Baked almond Pithivier

June 2, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Pastry chef Roy Shvartzapel of Cyrus in Healsburg shares his recipe for impressive carmelized puff pastry.

Recipe: Baked almond Pithivier

  • Store Bought Puff Pastry
  • Almond Cream: (Makes filling for 4 Pithiviers)
  • 1 lb. Butter
  • 1lb. Sugar
  • 4 Whole Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Corn Starch
  • 1lb. Almond Flour
  • 1Tbsp. + 1-tsp. Brown Rum

Place butter in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and soften sufficiently before adding sugar. Once softened add sugar and cream until light and fluffy. Add eggs slowly, scraping down the bowl periodically. Add the cornstarch and almond flour. At this point, turn the mixer on high speed and beat for 5 minutes until the color becomes very light and the mixture develops a very light texture. Lastly, add the brown rum.

On a piece of parchment paper, draw circles with a marker or pencil that are 5-6 inches in diameter. This will serve as the template for forming the almond cream into the necessary shape. Once the circles are drawn, turn parchment over and use the backside. Weigh the almond cream into 450g portions and place within each of the circles. Using an offset spatula smooth out the cream within the circle to form a dome. Cover each dome with a piece of plastic and using your hands finishing forming the almond cream into a dome. Place in freezer until ready to assemble pithivier.

Glaze:

  • 1/4 Cup Corn Syrup
  • 1.5 Tbsp. Water

Put the corn syrup and water in a small sauce pan and bring to one boil. Take off heat and reserve.

Egg Wash:

  • 2 Yolks
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 Cup Milk

Mix all ingredients together and reserve.

Cut the store-bought puff pastry dough in ½ and roll each ½ into an 9 -inch circle. Each circle will be about 1/8-inch thick. Place 1 of the circles on a parchment paper-covered baking sheet. Brush the circle with egg wash and place the frozen mound of almond cream in the center. Place the second circle of puff pastry over the almond cream making sure to remove any air while sealing it to the bottom layer of dough. Brush the top of the pithivier with egg wash. Using a sharp knife give the pithivier a fluted edge. The completed pithivier should look like a flower. Using the tip of your knife or wooden skewer, make a small hole in the top layer at the center of the almond cream. This allows steam to escape during baking. A pithivier has a pattern scored into the top layer which serves as its "signature".

Using a very sharp paring knife or exacto knife, score a curved line that begins at the top of the mound (where the vent hole is) and ends at the bottom of the mound. Repeat this line every ½-inch around the circumference of the mound, but be careful not to cut through the top layer and into the almond cream. Let the pithivier rest in the refrigerator for 2 hours before baking.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake pithivier for about 30 minutes, until it begins to brown. Pull from oven and brush with the corn syrup glaze. Place back in the oven and bake for another 20 minutes. Be careful to not under bake or it will collapse. The baked pithivier should display a flaky and tender puff dough that has a brilliant shine.

Allow to cool until just warm before slicing with a serrated knife.

About Cyrus:
Zagat rated Cyrus as the highest rated restaurant in Northern California, placing it atop heralded restaurants in San Francisco and surrounding wine country. In case you aren't familiar, Cyrus is the dream restaurant of Chef Douglas Keane and legendary maitre'd Nick Peyton who created a dining oasis in a quaint wine country town. Guests create their own prix-fixe menu or can dine via chef's tasting menu in accordance with his whims. Douglas' cuisine is rooted in French tradition with modern global accents and an emphasis on seasonality.

Over the summer, the team at Cyrus created an additional kitchen with specific areas for butchering and baking and they launched Cyrus Private which delivers the Cyrus dining experience into your home or event space complete with plates and glassware. In addition, Douglas has fostered unparalleled relationships with local farmers and purveyors so that he offers his guests at Cyrus unique ingredients and preparations which often star produce from his own orchards.

For more information, visit www.cyrusrestaurant.com or call 707.433.3311.


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