Gateau De Pithiviers


serves 8 - 10
2 cups (225 g) 8 oz flour (All purpose)
1.25 ml (1/4 tsp) salt
225 g (1/2 lb) 1 cup butter
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) lemon juice
flour for rolling out
Apricot Glaze
1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp (15 ml) water
icing sugar (confectioners sugar)

for the filling

1/2 stick (4 Tbsp) 2 oz (50 g) butter
1/4 cup (50 g) 2 oz caster sugar (superfine granulated)
1-2 drops almond essence
1 egg
4 level tsp (20 ml) plain flour (All purpose)
1/2 cup (50 g) 2 oz ground almonds


1. Start by making the filling. Cream the butter with the sugar in a large bowl, adding the essence. Add the egg and mix until smooth.

2. Mix the flour and ground almonds in a bowl, then add them to the butter mixture to make a smooth pastry cream.

3. Make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and rub in 50 g (2 oz) of the butter.

4. Add the lemon juice and mix to a smooth dough with cold water.

5. Shape the remaining butter into a rectangle on greaseproof paper.

6. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a strip a little wider than the butter and rather more than twice its length.

7. Place the butter on one half of the pastry, fold the other half over it, and press the edges together with the rolling pin. Leave in a cool place for 15 minutes to allow the butter to harden.

8. Roll the pastry out into a long strip. Fold the bottom third up and the top third down, press the edges together with the rolling pin and turn the pastry so that the folded edges are on the right and left. Roll and fold again, cover and leave in a cool place for 15 minutes.

9. Repeat this process until the pastry has been rolled out 6 times.

10. Roll out the pastry again and cut 2 rounds, measuring 18 cm (7 inch)es and 20 cm (8 inch) in diameter.

11. Place the smaller round on a baking sheet. Cover with apricot glaze to within 1 cm (1/2 inch) of the edge. Spread the glaze with the almond cream in an even layer.

12. Moisten the edge of the pastry. Lay the larger round on top and press the edges to seal.

13. Make 5 curved cuts in the pastry lid, radiating from the centre at equal intervals.

14. Brush the surface with the egg and water mixture. Let the pastry rest for 20 minutes.

15. Set the oven at 190°C (375°F) gas 5. Bake the pastry for 30 minutes or until risen and set.

16. Dust the surface with icing sugar and return to the oven for 5 minutes to glaze. Cool on the baking sheet.

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