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1 pound
Puff Pastry (see “Bakery”)
egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Almond Cream:
4 ounce s
blanched almonds
4 ounce s
1 1/2 tablespoon s
all-purpose flour
4 ounce s
unsalted butter, cut into several pieces
1 tablespoon
almond essence or almond extract
  1. First, make the Almond Cream: In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the almonds, sugar, and flour. Pulse the machine until the mixture reaches a mealy consistency. A piece at a time, pulse in the butter. One at a time, pulse in the eggs. Continue to process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour before use.  
  2. To assemble the Pithiviers: Roll out the puff pastry to a uniform thickness of about 1/8 inch. Using a plate or pie plate as a guide, cut out one 10-inch and one 11-inch pastry circle. Place the smaller circle on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the edge of the smaller circle with the egg wash. Spread the almond cream in the center, leaving the outer 2 inches of the circle clean. Cover the filling with the larger circle and lightly press down all along the edges to seal the two circles loosely. Brush the top with egg wash. Loosely cover with waxed paper or parchment paper and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.  
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 ºF.  
  4. Using the dull edge of a paring knife, press it against the edges of the pastry in a repeating pattern to completely seal the top and bottom together. Decorate the top pastry by lightly scoring it with the knife tip from the center towards the edge in half-circles spaced about ½ inch apart. Cut a few 1-inch vents in the top, too. Transfer the baking sheet to the preheated oven and bake until the pastry is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Serve warm, cut into wedges.
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About this Recipe

Filled with rich almond cream, this classic French pastry is named for the town where it reputedly originated.

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