Pithivier a great French food staple
Creamy ham and cheese Pithivier (made with an easy home made puff pastry). A deliciously addictive Pithivier filled with a creamy bechamel, ham and cheese.
- 500 grams /1.1 pound home made easy puff pastry
- 3 to 4 slices of ham medium thickness
- 80 grams / 2.8 oz grated cheese. I used comte but you can use any cheese, even blue cheese if you like.
- 1 portion of bechamel.
- Egg wash – egg with a bit of salt.
For the bechamel:
- 25 grams / 0.8 oz butter
- 25 grams / 0.8 oz flour
- 250 ml / 1 cup whole milk (full cream)
- Salt for seasoning
- Pepper for seasoning
- Nutmeg for seasoning.
- To make the bechamel, melt the butter in a pan on medium heat and stir in the flour, reduce the heat and cook the mix for 2 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to extremely low (or even turn it off all together). Add a portion of the milk and whisk in, then whisk in the rest of the milk.
- Raise the heat to medium or medium low and keep stirring until the sauce thickens. In the course of it doing so, season with salt and pepper and a little grated nutmeg. Keep whisking until the sauce comes to a boil, reduce the heat and leave to boil slowly for about 2 minutes.
- Taste the sauce and if necessary adjust the seasoning. Then reserve the sauce by spreading on a cold tray which should then be placed in the fridge to cool down (after completely covering the sauce closely in cling wrap so that it doesn’t crust).
- Preheat the oven (fan forced) to 180 degrees C (356F).
- On a surface dusted with flour, roll out the puff pastry to a thickness of about 4mm (0.15 inches).
- Cut out a circle of pastry of about 18cm (7 inches) diameter, and then cut a second circle of a slightly larger diameter – say an extra 4mm – and reserve the larger portion in the fridge.
- Place the smaller piece on a greased baking tray.
- Ensuring always that a strip of about 2cm (3/4 inch) width in from the circumference of the circle remains clean and with nothing on it, place some ham on the pastry followed by about a tablespoon of the bechamel spread on top of the ham and then sprinkle some grated cheese over the bechamel. Repeat the process twice.
- Brush the outside 2cm of the pastry with egg wash (making sure not too much is used).
- Remove the other pastry portion from the fridge and place over filling and firmly press into the egg wash so that it becomes sealed to the bottom portion. Cut away the outer strip of the sealed pastry to leave just the sealed pithivier.
- Carefully indent the circumference of the pithivier with the back of a knife to scallop the edge.
- Brush the pastry with egg wash and if desired decorate with spiral lines before placing into the pre-heated oven and cook for 30 minutes.
Pithivier learn how to make it with this video tutorial: