and place in a small saucepan with the milk and simmer on low for approx 15-20 minutes and until most of the milk has evaporated.
Pour the milk and nuts into a food processor or high speed blender and process until smooth and creamy. Add 1 tbsp of warm milk into the processor at a time if purée needs a little extra liquid to help with the texture and then set aside to cool before using or refrigerating. Can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container. (If I was using the purée for anything else I would add a sweetener to it like maple syrup and some vanilla extract. But as I’m using it in ice cream the base of the ice cream will be sweet enough)
Toast your walnuts in a large pan over medium/low heat until golden and fragrant and then set aside to cool. Once cool, chop and set aside.
Chop your chocolate into small pieces and set aside
In a large mixing bowl with a stand mixer or hand mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
Using a rubber spatula gently fold and stir in the condensed milk until no streaks remain.
Place the purée in a separate bowl and add in the vanilla extract and rum if using and mix until incorporated. Then add half a cup of the whipped cream and beat or whisk until the chestnut purée is a lighter mixture making it easier to fold into the rest of the cream.
Now fold the chestnut whip mixture into the heavy whipping cream just until fully incorporated and no streaks remain.
Scoop half the mixture into a freezer safe container (I used my metal loaf pan). Sprinkle with half of the nuts and chocolate. Scoop over the rest of the ice cream and swirl the middle layer in with a knife. Smooth the top and then sprinkle the rest of the walnuts and chocolate over.
Cover with a lid if using a sealed container or cover with plastic wrap and then a layer of foil and freeze for 4 hours or overnight.
Adapted by The Lemon Apron, Ful.Filled and Half-Baked Harvest