For the filling
200g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
125g peeled chestnuts
1 tbsp cane sugar
1 tbsp honey
For the pastry
1 packet puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp water
flour, for dusting
For the filling: In a small saucepan, combine the chestnuts, milk and sugar, and bring to a simmer. Cook over a low heat for approximately 20 mins until the chestnuts are soft. Allow to cool slightly. Using a blender, purée the chestnut mixture until smooth and thick. Set aside to cool completely. Transfer to a small bowl, fold the chocolate pieces and honey into the chestnut purée, cover and chill.
For the pastry: Between layers of lightly floured baking parchment, roll the puff pastry to 3mm thick. Using a 9cm diameter cutter, make 20 pastry rounds, chilling the pastry and rolling scraps as needed. Transfer the rounds to a baking tray and refrigerate.
Dissolve 2 tbsp sugar in 2 tbsp water in a small saucepan stirring over a medium heat to make a syrup. Remove from the heat, transfer to a small bowl and cover.
To fill the pies: Measure tablespoons of chocolate-chestnut mixture and flatten into discs. Place onto 10 pastry rounds, leaving a 1cm border on all sides, and brush the border with beaten egg. Arrange the remaining pastry rounds on top and press gently to seal. The pastry can be chilled if it becomes too stretchy.
Pour a little beaten egg and syrup into a small bowl and whisk to combine. Paint this sweetened wash over the filled pastries and chill for 30 mins. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6.
One at a time, bring the pastries from the refrigerator and brush again with the sweetened egg wash. Using a sharp knife, score each pastry surface with leaf-like designs. For a decorative finish, make indents to the pastry edge with the back of the knife. Freeze for at least 15 mins, up to 1 hr.
Bake on two trays, evenly spaced, for 20 mins until golden. Rotate the trays and reduce the temperature to 180°C/gas mark 4 and bake for 20 mins more until deeply golden. Transfer to a wire rack placed on top of parchment to cool and immediately brush with the simple syrup to glaze. Serve warm or at room temperature.
More recipes for pies in the January/February 2018 issue of LandScape magazine...
Pork rillette pies
Chanterelle, onion and buttermilk pies
Spiced brown sugar and cranberry rye pies