In an autumn full mood, with the rain starting to kick in, T and I decided it was the perfect time for a party; an autumn themed party, which entailed some roast chestnuts, Pere Volpine, chocolate and vin brulé (mulled wine).
The roasting of chestnuts is no big mystery. It is best done on a wood fire, but for those of you like me, who do not have a fireplace, the oven or even the microwave will make it happen. Before placing the chestnuts in the oven you must make a large cut with a sharp knife all the way through their wooden skin. You then place them in the oven for about 30 minutes at a medium temperature (about 160-180°C), and turn them from time to time to make sure they get fully roasted on all sides.
Pere Volpine are a traditional italian rural delicacy. This variety of pears grows on the mountains of central Italy and is typically harvested in November. Their name literally means Fox’s Pears, as it seems foxes love eating these fruits. They are small, rather bitter in taste, and quite hard, which is why they are best eaten cooked in red wine; typically Sangiovese , which is the most common in this region. For some extra flavor add a few bay leaves and chestnuts.
Another easy and delicious recipe. Place the pears in a casserole, add some salt, a fist full of sugar, the bay leaves and chestnuts, then add water and a big glass of red wine. Boil everything at a medium fire for about 2 hours, or at least until the pears are soft and juicy.
And here you go…