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Pithiviers


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#31 Carrot Top

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 08:31 PM

I used to use the Lenotre recipe and the only difference I can see is that he puts a bit of rum in the almond pastry cream. Eh. Nothing wrong with an added bit of rum, at all. :biggrin:

There are two recipes for Pithiviers in Lenotre - the usual one is flat with a topping of only confectioner's sugar. The other is the Dutch Pithiviers that has the dome shape, more refrigeration time before baking, and which has the added topping of sugar, almond powder and egg white.

#32 gfron1

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 12:51 PM

I wanted to re-visit the puff pastry baking issue. There are a variety of links in eGullet but I didn't see any that specifically addressed the baking process. I'm at altitude which is always a consideration. I preheated the oven at least 1 hour. I keep a baking stone on the bottom shelf of the oven at all times. I baked on the middle shelf. In the end, I baked a full 30 minutes longer than the recipe called for and it still wasn't completely done.

Are there specific recommendations for the home baker on baking puff pastry?
Rack height?
Testing methods?

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#33 Carrot Top

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 01:15 PM

My best guess (based on the problems you had, particularly the butter seepage) would be that the oven was not hot enough to start off with.

Do you have an accurate oven thermometer that you can put in the oven to test the temp? Home ovens often are not too great at calibration.

#34 chefpeon

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 07:21 PM

I always start my puff off at about 425 for the first 10-15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 for the rest of the bake. I would agree with Carrot Top that your oven wasn't quite hot enough....hee hee.....one would think with the thinner air your puff would puff better than at sea level!

#35 gfron1

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 06:25 AM

Thanks for this feedback...BTW, since my pithivier is gone, that means I ate a pound of butter in 2 days :shock:

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#36 janeer

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 07:50 PM

I adore pithiviers. I make an almond pithiviers from a recipe I got in cooking school. I've also made the ham pithiviers in Julia Childand Company. I never see it in bakeries these days, unfortunately, and I don't have time to make it often--holidays, mostly.Little Compton Mornings

#37 miladyinsanity

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 02:23 AM

Thanks for this feedback...BTW, since my pithivier is gone, that means I ate a pound of butter in 2 days  :shock:

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Not bad, Rob!

:laugh:

PS I shall make one too and see whether I can out-eat you.
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#38 Tepee

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Posted 21 July 2007 - 10:43 PM

I asked hubby if he wanted a pithiviers or tiramisu as our anniversary dessert and he chose pithiviers. Great, I hadn't made it before but has fallen in love with pictures of it for a long time. So, I dove into it....googled and, out popped this link. How timely. I cheated and used store-bought pastry. I didn't seal the edge well and some of the filling leaked out causing the pastry to look uneven. And, sigh....I didn't get straight edges. However, it was very delicious and rich. With cheaty pastry, it isn't difficult to make at all. Must work at getting the sides right. Tks for looking.

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(Edited image link)

Edited by Tepee, 22 July 2007 - 05:42 PM.

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#39 Carrot Top

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Posted 22 July 2007 - 07:00 AM

Ah, Tepee. Even with all the imperfections you claim above :biggrin: it turned out gasp-producing. My thirteen year old son just walked by the computer and saw the photo and almost ran to my side, with a huge "Oh!". :laugh:

I can taste it now, looking at your picture.

Fabulous. :smile:

#40 Tepee

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Posted 22 July 2007 - 08:46 AM

Thanks, Karen. I really must try it again...soon. I think it's worth putting on some lbs for. Mental note to self: Start with higher heat.

Psst...I've got a 13-yo daughter.
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#41 Carrot Top

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Posted 22 July 2007 - 10:54 AM

Thanks, Karen. I really must try it again...soon. I think it's worth putting on some lbs for. Mental note to self: Start with higher heat.

Psst...I've got a 13-yo daughter.

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That's always a problem with puff pastry things - perfect temperature from start to end - isn't it.

Hmmm. If your daughter learns to make a Pithiviers, and my son does too, then the only thing they would have to argue about is whose would get served first. :biggrin: :wink:

#42 miladyinsanity

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 09:29 AM

I'm looking at the Torres recipe. Can someone give me a vague idea of how much puff pastry I need for that recipe? Preferably in weight, since I'm making my own puff--I decided this would be a good time to try Hermes's Inside-Out puff.

I'm seriously thinking of making mini ones, because it ups the puff to filling ratio.
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#43 John DePaula

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 10:15 AM

I'm looking at the Torres recipe. Can someone give me a vague idea of how much puff pastry I need for that recipe? Preferably in weight, since I'm making my own puff--I decided this would be a good time to try Hermes's Inside-Out puff.

I'm seriously thinking of making mini ones, because it ups the puff to filling ratio.

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I think that 500g should be more than enough for an 8" tart, which is what I usually make. (Bo Friberg recommends 625g for a 10" tart.) Of course, any puff that you have left over can be used for a variety of smaller projects or frozen.
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#44 miladyinsanity

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 12:50 PM

I'm looking at the Torres recipe. Can someone give me a vague idea of how much puff pastry I need for that recipe? Preferably in weight, since I'm making my own puff--I decided this would be a good time to try Hermes's Inside-Out puff.

I'm seriously thinking of making mini ones, because it ups the puff to filling ratio.

View Post

I think that 500g should be more than enough for an 8" tart, which is what I usually make. (Bo Friberg recommends 625g for a 10" tart.) Of course, any puff that you have left over can be used for a variety of smaller projects or frozen.

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Great, thanks!
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#45 Preserver

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 11:34 PM

MMMM i love the Jaques Torres recipe. I have made it a bunch of times and alway's had rave reviews on it. just make damn sure that the oven has consistent heat and also "DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN"..... hehehe, and the corn syrup makes the difference

#46 Carrot Top

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 09:55 AM

I just came across a recipe for Prune Pithiviers in Dorie Greenspan's "Sweet Times", filled with a prune Armagnac pecan blend. Interesting.

The ham one from Julia I've had and it is good but the concept of other fillings has never quite sunk in with me and Pithiviers. Hard to walk away from that indescribably delicious almond one. :sad:

But this one sounds good, too.

#47 maurdel

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 11:13 AM

"As smoke pours out of my oven from the butter seepage...what do people do to control this problem?  "



I have had this happen to me with puff pastry, though not every time.
I have come to believe it depends on the quality of the butter rather than technique.
Maybe there is more water in the butter or something.

What butters are you all using for successful pastry?
I prefer to use organic but I'm not sure if the ones I use are best for puff.

#48 gfron1

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 11:19 AM

I typically use Kerrygold or Lurpak. Sometimes I have an imported French butter. For the pith above I used Kerrygold.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#49 maurdel

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 01:30 PM

I typically use Kerrygold or Lurpak.  Sometimes I have an imported French butter.  For the pith above I used Kerrygold.

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Do you notice a difference in them? As I said I usually use an organic, so maybe Horizon or Org Valley and I think that they do have some noticeable water which releases. It does seem to vary though.

I have only tried an imported high fat butter once with puff pastry and I found that I had no smoky, slimy mess. So I will probably try that again next time. (which won't be for a very long time since it is high-summer in the South and I couldn't imagine trying to roll pastry much less bake it right now)

Someone once mentioned that using parchment under puff pastry causes more smoke and perhaps water release as it does not allow the bottom to get as hot as possible.

Has anyone else had trouble with parchment under puff pastry?

#50 Preserver

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 09:49 AM

I typically use Kerrygold or Lurpak.  Sometimes I have an imported French butter.  For the pith above I used Kerrygold.

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you said that you were doing altitude baking, have you tried baking the pithvier on the stone itself? maybe that will help with the temp problem and have the lift that you want. i noticed that the puff was alil on the blond side... do you know what happened? what temp did you start it with? some recipe's call for 350 but i generally start puff at 400 that helps alot with the lift and color. then i would brush corn syrup on the top and bake it 10miins more... hope this helps

#51 fooey

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 05:57 PM

I'm making Pithiviers. I need advice/help on sealing the two puff pastry layers.

If you're not familiar with it, it's basically:

Puff Pastry: TOP LAYER
Frangipani : MIDDLE LAYER
Puff Pastry: BOTTOM LAYER

The puff pastry layers are usually sealed at the edges with egg wash, but it's not working for me. The filling is a mound in the center and there's usually a vent hole cut in the top.

One of my unbaked ones

http://www.flickr.co...oey/2090210578/

Here's one of my less-than-successful baked ones (if you look closely, you can see where the filling leaked out onto the parchment):

http://www.flickr.co...in/photostream/

I've made three of these so far, and the filling always leaks out. The first time was a disaster, the second and third less so.

Does anyone have advice on how to properly seal the puff pastry layers so the filling does not leak out?

Note 1: I freeze them before I bake them. Is that a potential cause of the problem, the extreme cold renders the egg wash seal useless?
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Brünnhilde, so help me, if you don't get out of the oven and empty the dishwasher, you won't be allowed anywhere near the table when we're flambeéing the Cherries Jubilee.

#52 alanamoana

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 06:06 PM

egg wash

oops...

i just read your post a little more closely...you are using egg wash...

well, here's my tip anyway:

when you use the egg wash, use it kind of like epoxy. in other words, brush the entire bottom with egg wash and let it sort of dry/get tacky while you're spreading the frangipane. in the mean time, brush the top piece of puff with egg wash (on the side that will seal the edges) and allow that to get tacky as well. when you stick the two pieces together, they will form a better seal than if you just use egg wash and right away stick the top piece on the bottom piece.

a nice high temp oven to start also helps. it helps to set up the frangipane and helps to create a nice dramatic rise in the puff. you can always turn the oven down to finish the baking.

Edited by alanamoana, 11 December 2007 - 07:08 PM.


#53 fooey

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 06:15 PM

The egg wash for this recipe is "beaten egg", that's all.

I've tried it, but it leaks terribly.

I tried another that's (2 egg yolks, 1 egg, and 1/4 cup milk) [Torres, Jacques].

That's better, but it still leaks.

I will try this next, unless I get other advice:

(1 large egg yolk) + (1.5 teaspons heavy creme) (Berenbaum, Rose Levy).

Edited by fooey, 11 December 2007 - 06:24 PM.

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#54 alanamoana

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 07:15 PM

i never make a special egg wash...(please see edited post above), but i think it is better if you have a thicker one that is mostly yolks. don't worry about adding cream or anything. that won't really make too much of a difference.

#55 chefpeon

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 08:14 PM

I learned early on that egg wash is not a good option for sealing puff pastry.
Use water. Water works wonderfully.

Also make sure you don't "contaminate" the edges that you wish to seal by getting any of the
filling on them.

After you have brushed your edges with water, press the two disks firmly together with the tips
of your fingers. When I say firmly, I really mean firmly. Almond filling is a notorious leaker.
For a more decorative look, draw the tip of a paring knife inward toward the center of the pithivier, between your fingers as you press the dough down. This also helps in sealing. :smile:

#56 Serj

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 08:28 PM

When this happened to me at school it was because when I was cutting the side of the pithivier, to make the rounded parts of the edge, I was cutting too close to the center, where the almond paste was. I just pulled out my notes - to put the almond paste down, we piped it with a 1/2" pastry tip, leaving at LEAST 3-4cm clearance between the edge of the almond paste and the innermost tips of the border. Incidently, they insisted we seal the two layers with water, not eggwash - and freeze it for 4-5 minutes (although that was 4-5 minutes in the blast freezer, probably 1/2 hour in the regular freezer), and then refrigerate it until ready to bake.

Just sharing my experience! =)

#57 gfron1

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 09:24 PM

I just brushed with water and it sealed fine.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#58 fooey

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 03:50 PM

Water did the trick, me thinks.

I also constructed differently, cutting both layers at once, after the seal is complete.

The old way: roll pastry layer 1 square, cut layer into round, add filling, brush perimeter with EGGWASH for seal, roll pastry layer 2 a little larger than 1, square, cut layer into round, place layer 2 on top of filling, make a mess trying to get the seal just right, cut vent hole, do pattern work with pearing knife.

This time: roll pastry layer 1 square, (do not cut) add filling to center, brush perimeter with WATER for seal, roll pastry layer 2 square, cut vent hole in layer 2, place layer 2 on top of filling, seal (with water, seals perfectly), THEN cut both layers at once.

This was much easier and the water worked very well.

Conclusion: Use water to seal puff pastry.

Another thing that helped was chilling the frangipani. If it's at room temperature, pastry layer 2's weight causes the filling to spread to the edge...and that's really what makes a mess of the seal.

For cutting, I just remove the bottom from a aluminum tart pan and turn it upside down. I like the pattern it makes, even if it isn't the more traditional pattern of the Pithiviers.

Oh, as for cutting the vent hole before you place it on top, that really helps by letting trapped air escape through the top. Otherwise, you end up with big pockets of air (don't laugh: that I usually remove with a hypodermic needle).

I'll post pictures of the unbaked Pithiviers once I get them off my camera. I'm not going to bake it, as I can't possibly eat yet another Pithiviers.

Thank you all.

Edited by fooey, 12 December 2007 - 03:51 PM.

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Brünnhilde, so help me, if you don't get out of the oven and empty the dishwasher, you won't be allowed anywhere near the table when we're flambeéing the Cherries Jubilee.

#59 fooey

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 04:55 PM

Two lessons I learned from previous posts:

1. Start with a high oven temperature
2. Bake a long time and then bake some more, or you'll end with soggy dough or subpar puff in the pastry.

More detail of these two from research (Beranbaum, Torres) as**:

1. Oven rack at lowest level; baking stone on rack.
2. Preheat to 500 F for 20 minutes before baking.

CAUTION

[Be very careful to avoid heat blast from the oven]
[Use pizza paddle or bread peel AND oven mits for next step]

3. Put Pithiviers and parchment on baking stone and immediately turn oven down to 425 F (you will lose 50 F just by opening the oven).
4. Bake for 20 minutes at 425 F.
5. Cover loosely with foil to prevent Pithiviers from browning too fast.
6. Turn oven down to 375 F and bake for 45 minutes more.
7. Turn oven off.
8. Prop oven door open with wooden spoon.
9. Allow galette to cool in oven for 15 - 20 minutes.

**Note: These directions are for a 11" Pithiviers made with 650 g (1 lb, 7 oz) puff pastry (cut into two layers) and a generous amount of frangipani filling (140 g unsalted butter, 145 g superfine sugar, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons rum, zest of 1 lemon, 140 g ground almonds, 1 tablespoon flour)
Fooey's Flickr Food Fotography
Brünnhilde, so help me, if you don't get out of the oven and empty the dishwasher, you won't be allowed anywhere near the table when we're flambeéing the Cherries Jubilee.

#60 fooey

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 01:49 PM

And here it is. Sorry, but I was having a bad camera day. :unsure: :wacko:

My roommate said, "Oooh, cool UFO! When do we get to eat it?" :biggrin:

Posted Image

Edited by fooey, 14 December 2007 - 01:33 PM.

Fooey's Flickr Food Fotography
Brünnhilde, so help me, if you don't get out of the oven and empty the dishwasher, you won't be allowed anywhere near the table when we're flambeéing the Cherries Jubilee.