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Roasted Chestnut Custard


Created by executive chef Beau MacMillan of elements restaurant in Scottsdale, Ariz., this recipe combines the traditional and loved flavors of Thanksgiving in a new and unexpected way.


  • 1/2 Cup roasted, peeled chestnuts
  • 4 Cups heavy cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
  • 1/4 Cup dried cherries
  • 2 Tablespoons quartered and dried figs
  • 2 Tablespoons dried strawberries
  • 1 Tablespoon dried apple
  • 1 Tablespoon dried pear
  • 1/2 Cup port wine
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon chestnut honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1 Teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 Cups small diced brioche bread


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees

In a medium sauce pan, heat the chestnuts in the cream. Add the vanilla extract and coconut extract. Transfer the mixture to a blender and purée. Pass the purée through a fine sieve or a filter. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl,whisk the eggs together. Add the chestnut cream a little at a time until the eggs are tempered and the mixture is smooth. Pour the chestnut custard base into ramekins and place them in a large baking pan. Fill the pan halfway up with water. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 30-45 minutes or until the custard is firm. Remove the custard from the ramekins to serve.

Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan, simmer the port wine, sugar, honey, and all of the dried fruit until the fruit is tender and the wine is reduced by 1/2.  In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with just enough water to create a paste. Add the cornstarch mixture to the fruit and wine mixture. Cook until thickened.

Lower the oven to 325 degrees. In a mixing bowl over low heat, melt the butter. Add the cinnamon and brown sugar and then toss the diced brioche in the mixture. Bake the croutons at until crispy and brown, about 10 minutes. 

Place the warm custard on a warm plate. Top with winter fruit sauce and garnish with cinnamon croutons.