Tag: caramelized pear

Chestnut Mousse, Prosciutto di Parma and Caramel Pear Sandwich

Chestnut Mousse, Prosciutto di Parma and Pear Sandwich

I wanted to create a Christmas sandwich that combines all I love about the four lavish weeks that end the year. Chestnuts, caramel, pear and cinnamon, this sweet aroma that welcomes me as soon as I open my spice box, and the heavy odor of my golden quince brandy shouldn’t be missing. And there’s more on the list, paper thin Prosciutto di Parma and fleshy thyme leaves which I use for all my wintery stews, gratins and legumes have to feature as well. This herb is the perfect match for both the chestnuts and the fruit, so there’s plenty to work with between two slices of sourdough bread!

This sandwich is a bit baroque, it’s luscious and sweet but with a certain finesse. The chestnut mousse (I bought the nuts pre-cooked for reasons of convenience) is velvety and smooth, refined with cinnamon, brandy, orange and cream. The pears are glazed with buttery caramel and stick to Parma‘s wonderful prosciutto. It’s a lot to taste and enjoy, but this season demands a touch of opulence!

Chestnut Mousse, Prosciutto di Parma and Pear Sandwich

 

Chestnut Mousse, Prosciutto di Parma and Pear Sandwich

 Chestnut Mousse, Prosciutto di Parma and Caramel Pear Sandwich

For 3 sandwiches you need

white sourdough bread 6 slices
Prosciutto di Parma 6 slices
crisp pear, cut into slim wedges, 1
butter 2 tablespoons
sugar 2 tablespoons
chestnuts, pre-cooked and peeled, 200g / 7 ounces
heavy cream 75ml / 1/3 cup
brandy or port 1 tablespoon
freshly squeezed orange juice 2 tablespoons
ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon
a pinch of salt
fresh thyme leaves 2 tablespoons

Purée the chestnuts, heavy cream, brandy, orange juice and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the thyme in a food processor until smooth and season with a pinch of salt and cinnamon to taste.

Melt the butter and sugar in a pan. Caramelize the pear wedges in the hot brown butter for about 1 minute on each side.

Spread the chestnut mousse on a slice of bread, lay the prosciutto and pear on top and sprinkle with thyme.

Chestnut Mousse, Prosciutto di Parma and Pear Sandwich

 

Chestnut Mousse, Prosciutto di Parma and Pear Sandwich

 

Chestnut Mousse, Prosciutto di Parma and Pear Sandwich

 

Chestnut Mousse, Prosciutto di Parma and Pear Sandwich

 

Chestnut Mousse, Prosciutto di Parma and Pear Sandwich

Mâche Salad with Caramelized Pear and Pink Peppercorns

Field Salad with Caramelized Pear and Pink Peppercorns

One of my all time favourite salads is mâche salad with beetroot and walnuts. The small green leaves are also known as field or corn salad and lamb’s lettuce. My dressing is simple and whisked together in just a few seconds. All I need is olive oil and thick Balsamico vinegar and I’m happy. This wintery salad visits our table at least once a week!

I never really plan my salads, most of the time they are spontaneous compositions depending on my mood. I just throw together whatever I find in the fridge or on my kitchen tops. Fruits, vegetables, nuts or preserves, I use what sparks my senses. It can start with a visual idea or a vision of flavours combined on a plate. Today’s salad started with a pear, I looked at it and decided to caramelize it in sugary buttery. There was another pretty one next to it but it was quite crisp and still a bit hard. I grated a small piece and mixed it into the vinaigrette to give it a fruity touch. A bag of pink peppercorns seemed as fitting as a box of crunchy mâche salad which was left in the fridge. I also wanted to add some walnuts as you can see in the photos but when I tried it I thought it would be too much so I left them out. Maybe you feel different about it, just give them a try!

Field Salad with Caramelized Pear and Pink Peppercorns

Mâche  Salad with Caramelized Pear and Pink Peppercorns

For 4 people you need

mâche salad, rinsed and dried, a big handful
pears, rinsed, cored and quartered, 1
butter 1 tablespoon
sugar 1 tablespoon
pink peppercorns, lightly crushed in a mortar, 1-2 tablespoons
olive oil 3 tablespoons
Balsamico vinegar 2 tablespoons
salt and pepper

optionally
walnuts for the topping

Grate about 1/8 of the pear and whisk with the olive oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cut the remaining pear into thin wedges.

Melt the butter and sugar in a pan. Caramelize the pear wedges in the hot brown butter for about 1 minute on each side.

Divide the mâche salad between the plates and arrange the caramelized pear on top. Sprinkle with the dressing and the pink peppercorns and serve immediately.

Field Salad with Caramelized Pear and Pink Peppercorns

 

Field Salad with Caramelized Pear and Pink Peppercorns

 

Field Salad with Caramelized Pear and Pink Peppercorns