Friday, 7 January 2011
Don't pity the pithivier
Pithiviers are often a sweet treat, filled with an almond frangipane, distinguished by their swirling decoration and a glossy, golden pastry. This version is rich with butter and cream, but if you want to lighten it up, swap the creamed leeks for plain, steamed spinach and serve with a leafy salad.
Salmon, leek and mushroom pithiviers
200g salmon fillet, cut into 4 equal pieces
150g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp olive oil
a pinch of fresh thyme, chopped
a clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 small leek, finely sliced
1 tbsp double cream
200g puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
1) First prepare the fillings: gently fry the mushrooms in one teaspoon of the olive oil and half the butter with the garlic and thyme for about 15 minutes, until glossy and well browned, then set aside to cool. Now fry the leek in the remaining oil and butter for about 10 minutes, until soft and silky, then add the cream and leave to cool. Season both pans lightly with salt and pepper.
2) Now roll out the puff pastry to 2-3mm and cut out eight, 12cm scallop-edged discs. Lay four onto an oiled, floured tray and brush one side of the pastry with the beaten egg. Then place a spoon of the leek mixture onto the pastry, followed by a piece of salmon then top with some of the mushroom mixture. Now place another disc of pastry over the top, press the edges gently but firmly down to meet the edges of the bottom disc, and score curved lines into the top of the pithivier with a table knife. Repeat with the rest of the pastry and fillings.
3) Brush the tops of the pastries with egg, then bake at 400f/200c/gas mark 6 for 15-17 minutes, until golden brown on top.