Crostata di castagne, cioccolato e pere (chestnut, chocolate and pear tart) - Valle d'Aosta
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This is my husband's favourite dessert. It makes the best use of local ingredients in Piemonte and Valle d'Aosta in the autumn and winter: pears and chestnuts. The combination with the chocolate, also another local speciality, is utterly decadent.
The pastry and pears can be made 1 to 2 days in advance. If you are short on time, you could use store bought short crust pastry and tinned pear halves. The only thing you will need to make is the chocolate custard filling.
Recipe type: Dessert (Dolci)
Cuisine: Valle d'Aosta
Serves: 10
  • Pastry:
  • 300 grams butter
  • 200 grams caster sugar
  • 10 grams honey
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 400 grams 00 or plain flour
  • 75 grams chestnut flour
  • 25 grams cocoa flour
  • Chocolate custard:
  • 55 grams milk chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 180 grams dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 125 grams whole milk
  • 180 grams double cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 7 grams platinum gelatin sheets, soaked in cold water
  • Poached pears (see recipe here) (can substitute tinned pear halves)
  1. Pastry:
  2. Beat the sugar and butter together in a mixer until fluffy and has whitened.
  3. Add the honey and yolks to combine.
  4. Sift in the flour, chestnut flour and cocoa powder and mix only to combine.
  5. Try not to over stir the flour as it will start to form gluten strands.
  6. Roll the pastry into a ball and wrap in cling film. Rest the dough in the refrigerator for at least an hour and up to two days.
  7. Custard:
  8. Bring to a simmer the milk and cream.
  9. Pour over the chocolates.
  10. When the chocolate has melted, add the egg, egg yolk and gelatine, stirring until smooth.
  11. Tart:
  12. Preheat the oven to 175C. Divide the pastry in half. Grease a tart tin/ring.
  13. If using a tart ring, place it on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
  14. Roll out half the dough and use it to line the tart tin/ring.
  15. Push down the dough in the corners of the tin so that the sides don't slip down.
  16. Use a small knife to cut off any excess dough around the edge.
  17. Prick the pastry all over with a fork and refrigerate for 10 minutes. (Little hands are good for this)
  18. Bake the pastry for 10 minutes or until golden.
  19. Remove it from the oven and pour half of the chocolate custard in. Place the pears, cut side down into the custard.
  20. Top with the remaining custard.
  21. Roll out the second ball of pastry.
  22. Place it on top, pushing down the edges and cutting off any excess. Cut vents into the top.
  23. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Let cool completely before serving.
Recipe by Living a Life in Colour at