Chestnut Blini with Maple Flan and Date Purée

By Christie Saali, Sidney Street Café

Serves | 6 to 8 |

Maple Flan

  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 3 cups sweetened condensed milk

Date Purée

  • 4 oz pitted dates
  • 1¼ cups maple syrup

Chestnut Blini

  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • ¾ cup peeled chestnuts
  • 3 Tbsp cream
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 5 Tbsp butter, plus more to coat pan
  • ¼ cup semolina flour
  • 3 eggs, separated

| Preparation - Maple Flan | Preheat oven to 300ºF. Mix all ingredients. Fill eight 6-oz ramekins and place in roasting pan with water halfway up sides of ramekins. Bake for 1 hour, until flan is almost set (it should jiggle slightly). Let cool in roaster for 20 minutes. Transfer ramekins to refrigerator.

| Preparation - Date Purée | Heat dates and maple syrup in a pot for 5 minutes on low. Remove from heat and let cool. Purée in blender until smooth.

| Preparation - Chestnut Blini | Bring syrup to a simmer and add chestnuts. Simmer for 30 minutes. Strain off chestnuts and place in food processor. Purée into paste. Mix cream, milk, sugar, butter, flour and chestnut paste in a sauce pot. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool. In mixer, beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Add yolks to cooled milk mixture and fold in whites. Heat skillet to medium-high. Melt enough butter to coat bottom of pan. Drop batter by the spoonful into pan. Brown on both sides.

| To Serve | Spoon purée onto 8 dessert plates. Place blini on top of purée with flan on the side.