For the holidays, I was looking for a way to unite some favorite winter and Christmas flavors, and this parfait was the answer. Chestnut purée or crème de marrons, so popular here in France, makes this parfait extra creamy, while speculoos cookies make for the Christmas-y aroma and the crumbled meringues for a little extra crunch (and they´re also the reason why you might prefer to call this a vacherin). If you buy the meringues in the bakery, you´ll need just a few minutes to whip up this easy to make holiday `ice cream (and no need to drag out the ice cream maker). —Sabine
full fat cream
fine salt or fleur de sel
sweetened chestnut purée (crème de marrons, I used the one by Faugier)
crumbled speculoos cookies, + 2 or 3 for decoration
small meringues (25 g), crumbled + 2 or 3 for decoration
marrons glacés , chopped, for decoration - optional
I prefer to use silicone moulds for this recipe, as you don´t need to line them and unmoulding is very easy. If you don´t have silicone moulds, line one or more recipients with cling film. Set aside.
Whisk cream (it should be well chilled) with 30 g sugar and a pinch of salt until stiff. For best results, I always keep the cream in the refrigerator until I want to whisk it and also chill the bowl for a few minutes.
Once the cream is whipped, refrigerate again.
Over a bain marie, whisk eggs and yolks with the other half of the sugar until pale and fluffy.
Gently fold in the chestnut purée into the whipped cream.
Now fold in the cream & chestnut mixture into the whisked eggs.
Gently fold in crumbled meringues and speculoos cookies.
Fill mixture into the prepared mould(s).
Freeze until firm, counting 6-8 hours for one large dish, 3- 4 hours for a dish with half of the mixture, and 1.5- 2 hours for small individual servings.
To serve, sprinkle with more crumbled speculoos and meringues, and/or chopped candied chestnuts.