Explainers

How to make Pithivier, step by step

The French pastry classic is updated for a new generation with charred carrot, garlic shoots and goat’s curd.
How to make Pithivier, French Pithivier recipe step by step

How to make Pithivier

John Paul Urizar
1
30M
45M
1H 15M

With origins dating back to the 17th century in the French town of Pithiviers, this golden pie has long been a winter crowd-pleaser. Recently in Sydney, Lode Pies has made the radial-topped pie a hit with a rich chicken edition; while Meatsmith in Melbourne crafts an Aylesbury duck and foie gras version, wrapped in butter puff pastry. Here, we’ve opted for a vegetarian take, pairing charred carrots and garlic shoots with goat’s curd for a modern meat-free option.

Here’s how to make a Pithivier with our step-by-step recipe.

Step 1

For leek filling, heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat; cook leek and rosemary until very soft (10 minutes). Stir in butter beans. Set aside in a bowl in the fridge to chill. For goat’s cheese cream, combine ingredients in a bowl.

Step 2

Meanwhile, heat a char-grill plate to medium-high. Place carrot, garlic shoots and cavalo nero in separate bowls; drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepperberry. Using your hands toss well to coat in oil. Grill carrots, cavalo nero and garlic shoots, in batches, turning halfway (2-4 minutes) until lightly charred. Set vegetables aside to cool, then cut garlic shoots in half lengthways.

Step 3

Cut a pastry sheet into a 26cm round; place on an oven tray lined with baking paper, then cut a 3cm hole from the centre. Cut a 4.5cm round from pastry off-cuts, then cut a 3cm hole from the middle to form a ring, place the ring on the tray. Discard both 3cm cut outs. Cut second pastry sheet into a 23cm round and place on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Place trays into the freezer to firm until ready to assemble.

Step 4

Step 4 – arranging filling of Pithivier.

Arrange cavolo nero over 23cm pastry round leaving 3cm border. Top with leek mixture in dome shape, followed by goat’s cheese cream. Arrange carrot strips on top in an even mound, then garlic shoots, brush pastry border with eggwash then top with 26cm pastry round. Press edges to seal. Brush all over with eggwash and place in the freezer with pastry ring for 10 minutes. Repeat brushing twice more, freezing in between.

Step 4 – top and close Pithivier with pastry.

Step 5

Preheat oven to 200°C fan-forced. Using the tip of a small, sharp knife, score radial arcs into the pastry, working from the centre outwards taking care not to cut all the way through. Centre pastry ring around hole and brush with eggwash.

Step 6

Bake Pithivier until golden (40-45 minutes). Cool slightly before serving Pithivier with salsa verde.

Step 5 – scoring the pastry top of Pithivier.

Ingredients

Leek filling
Goat's cheese cream

Method

1.For leek filling, heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat; cook leek and rosemary until very soft (10 minutes). Stir in butter beans. Set aside in a bowl in the fridge to chill. For goat’s cheese cream, combine ingredients in a bowl.
2.Meanwhile, heat a char-grill plate to medium-high. Place carrot, garlic shoots and cavalo nero in separate bowls; drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepperberry. Using your hands toss well to coat in oil. Grill carrots, cavalo nero and garlic shoots, in batches, turning halfway (2-4 minutes) until lightly charred. Set vegetables aside to cool, then cut garlic shoots in half lengthways.
3.Cut a pastry sheet into a 26cm round; place on an oven tray lined with baking paper, then cut a 3cm hole from the centre. Cut a 4.5cm round from pastry off-cuts, then cut a 3cm hole from the middle to form a ring, place the ring on the tray. Discard both 3cm cut outs. Cut second pastry sheet into a 23cm round and place on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Place trays into the freezer to firm until ready to assemble.
4.Arrange cavolo nero over 23cm pastry round leaving 3cm border. Top with leek mixture in dome shape, followed by goat’s cheese cream. Arrange carrot strips on top in an even mound, then garlic shoots, brush pastry border with eggwash then top with 26cm pastry round. Press edges to seal. Brush all over with eggwash and place in the freezer with pastry ring for 10 minutes. Repeat brushing twice more, freezing in between.
5.Preheat oven to 200°C fan-forced. Using the tip of a small, sharp knife, score radial arcs into the pastry, working from the centre outwards taking care not to cut all the way through. Centre pastry ring around hole and brush with eggwash.
6.Bake until golden (40-45 minutes). Cool slightly before serving with salsa verde.

We used Carême All Butter Puff Pastry. Recipe can be made up to end of step 5 a day ahead for ease of preparation. Pies can also be frozen for 3 months and thawed, then cooked as below from step 6.

Notes

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