PEAR AND CHESTNUT PIE

Yields8 Servings
 5-6 small ripe pears
 Juice of 1 lemon
 110 g caster sugar
 400g – 500g puff pastry
 200 g cooked chestnuts
 60 g caster sugar
 60 g soft unsalted butter
 1 large egg
 1 large egg yolk
 2 tsp milk
 1 heaped tbsp icing sugar
1

Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas6; peel the pears and cut them in half; remove the cores then place the halves in a roasting tin; pour over the lemon juice and toss the pears in it so they are well coated, add the sugar and toss again; bake on the top shelf of the preheated oven for 35 minutes, turning them halfway through until the pears are soft and caramelised around the edges

2

Transfer the cooked pears to a plate and leave to cool; remove the puff pastry from the fridge to soften for about 5 minutes

3

To make the chestnut puree, remove 10 whole chestnuts from the pact and set aside. Place the remaining chestnuts in a food processor with the caster sugar and blend for 1 minute until finely ground; add the butter and the egg and blend until well combined; set aside in the fridge

4

Cut the pastry in half and roll out half of it and place on a baking sheet; roll out the other half until it is about 2.5cm wider, then fold it in half along its length, without applying any pressure and put in the fridge; beat together the egg yolk and milk; brush some of the egg yolk and milk mixture all over the pastry on the baking sheet then spread the chestnut mixture over the centre of the pastry, leaving a 2cm space all the way round

5

Leaving a little space at each end, place the pear halves, head to tail, on top of the chestnut mixture; place one of the reserved chestnuts between each pear half; remove the folded pastry from the fridge and make incisions every 5mm or so along the folded edge, leaving a 2cm strip around the other edges

6

Unfold the pastry then drape it over a rolling pin and place it over the pear and chestnut rectangle, lightly press the edges together to seal the pastry well; brush evenly with the beaten egg yolk and milk then bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, dust with the icing sugar and return to the oven for 10 minutes until glazed and golden; serve hot, warm or cold

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