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August 1, 2014
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Food
Pithviers (Almond Puff Pastry Cake)

A tiny scoop of French vanilla ice cream makes a decadent addition, but this cake is a beauty on its own.

1 pound prepared puff pastry dough, thawed according to package directions

1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
Filling:
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup caster (superfine) sugar
3 egg yolks
1 cup finely ground blanched almonds
1 to 2 drops almond extract
1 tablespoon rum

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Make the filling: Beat butter and sugar together until soft and pale, then add the egg yolks, one at a time. Beat in the almonds, almond extract and rum until evenly combined.

Divide the pastry dough in half and roll out both pieces into 10-inch squares. Place one piece on a large baking sheet, spoon the almond filling into the center and use a spatula to spread it out into an 8-inch circle.

Brush around the filling with a little water and place the second pastry square on top, pressing down around the filling to seal together. Use a plate, or a large tart ring (the outer ring of a 9-inch quiche pan does just fine), as a guide and cut through the pastry to form a 9-inch-round pie. Gently knock up and scallop the edges of the pie.

Beat the egg yolk and milk together and brush over the pie. Use the tip of a very sharp knife to score a curved spoke pattern over the top of the pie, working from the center outwards. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the pastry is puffed up and golden. Leave to cool slightly on a wire rack and serve warm. Makes 12 servings.

"The Impressionists' Table" by Pamela Todd

Thursday, August 02, 2001

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