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
1.5kg side of salmon
2 tbsp lavender buds, plus extra sprigs for garnish
3 tbsp clear honey
1 tbsp black peppercorns
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Zest the orange into a mortar. Add the lavender buds and peppercorns. Grind with the pestle until roughly blended, then add to a mixing bowl with the honey and oil. Season with sea salt and squeeze in the juice of the orange.
Line a large, deep oven tray with baking paper, then place the salmon, skin-side up, onto it. Coat the skin with half of the lavender mixture. Turn the fish over and cover the top with the remaining mixture. Fold up the baking paper, lift out of the baking tray and place the salmon parcel in the fridge for 1 hr.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Return the salmon to the oven tray. Open out the paper parcel but cover the top loosely with foil. Roast for 15 mins, then remove the foil and roast for a further 15 mins, until crispy on top. Transfer to a platter and serve.
Other lavender recipes in our July/August 2016 issue:
165g set honey
350g plain flour
265g unsalted butter,plus extra to grease
1 tsp coarse sea salt, plus extra to garnish
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp cornflour
300g extra thick double cream
squeeze of lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Place the flour in a large bowl and chop 175g of the butter into cubes. Add the cubes to the flour and then add half the sea salt and 1 tbsp of the honey. Mix together with a spoon, then using fingers and thumbs, rub the butter into the flour until it reaches the consistency of breadcrumbs. Mix in the egg yolk and 3 tbsp of cold water. Mix together then knead for 1-2 mins to bring together. Wrap with cling film and chill for 20 mins.
On a clean work surface dusted with flour, roll the pastry out to fit a 23cm pie dish. Grease the dish lightly with butter, then line with the pastry, buckling the tops into folds to make a pattern. Chill for a further 15 mins.
Bake the pastry case blind, covered with baking paper and filled with baking beans, in the preheated oven for 5-10 mins. Remove the paper and beans then cook for 5 mins at 180°C/gas mark 4.
In a large saucepan, heat the remaining butter and honey until melted, then mix in the cornflour. Take off the heat. Beat the eggs in a bowl, then whisk the butter mixture into them, adding the remaining salt. Whisk in the cream and lemon juice. Fill the pastry case with the mixture, then bake in the oven at 160°C/gas mark 3 for 35 mins, until golden. Allow to cool completely, before sprinkling with extra sea salt to serve.
Other honey recipes in our May/June 2016 issue: