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Recipe for sweet Pithiviers

Slice of Pithiviers cake, caramelised puff pastry top with almond paste stuffing

Pithiviers is a puff pastry pie that originated in its current form from the town of Pithiviers in Loiret, in the Centre-Val de Loire region. The sweet cake is loved all over France. It’s claimed the true origins of Pithiviers date back before the Middle Ages, even to the time of the Romans but the cake as we know it today harks back to the 17th century. It’s  also what the traditional Galette des Rois cake is based on. Sometimes it come with a savoury filling, but devotees say it’s not really a pithiviers but a pie!

Ingredients

Filing

140g unsalted butter at room temperature
125g caster sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 lemon or orange
140g ground almonds
1 tablespoon plain flour

Casing

Packet of puff pastry (650g)
1 egg
Icing sugar

Method

Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Mix in the eggs, a bit at a time and beat well. Zest the lemon (or orange) and beat in with the the rum. Fold the almonds and flour in and then put in the fridge while you sort out the pastry,

Divide the pastry in two and roll out one half into a 28cm circle. Put the pasty on baking paper on a baking tray. Spread the filling over the pastry and leave around an inch of pastry uncovered all the way round the edge.

Roll out the other half of the pastry and cut into a circle as above.  Brush the clear edge of the first pastry circle with the beaten egg and place the second pastry slice over the top. Pop it in the fridge for 1 to 12 hours.

Preheat oven to 220 ˚C. Paint the top of the pie with beaten egg (but not the edges). Cut the pie with a sharp knife to create a spiral pattern.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and beautifully risen.

More delicious classic French cake recipes

Galette des Rois
How to make Flan Patissier – an egg custard dream
Deliciously moreish French Financiers cakes

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