100 gmrolled oats165 gm(¾ cup) brown sugar½ tspground cinnamon250 ml(1 cup) maple syrup75 gmbutter, melted1 tspvanilla bean paste4eggs, lightly beaten50 gmdark chocolate (55% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped, plus extra finely grated, to serveWalnut butter pastry225 gm(1½ cups) plain flour90 gmwalnuts, finely ground1½ tbspcaster sugar165 gmchilled butter, cut into 2cm pieces1½ tbspwhite vinegarToasted rice puffs110 gm(½ cup) caster sugar1 tspliquid glucose25 gm(1½ cups) toasted rice puffs (see note)Maple cream250 ml(1 cup) thickened cream125 gm(½ cup) crème fraîche60 ml(¼ cup) maple syrup
For walnut butter pastry, combine flour, walnuts, sugar and a large pinch fine sea salt flakes in a large bowl. Turn out onto a work surface, scatter butter over and cut into flour with a pastry cutter or knife, until loosely combined with chunks of butter still visible. Combine vinegar with 75ml iced water, drizzle over flour mixture, mix with a pastry cutter to combine, then bring together with the heel of your hand. Shape into a disc and refrigerate to rest (2 hours).
Preheat oven to 180C. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to 5mm thick, cut out eight 14cm-diameter rounds and line 8 metal pie tins with a 6cm base and 9cm top (see note), trim edges and refrigerate to rest (1½ hours). Blind-bake until pastry edges are set and light golden (7-8 minutes), then remove weights and paper, and bake until cooked through (8-10 minutes). Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, scatter oats over a baking tray and toast, stirring occasionally, until light golden (7-8 minutes), then set aside to cool. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a bowl, add maple syrup, butter and vanilla, then whisk to combine. Add eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition, then mix in oats.
Divide chocolate among pastry cases, top with oat filling and bake until golden, puffed and cooked through (30-35 minutes), covering edges with foil if browning too quickly. Set aside to cool.
For toasted rice puffs, bring sugar, glucose and 1 tbsp water to the simmer in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar, then bring to the boil and cook without stirring until a caramel forms (4-6 minutes). Remove from heat, add rice puffs and a pinch of fine sea salt flakes, stir to combine with an oiled spoon, then turn out onto a tray lined with baking paper and spread in an even layer. Allow to cool (15-20 minutes), then break into pieces before serving.
For maple cream, whisk cream, crème fraîche and maple syrup until soft peaks just form (over-whisking will make the mixture split). To serve, spoon maple cream onto pies and scatter with rice puffs and grated chocolate.
Note Rice puffs are available from supermarkets
and health-food stores. In lieu of the suggested metal pie tins,
fill greased Texas muffin tins, leaving 1cm at the top.