Sformato di Castagne (Savory Chestnut Custard)
- 1 pound dried chestnuts, soaked overnight in cool water
- 2 cups milk
- 5 eggs, separated plus 2 yolks
- 4 ounces fontina, grated
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus a piece for grating over the top
- 1 cup plus 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs, toasted
- Several gratings fresh nutmeg
- Salt and pepper
- 4 tablespoons butter
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Drain the chestnuts and place into a 2 quart saucepan with the milk and place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until tender, about an hour. Remove the chestnuts and mash with a fork or puree in a food processor until a smooth puree is formed. Place puree in a large mixing bowl and add the 7 yolks, the fontina the Parmigiano, 1 cup of the breadcrumbs and the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Butter a bundt pan and sprinkle with remaining bread crumbs. Whip the egg whites to soft peaks and carefully fold into the chestnut mixture. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and place pan in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until a tooothpick pierced at the thickest part leaves just clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool 5 minutes. Using a sharp knife, carefully loosen the edges around the outside and inside perimeters and invert onto a plate. Grate Parmigiano over and serve warm.
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