How to make the traditional almond Pithivier, a French pastry recipe made with my best crispy and buttery homemade puff pastry dough and filled with the perfect and easy almond cream filling.
The Pithivier is a traditional French pastry recipe, a puff pastry cake generally filled with a savory or sweet filling as here with almonds and it is native to a French region, the town of Pithivier from where it takes its name.
Pithiviers is a recipe very similar to the "galette des Rois" that is made during the month of January and the Epiphany day which corresponds to the arrival of the Three Kings.
Unlike the classic recipe which is filled with a frangipane cream, a mixture of pastry cream and almond cream, the pithivier is simply filled with almond cream.
Like the galette des Rois, it's made of two puff pastry sheets, very crispy and with a good taste of butter, with a delicious and creamy almond filling stuffed in between.
Traditionally decorated with a pretty round shape, flower petals and spiral lines drawn, this recipe is a perfect change from the traditional galette to celebrate Epiphany with the family this year or just for fun.
Composition and ingredients
I used the classic homemade puff pastry dough for this recipe, but you can also use the inverted puff pastry dough recipe, the quick rough puff pastry dough recipe or simply use two disks of store-bought puff pastry.
A simple almond cream made up of ground almonds, butter, powdered sugar and eggs. The ingredients are mixed with a mixer until a smooth and creamy filling is obtained.
You can add in addition to the almond cream, apple pieces, pears, raspberries, melted chocolate, and more to add more flavor.
⚠️ You will find the quantities and instructions in the recipe card at the end of the page.
How to make the Pithivier
1 - Puff pastry
Make the puff pastry following my recipe (see link in the recipe card) or simply take 2 discs of puff pastry from the store.
2 - Almond cream
- In a large mixing bowl, place the softened butter with the powdered sugar and mix with an electric mixer for 2 to 3 minutes until creamy.
- Add the eggs, almond extract and vanilla flavor (or rum) and beat again at medium speed for a good minute to incorporate.
- Add ground almonds or cornstarch and beat again to incorporate.
Tip: The filling can easily be flavored with cocoa powder, melted chocolate, praline paste and more.
3 - Assembly
- Roll out the puff pastry with a rolling pin to a thickness of about 3 mm on a sheet of parchment paper to move it more easily.
- Mark an 8 inch/20 cm circle with a plate or pastry ring.
- Fill the center with almond cream, leaving a space of 3-5 cm.
- Moisten the edges with a pastry brush and water and cover with a second sheet of puff pastry.
- Weld the edges together, pressing lightly, and cut out the edges with a knife, forming flower petals.
Tip: You can place the cake in the freezer for 15-20 minutes before baking to prevent the butter from escaping too much during baking.
4 - Baking
- Move the pithivier to a baking sheet.
- Brush the entire top with egg wash using a pastry brush.
- Lightly score the top with a sharp knife or a small paring knife to make spiral lines.
- Make a few holes on the top to let the air trapped inside the cake escape and apply a second layer with the remaining egg wash.
- Bake the pithivier in a preheated oven at 350°F/ 180°C for 40-45 minutes until puffed and golden brown on top.
- Let the pithivier cool a bit before moving it to a wire rack or a serving plate and serving it a bit warm.
Tip: You can brush the top of the baked pithivier with sugar syrup to give it a shiny crust. Mix the same amount of water and sugar in a heated pan over medium heat until it has a fluid texture.
Tip: You can also simply decorate it by applying a sprinkle of powdered sugar to give it a nice finish.
Storage and freezing
Pithivier can be stored at room temperature under a cloth or in an airtight container box for about 3 to 4 days.
You can slightly reheat it in the microwave or oven to give it a little freshness.
To freeze, wait until completely cooled and place in a storage box or place it in a pie dish covered with plastic wrap, you can keep it for up to 3 months.
More galette recipes
- Nutella stuffed Galette des Rois
- Chocolate galette des Rois
- Apple galette des Rois
- Chocolate pear galette
More almond cakes
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