Pear, maple and peanut butter pies

Sometimes you want something naughty. You only want one, but you want something with your afternoon tea or coffee that will sate your desire for a very badly behaved treat. Here, the crumbly layers of buttery pastry, cosseting the dangerously addictive pear, maple and peanut butter compote in its bosom, is all you can ask for and more. Once you have made and enjoyed one of these, you’ll realise that any fruit, jam or compote would work well in these little individual pies. So make and enjoy one of these first, before getting creative to your heart's content.

Pear, maple and peanut butter pies

Makes 8-10 individual pies

4 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
4 tbsp maple syrup
4 pears, cored, peeled and diced into 1cm cubes
Juice of 1 lemon
1 x 500g pack, all-butter puff pastry
1 egg, beaten

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4 and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Place a heavy-bottomed pan over a medium heat. Melt together the peanut butter and maple syrup before adding the chopped pear. Simmer gently for 5-10 minutes until the pear is just on the verge of breaking down. Remove from the heat, add the lemon juice, and put to one side to cool. 

Whilst the pear compote cools, take your puff pastry and, on a lightly floured work surface, roll out to the thickness of a 2 pence coin. Find a 15cm plate or bowl and cut out as many puff pastry discs as you can from the pastry, you should get 8-10 discs. 

Place a tablespoon of the pear compote just off centre of each disc, brush the edge with a beaten egg, and fold the disc in half to create a half moon. Use a fork to press around the edge to create a good seal and to make the pies look pretty. Finally, with a sharp knife, put a small hole or two in the top of the pie to allow the steam to escape. 

Place on the baking tray and put in the centre of the oven for 20-30 minutes until the pies are golden brown. Place on a wire rack to cool for as long as you can bear to wait.