I wanted to make a pie that was different from the usual pie recipes I’ve baked so far. I decided that the best way to do this was to look at other cuisines. And then I came across this delicious looking traditional French pie dessert called pithivier with frangipane filling. It was also called Galette de Rois or King Cake. Just by its name, it already sounded really tasty in my head so I gave it a try.
It was so sweet and delightful to eat, especially the frangipane or almond cream filling which really completes the overall flavor of the dessert. I ended up serving these at a family gathering and it was a hit with my folks! They enjoyed it so much that I made some more of these pithivier baked goods to share with them.
Making pithivier turned out to be really simple. Unlike regular homemade pies, pithivier doesn’t need any baking dish or pie pan to mold its round shape. Instead, I only used a baking tray with lined parchment paper to make this spectacular looking pie. I used thawed frozen puff pastry sheets for the top and bottom crust. Cut and shape the puff pastry dough into 2 round 9-inch circles, then refrigerate for a while to make the frangipane. This delicious cream filling is made from mixing egg, butter, sugar, flour, almond flour, pure lemon paste, and pure almond extract.
Next step is to assemble the pithivier. I explained it thoroughly in the instructions, but you might have a difficult time doing the pie crust design. You can’t skip this step. The spiral design from the center to the edges with a circular hole at the center as well is what defines this pithivier dessert. You can either free-hand the design, or print out a template so that it’s evenly measured and spaced out. Either way, it’s totally okay if the results are not perfect.
I used a paring knife to create the design, and the back end of the piping tip to create the perfect hole at the center. After that, I placed this on top of the bottom crust and sealed it closed. I popped it in the oven and waited for it to puff up and turn golden brown. Let it cool first on a wiring rack before serving. I even added a bit of powdered sugar on top to make it look even more appetizing and delicious!
How to Make Pithivier
This Pithivier recipe, also known as Galette de Rois, is a delicious French puff pastry pie dessert filled with frangipane or sweet almond.
Line a baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat.
Unfold pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface or Silpat. If pastry cracks when unfolding, sprinkle the crack with water and press the edges together to seal. If necessary, use a rolling pin to roll the pastry sheet to 9 inches wide.
Cut pastry sheets into two 9-inch circles. (Use a round 9-inch cake pan as a guide.) Place one puff pastry round on the parchment lined baking sheet and place a sheet of parchment on top.
Place the second pastry round on top of the parchment. Put the baking sheet in the refrigerator while you make the frangipane.
In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, which takes about 3 minutes. Add the almond flour and beat on medium speed until thoroughly blended, which will be about 1 minute.
Add the egg and mix on low speed until blended. Add the all-purpose flour, lemon paste, almond extract, and salt, and beat just until combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Remove one pastry round from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface or Silpat, use a piping tip or any sharp kitchen tool to cut a 1 inch circle or hole in the center of the round.
Using a small paring knife, starting from the center of the hole, score a sun-ray decorative pattern on the top round. You only want to cut through the top layers of the pastry.
Don’t cut it all the way through the pastry. Return pastry to the refrigerator while oven preheats.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Remove both pastry rounds from the refrigerator. Place the bottom round on parchment paper or Silpat in the center of the baking tray.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and the heavy cream to create an egg wash. Brush a 1-inch border on the bottom round with the egg wash.
Be careful not to let the egg wash drip down the sides, which could interfere with the puff pastry rising during baking.
Place the frangipane in the center of the bottom round. Carefully center the top round on top of the frangipane. Use your fingers to gently seal the edges of the top round to the bottom round.
With the back of a knife, score the outer edge of the pastry at regular intervals to create a scalloped edge.
Using a pastry brush, brush the entire top of the pastry with the remaining egg wash. Be careful not to let the egg wash drip down the sides, which could interfere with the puff pastry rising during baking.
Bake until puffed and golden brown, which takes about 45 to 50 minutes.
Transfer Pithivier to a wire rack, and let cool at least at least 1 hour before serving. If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Pithiviers are best served the day they are baked. However, keep it in an airtight container on the counter for up to 2 days. To refresh it, bake it at 300 degrees F for 5 to 8 minutes before serving.
- Calcium: 39mg
- Calories: 180kcal
- Carbohydrates: 10g
- Cholesterol: 63mg
- Fat: 15g
- Fiber: 2g
- Iron: 1mg
- Monounsaturated Fat: 2g
- Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g
- Potassium: 15mg
- Protein: 4g
- Saturated Fat: 5g
- Sodium: 10mg
- Sugar: 7g
- Trans Fat: 1g
- Vitamin A: 267IU
- Vitamin C: 1mg
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