“Happiness is a piece of cake” – Normally I think like chef Tim Mälzer “Baking is not cooking”, but for this delicious apple pie with chestnut flour I make an exception. Probably the forehead of one or the other is wrinkled. Normally many have never heard of chestnut flour or processed it. Whereby many love the hot, roasted chestnuts at winter time. Until my visit to Paris, chestnut or chestnut flour was still new to me. Their it was served there as bread with fantastic AOP cheese. In any case, the taste inspired me so much that I had to experiment with it at home.
Happiness is a piece of cake
What is chestnut flour?
Chestnuts a speciality of the Côtes du Rhône
The Côtes du Rhône region in France is not only worth a visit for wine lovers. In addition to fantastic wines, the region also boasts delicious delicacies and local ingredients. Nevertheless, lavender honey from Provence or Paté is better known as chestnut flour. All in all, it can be said that the French certainly spend more money on their daily food. The many small speciality shops as well as fish, cheese or vegetable shops certainly speak in favour of this. Certain purchases are made more at the speciality retailer of confidence than in the supermarket.
Chestnuts are certainly not food for which there is an extra speciality shop in the Côtes du Rhône. However, chestnuts have a high value in the Rhone valley. Ardèche is a département in the French region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. There, chestnuts were long regarded as the potato of the Ardèche. Chestnuts were used not only for desserts but also for savoury dishes. In the 19th century, the potato celebrated its triumphal march. As a result, chestnuts were processed into desserts. Forgotten where the savoury dishes. Fortunately, many French people are now thinking again about the many possible uses of chestnuts.
The Sweet Chestnut
The sweet chestnut, also known as chestnut, belongs to the beech family. In addition to France, South Tyrol, Austria, Switzerland, Greece and Turkey are also big fans of this delicious nut. Meanwhile chestnuts are not only grown for their delicious fruit but also for their wood. Chestnuts can reach an age of 500 to 600 years. Allegedly there is a chestnut on Sicily with an estimated age of 2,000 years.
Although chestnuts are nuts, they have a very low fat content compared to most types of nuts. Further they are higher in the carbohydrates starch and sucrose. This is also differerent from most other nuts. Due to this fact, chestnuts were certainly called the potatoes of the region in many places in the past. Chestnuts have a higher protein content than potatoes. The protein content is free of prolamin and glutenin. For this reason, chestnut flour must be mixed with other types of flour when baking. Otherwise the pastry lacks sticky protein.
Chestnuts are gluten-free by nature.
Chestnut flour has a sweet and slightly smoky taste. As already mentioned, its use is many and varied. In France it is used to bake bread, to thicken soups or sauces. Chestnuts are often found in muesli in the form of flakes.
Apple pie with chestnut flour
My apple pie with chestnut flour was born something out of necessity. Actually my plan was to bake a delicious Tarté Tatin with chestnut flour. But I don’t always succeed. In this case I had some injuries afterwards but unfortunately no Tarté. When sinking the apples I was careless, therefore I had boiling hot caramel on my finger. As a reaction I wanted to get the caramel off my finger and somehow it landed on my lip. Normally it helps to put a finger in your mouth if you have burns on your finger. Unfortunately my idea wasn’t the best. Thanks to burns on the lips and fingers I had a strong handicap, when placing the dough on the apples. In any case, my Tarté Tatin did not succeed.
Fortunately I still had enough apples and dared a new attempt with them and the chestnut flour. The result was a delicious, simple apple pie with chestnut flour. What I particularly like is that it is not so sweet. It tastes even more perfect when the apple pie with chestnut flour is served lukewarm with a dash of Créme Fraiche. Eating the apple pie makes me almost feel like on holiday in the Côtes du Rhône. By the way, you can easily buy chestnut flour online.
Apple Pie with Chestnut FlourPrint This
What do you need for apple pie with chestnut flour?
- 4 sour apples (for example Braeburn)
- 2 tbsp Calvados (or rum)
- 4 eggs
- 1 cups sugar, it tastes especially good with coconut blossom sugar
- 1 1/2 cups chestnut flour
- 1/4 cup potato starch
- 1/4 flour if necessary gluten-free flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla aroma
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup butter (soft)
How is the apple pie prepared with chestnut flour?
- Wash, peel, halve and core the apples.
- Then cut them into approx. 1 inch cubes.
- Place the cubes in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of the sugar, the vanilla flavour and calvados and leave to stand for about 15 minutes.
- Separate the eggs.
- Beat the egg yolks with half of the remaining sugar until foamy, then add the butter, beat everything to a creamy mass including the milk, which is added slowly.
- Beat the egg whites with the other half of the sugar until stiff.
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
- Mix chestnut flour, potato starch, flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Portionwise fold into the egg yolk, butter and milk mixture.
- Then fold in the egg white.
- Carefully fold in half of the well drained apples.
- Butter a springform pan and fill in the dough.
- Spread the remaining apple cubes on the dough. Depending on your taste, sprinkle a tablespoon of coconut blossom sugar on top of the apples.
- Bake the cake for approx. 60 minutes, you are welcome to add a little colour.