Wholesome Cook

Poached Autumn Fruits with Chestnut Cream

Autumn. Just the other day Laura came over for an afternoon puppy play date. I made a mish mash salad for lunch and she brought the most delicious cinnamon-poached pears for dessert. This gave me an idea.

I was going to roast some chestnuts and combine them with some Autumn fruits into a raw fruit salad, savoury for the best part, but then I remembered the amazing combination of chestnuts and fresh cream from the Mont Blanc and it all made much better sense. The fruits, pears and plums were luscious and the tartness of the plums was beautifully balanced by the sweetness of the chestnut cream. Very moreish indeed.

As for the puppy play date, it went a little pear-shaped, excuse the pun, because just as you wouldn’t expect a 70 year old man to play with a needy 3 year old, you shouldn’t expect a 10 year old dog to play with a 6 month old pup. After about 20 minutes of what looked like fun, they had to be separated. Next time we might meet without them.

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Poached Autumn Fruits with Chestnut Cream

I used Red D'Anjou pears but William or Buerre Bosc pears would be just as good. You could use canned chestnut puree for this instead of freshly roasted chestnuts, but if you do, omit the honey from the recipe - most purees are already sweetened.
Servings: 2


For the poached fruits:

  • 2 pears peeled
  • 2 black plums cut in half and stone removed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 cups water

For the chestnut cream:

  • 10-12 fresh chestnuts
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 100 ml fresh or thickened cream
  • 1 tbsp honey


To roast chestnuts:

  • Using a sharp knife, cut a X on each chestnut's shell.
  • Place chestnuts in a small roasting tin, X-side up and pour in 1/4 cup water.
  • Roast for 8-10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, wrap in a kitchen towel - this will help the skin and inner membranes come off more easily, and allow to cool.
  • Peel the shells and inner skin off and discard.
  • Chop chestnuts roughly into smaller chunks.

To make chestnut puree:

  • Place peeled, roasted and chopped chestnuts and milk in a small saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil, then simmer gently for 8-10 minutes.
  • Once the chestnuts have softened, add honey and puree using a stick blender. Set aside to cool.

To poach the fruits:

  • Place whole pears in a saucepan filled with water, add cinnamon.
  • Bring to a boil, then simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes.
  • Add plum halves and simmer for another 2-3 minutes, just long enough for the plums to soften.

To make the chestnut cream:

  • Whisk cream until soft peaks form, then fold through the chestnut puree.

To serve:

  • Serve poached fruits with a good dollop of the chestnut cream.
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starloz May 11, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Marty, omg … you are so fast. I haven’t even blogged mine and here are yours. these look delightful.

Martyna @ Wholesome Cook May 11, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Thanks Laura, I hope I haven’t upset Beauy about dislosin his age publicly ;-)

starloz May 14, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Not at all my dear, he is proud of his age!

Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide May 11, 2012 at 1:05 pm

What beautiful pictures! Makes me wish I could skip summer. Although soon enough the weather will make me feel that way too. Love the recipe too.

Just A Smidgen May 11, 2012 at 2:41 pm

I love that you are heading into fall, right? The pears, the way they look after poaching.. I’d love to try this one for sure!

Martyna @ Wholesome Cook May 11, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Yes, Autumn in full swing here now, although this week we’ve had very Summery days, short-sleeve-weather!

frugalfeeding May 11, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Wonderful photography. That chestnut cream must have a fantastic flavour.

Martyna @ Wholesome Cook May 11, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Thank you, yes it’s one of those sweet creamy lightly nutty flavours that is like nothing else in the world.

JasmyneTea May 11, 2012 at 11:29 pm

Lol, that reminds me of my pup being introduced to my 7 yr old Lab – like putting a kid with ADD together with a crotchety old lady.
This recipe looks great, I’ll definitely be giving it a try!

Courtney May 12, 2012 at 1:29 am

Delicious! And it still throws me off the difference in seasons. :)

Nami | Just One Cookbook May 12, 2012 at 5:50 pm

My goodness… you are really genius! I love everything about this dessert. I’d love to taste your chestnut cream. Such an elegant dessert! Even though I’m enjoying this warm weather, in my heart I slightly miss autumn food and weather. :-)

Sissi May 12, 2012 at 7:07 pm

These pears sound fantastic. Chestnut addition is so creative and obvious at the same time. A perfect autumn combination. I wouldn’t mind it now, in spring either ;-)

johnbek May 13, 2012 at 5:04 pm

These are gorgeous! I made a chestnut cream of sorts today, paired with delicious figs. Loving chestnuts at the moment!

Bam's Kitchen May 13, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Happy Fall to you and actually I am very jealous as this is my favorite time of the year and autumn dishes like yours really hit the spot. I love the idea of the chestnut puree cream so fancy!

penny aka jeroxie May 14, 2012 at 5:37 pm

luscious! I love autumn fruits.

rsmacaalay May 14, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Love this dessert! Specially that cream on top which enhances the flavours of the fruit

cookingrookie May 22, 2012 at 11:28 am

I just saw this on RecipeNewZ. This recipe looks wonderful. I actually have some pears and I did not know what to do with them. Now I do :-). Thanks for sharing!


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