CHOCOLATE CHESTNUT PARCELS

Chocolate chestnut pies, from LandScape magazine Jan/Feb 2017

Chocolate chestnut pies, from LandScape magazine Jan/Feb 2017

Makes 10

For the filling
200g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
125g peeled chestnuts
120ml milk
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

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CRANBERRY-TOPPED VEGETABLE PIE

Cranberry-topped vegetable pie, LandScape magazine, Christmas 2017 issue.

Cranberry-topped vegetable pie, LandScape magazine, Christmas 2017 issue.

Serves 6

550g parsnips, quartered lengthways
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
280g mushrooms, chopped
1 tbsp whisky
2 tbsp single cream
340g cooked and peeled chestnuts
200g spinach
1 tbsp honey
150g whole cooked and chilled cranberries
1 tbsp caster sugar
sea salt and black pepper

For the pastry
650g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
50g chilled unsalted butter
170g solid vegetable fat, plus extra for greasing

Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Grease a 20cm round springform tin and line the bottom with greaseproof paper.

To make the filling: Place the parsnips in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 mins until soft, then drain. In the meantime, heat the oil in a frying pan and sauté the garlic for 2 mins. Add the mushrooms and fry for 2 mins, then add the whisky and cook for 2-3 mins more until soft. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to cool slightly, then blend into a coarse purée. Mix in the cream.

Place the chestnuts and 2 tbsp of boiling water in a blender and pulse into a paste. Place the spinach in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let it stand for 10 mins, then drain and refresh with cold water and drain thoroughly through a sieve.

To make the pastry: Place the flour in a large bowl and add the butter. Rub the butter into the flour with the fingertips. Place the vegetable fat in a large saucepan and add 240ml of cold water and salt. Bring to the boil until the fat has completely melted, then stir it quickly into the flour mixture.

Keep stirring until the dough is soft and elastic, then knead in the bowl for 5 mins. On a clean work surface dusted with flour, roll out the pastry to fit the prepared tin with a little overhanging. Line the tin with the pastry, fitting it to the sides.

To fill the pie: Cover the pastry with a layer of parsnip quarters, then drizzle with the honey. Press the chestnuts into a layer on top of the parsnips with the back of a spoon. Cover the chestnut layer with the spinach, then top with a layer of the mushroom mixture, making sure it is level.

The cranberries are cooked by covering them in boiling water and boiling for 10 mins. They should be left to cool, then chilled. Layer them on top of the pie so they cover it completely, then sprinkle with the sugar. Cut a circle of tin foil the size of the top of the pie to cover the cranberries, but not the pastry shell.

Place the pie on an oven sheet and bake for 1 hr. Allow to cool for 10 mins before removing the pie from the tin and serve hot.

Other festive recipes in the Christmas 2017 issue of LandScape magazine:

  • Bacon-topped turkey with hidden orange stuffing
  • Red Leicester roast potatoes
  • Root vegetable bakes
  • Nutty cabbage
  • Heritage carrots with honey and whisky glaze

Missed an issue?
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Mincemeat Christmas trees

Makes approximately 12,
depending on size of cutter

150g plain flour
150g self raising flour
2 tbsp. icing sugar
150g butter, cubed
150g mincemeat
1 free-range egg
Caster sugar, to sprinkle

Sieve the flours and icing sugar into a large bowl, add the butter and rub the mixture with your fingers until it forms fine breadcrumbs. Separate the egg and add the yolk to the bowl with enough water to mix to a dough. Allow to rest in the refrigerator for 15 min. Roll out half the pastry and cut out Christmas tree shapes with a large cookie cutter and place, well spaced, on lightly greased baking sheets. Roll out the remaining pastry and cut the same amount of shapes.
Brush the pastry shapes on the baking sheet all over with beaten egg white and place a lolly stick on top of the pastry at the base of the tree. Press down lightly. Put a spoonful of mincemeat into the centre of each and cover with another piece of pastry, gently easing over the filling and pressing down the edges well to seal in the mincemeat. Press the top pastry down gently over the lolly stick so that it is secured in place.
Prick the pastry with a fork. Brush the tops with beaten egg white and sprinkle with caster sugar. Bake in a preheated oven 200C/gas mark 6 for 12–15 min until golden. Transfer to a wire rack and cool.

 


• Mincemeat meringue pie
• Filo stars
• Orange and mincemeat pudding
• Christmas wreath
• Homemade mincemeat
 

Kitchen Utensils to help you  

Honey tart

Serves 8
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
4 eggs
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:

Chicken, ham and wild mushroom pie

Serves 6
200g chunky wild mushrooms
2 tbsp olive oil
2 red onions, peeled and cut into chunks
2 large leeks, peeledand chopped
2 whole cloves garlic, crushed
850g fillets of chicken thighs, each cut into 4 pieces
400g ham, cut into small pieces
large knob of butter
75g flour (plain or self raising) plus extra for dusting
350ml stock (chicken or vegetable)
350ml milk
2 tsps dried herbs
300g puff pastry, at room temperature  
1 egg, beaten
large handful of fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Add the oil to a large pan, and fry the onions and leeks for 10 mins. Towards the end of this time, add the garlic. Remove the vegetables from the pan with a slotted spoon and put in the chicken. Season and fry for 5 mins until golden. Add the mushrooms, cook for another 5 mins, then add the ham. Stir then spoon into a 2.5 litre ovenproof pie dish.
Melt the butter in a second pan. Add the flour gradually, stirring all the time. Pour in the stock with the milk, a little at a time. Bring to a rolling boil for 5 mins. Add the dried herbs. Pour the liquid over the chicken, ham and mushrooms and stir everything together.
Dust a surface with flour and roll out the pastry to the shape of the dish, leaving an inch extra around the edges. Cut a small hole in the centre. Brush egg around the rim of the dish, then top with the pastry. Press down the edges to make a seal. Make decorative shapes from the pastry off-cuts and stick to the lid with water. Brush the pastry with egg. Bake the pie for 30 mins, until the pastry is crisp and golden.

Other wild mushroom recipes from our Nov/Dec 2013 issue:

• Wild mushroom soup
• Wild mushroom stew
• Pickled wild mushrooms
• Wild mushroom rolls

Buckinghamshire bacon badger

Serves 8-10
400g bacon lardons
2 Maris Piper potatoes
1 large onion
200g self-raising flour
90g shredded beef suet
1 handful each of fresh parsley, sage and thyme
1 tbsp milk
black pepper
kitchen string

In a frying pan, dry fry the bacon lardons for 10 mins until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a plate lined with kitchen roll, and leave to cool. Slice the potato into thin, small batons, and chop onion finely.
Sift the flour into a mixing bowl, mix in the suet and season with pepper. Add 100ml cold water to the mixture very gradually, mixing well as you go, until it is a sticky dough.
On a clean, floured surface, roll the pastry out to A4, then transfer to a greased piece of greaseproof paper, 10cm larger than the pastry. Sprinkle with the cooled lardons, onion and potato, then chop the parsley, sage and thyme and sprinkle on top. Roll up into a long log, sealing at the ends, then wrap in the greaseproof paper. Wrap this again in a clean tea towel and tie up the ends with kitchen string. Steam over a large saucepan of boiling water in a steamer or metal colander for 1 hour and 30 mins.
Unwrap the roll from the tea towel and the paper, then and transfer to a greased flat baking tin. Brush the milk over the pastry and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C/gas mark 4 for 25 mins. Serve with salad and pickles.

Other regional pie and pastry recipes in our Sept/Oct 2015 issue:

• Parys pastie
• Shropshire fidget pie
• Forfar bridie
• Scotch pie

Easter tarts

Makes 12

175g chilled butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing
350g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
60g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
115ml double cream
300g 85% cocoa solids cooking chocolate
icing sugar, to dust

In a large bowl, combine the butter with the flour and sugar, then rub the butter into the dry ingredients to make fine crumbs. Stir in the egg yolk and 2 tbsp of ice-cold water and bring together with a spoon. Knead until the pastry comes together into a smooth dough. Cover with cling film and chill for 20 mins.

To make the chocolate ganache filling, heat the cream in a saucepan until lukewarm. When it is just about to simmer, break in the cooking chocolate. Keep on a very low simmer for approximately 2 mins, stirring until the chocolate melts and the mixture thickens. Allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Roll out the pastry on a surface lightly dusted with flour. Cut out 12 circles with a pastry cutter to line a 12-hole cupcake tray. Bring the off-cuts together and roll out. Cut out 12 slightly smaller lids for the tarts, dusted with more flour if necessary. Stamp out a bunny shape on each of the lids with a small cutter, or cut out by hand with a sharp knife. Grease the tray with butter, then line with the pastry bottoms. Fill the tarts with a heaped teaspoon of the ganache then fit the pastry tops. Press down gently on the edges to fix them.

Bake for 20 mins until golden and cooked through. Allow to cool, then dust with icing sugar. Cover the bunny shapes with the back of a teaspoon to keep the chocolate ganache from being covered in icing sugar. Serve.

Other cheerful bakes in our Spring 2016 issue:

Bunny-ear cupcakes
Chocolate rabbit cake
Coconut cake
Chocolate orange loaf
Bunny biscuits

For back issues click here, or to subscribe to LandScape click here.

Blood orange tart

Serves 6
For the custard
finely grated zest of 1 orange
400ml milk
3 medium egg yolks
75g golden caster sugar
40g cornflour
4 tbsp double cream
For the oranges
100g golden granulated sugar
2 medium blood oranges

For the pastry
75g butter, softened
50g golden caster sugar
2 medium egg yolks
175g plain flour, plus extra for rolling 

To make the pastry, cream the butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Add the egg yolks one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Beat in the plain flour with a wooden spoon, until the mixture starts to come together. Finish by using the hands to bring the mixture together to form a soft dough. Chill for 30 mins. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and line a 22cm loose bottom deep flan tin. Chill for a further 30 mins. Line the pastry case with parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake the pastry blind in a preheated oven 190°C/gas mark 5 for 12 mins. Remove the baking beans and parchment and bake for a further 5 mins. Leave to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C/gas mark 4.
To make the custard, heat the orange zest and the milk in a saucepan over a gentle heat until almost boiling. Remove from the heat. Whisk the sugar and egg yolks together until pale and thick, then whisk in the cornflour. Whisk in a third of the hot milk to the egg and sugar mixture. Mix well, then return to the pan. Cook, stirring continuously until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the double cream. Pour into the baked pastry case and allow to cool. 
To poach the oranges, place the granulated sugar in a wide-based saucepan. Add 100ml cold water and heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Thinly slice the oranges, discarding the first and last slice of each. Add the remaining slices to the pan. Cook at a gentle simmer for 15 mins, turning the slices halfway through. Remove the slices from the syrup. Drain well before placing on a parchment paper-lined baking tray in a single layer. Bake for 20 mins, then leave to cool. Arrange the orange slices over the top of the cooled custard. Chill until ready to serve.

Other orange recipes in our Mar/Apr 2015 issue:

• Orange gratin
• Orange sorbet
• St Clement's cake
• Caramel oranges
• Orange self-saucing pudding
• Chocolate orange mousse cake

For back issues click here, or to subscribe to LandScape click here.

Butternut squash flan

Serves 6
For the pastry
125g butter
200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
50ml chilled water

For the filling
1 butternut squash
8 eggs
300ml double cream
1 tbsp chopped
flat-leaf parsley
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
black pepper
200g streaky bacon

Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. For the pastry: chop the butter into cubes, then sift the flour into a large bowl. Add the chopped butter and season with salt, then rub in the butter. Add 50ml water gradually, bringing the mixture together to make a dough. Knead the pastry together into a firm dough, then wrap in cling film and chill for 20 mins.
Roll the pastry out on a clean, lightly floured surface to fit a greased and lined 25.5 x 10.5cm tin. Chill for 10 mins. Line the bottom of the pastry case with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Bake for 5 mins, remove the paper and beans, and cook for a further 5 mins.
For the filling: peel and slice half the butternut squash into thin strips, removing the seeds, and blanch in a bowl of boiling water for 5 mins. Drain and refresh with cold water and set aside. Chop the remaining butternut squash up roughly and place in a large saucepan, then fill with boiling water. Simmer for 15 mins, until just soft. Peel and discard the skin and seeds, then purée in a food processor. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs together and add the double cream, whisking until firm. Whisk in the butternut purée, parsley, onion and garlic. Season with pepper.
Fill the pastry case with the mixture and bake for 20 mins. In the meantime, fry the bacon until crispy. Position the blanched butternut squash and bacon rashers in the set mixture, then bake for 15 mins. Serve immediately or chilled.

Other butternut squash recipes in our Nov/Dec 2015 issue:

• Butternut and potato rolls
• Baked butternut stew pots
• Roast butternut squash
• Butternut farls
• Butternut and ginger sponge

Every issue of LandScape magazine features a range of delicious seasonal recipes - click here to subscribe.

Cheese and cranberry parcels

Makes 16
6 sheets filo pastry (60cm x 25cm)
75g butter
4 tbsp cold pressed rapeseed oil
4 spring onions, chopped
240g Lancashire cheese
150g cranberry sauce

Cut each filo sheet into eight equal pieces. Melt the butter in a small pan. Pour off the butter fat into a bowl, discarding the milk solids in the bottom of the pan. Add the oil to the butter fat. Crumble the cheese into the bowl. Add the spring onion and toss to combine.
Stack three squares of filo on top of each other slightly staggered, brushing each square with the butter mixture. Place a spoonful of the cheese mixture in the centre and top with cranberry sauce.
Gather up the pastry around the filling, pinching together at the top to seal. Place on a baking sheet. Repeat until all the pastry and filling is used. Brushthe parcels with the butter mixture and bake in a preheated oven at 190°C/gas mark 5 for 12–15 mins until golden. Allow to cool slightly and serve warm. Once cooked the parcels can also be eaten cold.

Other fruit and cheese starter recipes in our Christmas 2014 issue:

• Pear, blue cheese and roasted walnut salad
• Toasted goat's cheese with hazelnuts and grapes
• Baked cheddar custards with roasted damsons
• Figs with Stilton and honey
• Pumpkin and apple soup with Wensleydale toasts

Every issue of LandScape magazine features a range of delicious seasonal recipes - click here to subscribe.

Cabbage and pork pasties

Makes 8
For the pastry
125g butter
300g plain flour
1 large egg
pinch of salt

For the filling
150g cabbage
175g lean pork mince,
1 red onion
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 tsp smoked paprika
50g raisins
salt and pepper
100g mature Cheddar
beaten egg, for glazing and sealing

Dice the butter and rub into the flour and salt, using the finger tips. Add the beaten egg and mix to form a dough, adding cold water if necessary. Wrap in film and chill for 30 mins.
Make the filling. Finely chop the onion and shred the cabbage. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the onion until softened. Add the pork, stirring and breaking up any lumps until evenly cooked. Add thecabbage to the pan along with 2 tbsp of cold water. Sprinkle over the smoked paprika and raisins and stir. Cover and cook gently for 5 mins until the cabbage is soft and tender. Season to taste and allow to cool. Coarsely grate the cheese and add to the pork mixture once it has cooled.
Divide the dough into 8 equal portions. Roll out one piece at a time into a disc 15cm round. Spoon an eighth of the pork mixture onto the pastry. Brush the edges of the pastry with beaten egg. Fold the pastry up and over the filling, pinching the edges to seal with fingertips or a fork. Place on a baking tray and repeat until there are 8 pasties. Brush lightly with egg to glaze. Bake in the preheated oven 190°C/gas mark 5 for 25-30 mins, until golden and crisp. Serve hot or cold.

Other cabbage recipes in our Nov/Dec 2014 issue:

• Pan-fried fish with cabbage and peas
• Pickled red cabbage
• Potato and Savoy cabbage soup
• Colcannon
• Baby cabbage with bacon
• Braised red cabbage

Every issue of LandScape magazine features a range of delicious seasonal recipes - click here to subscribe.

Rhubarb Tart

Rhubarb tart

Serves 8
125g butter, cubed, plus some for greasing
250g plain flour
175g sugar
Pinch salt
3 medium eggs
150ml double cream
250ml milk
1 tsp. cornflour
½ tsp. vanilla extract
500g rhubarb, cut into pieces 15cm long

Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6. Rub together the butter and flour. Add 50g of the sugar and the salt, then one egg, beaten. Bring the mixture together with a knife and then your hands to form a dough. Grease an 8in x 11in (20cm x 28cm) rectangular, loose-bottomed tart tin. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface, line the tin with it and trim. Chill it in the fridge for an hour. Protect the pastry with some baking parchment, fill the tin with baking beans and bake for about 10mins, and then for a further 5mins without the paper and beans. Turn the oven down to 180°C/gas 4. In a bowl, combine the double cream, milk, remaining eggs, remaining sugar, cornflour and vanilla extract. Place the rhubarb pieces in the tin in rows and pour over the mixture. Cook for 35-40mins or until set. Cool on a wire rack and serve warm, sprinkled with icing sugar

Other rhubarb recipes in our May/Jun 2012 issue:

  • Rhubarb and almond pudding
  • Rhubarb and raspberry syrup
  • Mini rhubarb Pavlovas
  • Rhubarb crumble
  • Rhubarb and cinnamon muffins
  • Roast rolled pork with apple and rhubarb

Every issue of LandScape magazine features a range of delicious seasonal recipes - click here to subscribe.