Sunday night I tried my hand at the famous Hungarian Chestnut Puree (Gestenyepure). It wasn't the same as my host mother used to make it, but it was quite good!
First I roasted a pound and a half of chestnuts. We had four people helping to cut "X"s into the shells so that the nuts could expand without exploding (yes, we have had explosions before). I spread the nuts out on a cookie sheet, sprinkled some water on top, and roasted them for about 25 minutes at 425 degrees. When they were done, I took them out of the oven and we cooled them briefly before peeling the shells off. I put the shelled, roasted nuts in the food processor and chopped them up as finely as I could. The way I had this dessert in Hungary the nuts must have been ground nearly to a flour consistency. My chopped chestnuts ended up in bigger chunks than that, sort of like ground walnuts.
I set the chestnuts aside and mixed 1/4 cup water and 3/4 cup sugar in a saucepan and set it on the stove to simmer and create a simple syrup. When the syrup was ready I combined it with the ground nuts in a medium sized bowl. In retrospect I would use less syrup. It was very sweet, and my sweet tooth is rather small! Then I added some whole milk, maybe a tablespoon or two, and a tablespoon or two of rum. Stirred it up and set it in the fridge while we ate dinner. After dinner I made some whipped cream, and served the chilled puree with whipped cream on top. We ended up mixing the whipped cream into the puree, and a few hardy souls added even more rum and said it was great. It was a delicious, filling, chestnutty dessert. So good!