A Pithiviers is a type of cake or large pastry made in France.
It is usually about 10 inches (25 cm) wide, with a top and buttom crust made of puff pastry, with a dense almond paste (“Crème d’amandes) filling inside. The top is rounded and higher than the edges, and slashed, typically in a starburst pattern.
To make a Pithiviers, you roll out the puff pastry and cut two rounds to fit your pan. You line the bottom of your cake pie with puff pastry (just the bottom, not the sides.) You then put the Crème d’amandes on, spreading it all around the middle leaving about an inch (2 1/2 cm) clear on all sides, then you put the top layer of pastry on.
Wet the edges of the pastry and seal them together, trimming away any excess with a knife. Brush the top with a beaten egg yolk, and score the top. At this point, some like to chill it 15 to 30 to 60 minutes. Then bake for about 30 minutes.
There is also a traditional version that uses candied fruits on top, instead of a top crust.
Some variations now exist, such as savoury ones, or apple ones.
Pithiviers can be served with a bean or a charm in it on Twelfth Night as a “galette du roi.”
The origin of this pastry is credited to the town of Pithiviers in the Orleans area of France.
Julia Child once glazed the top of hers and carmelized it with a blow torch.