Stilton, Leek & Potato Pithivier
PUBLISHED: 10:50 29 January 2014 | UPDATED: 12:18 15 April 2015
With such miserable weather in the county it’d be a crime not to indulge in a little comfort food, especially when it’s so easy to make and looks good enough for the Bake Off.
Happy New Year folks! I know it’s exceedingly late of me but I haven’t posted on Herefordshire Life since my Christmas Pudding recipe back in December. And what a blustery and wet start to the year we’ve experienced so far, though thankfully without too much cold and a distinct absence of the white stuff.
Today I have for you my January comfort food nirvana of a Pithivier recipe. Pithiviers are a classic French round pie with a hearty filling packed between two disks of puff pastry. Traditionally prettily decorated with a scored sunshine pattern and a scalloped edge, they can be sweet or savoury. Pithiviers shot to popularity in the UK following the season before last’s Great British Bake Off, ever since which I’ve been experimenting with a few savoury combinations. And this anglicised version with Stilton, potato and seasonal leeks happens to be my favourite so far, so I do hope you enjoy it too.
I like to leave the skins on my potatoes and scrub them well instead, but I do buy organically, from local Skylark Organics (http://skylarkorganics.co.uk/) actually who I get all my fruit and veggies from. Feel free to peel if you prefer. I use, and adore, local Brockmanton Rapeseed Oil (http://www.brockmantonoils.co.uk/) in most of my cooking these days. If you haven’t tried a cold pressed rapeseed then I urge you to give it a whirl, not only does it have an appealing nuttiness but it’s naturally rich in healthy Omegas 3, 6 and 9 and Vitamin E. Billed as one of the healthiest fats available it even has less than half the saturated fat of olive oil. Plus it’s British and local, incredibly versatile in the kitchen, has a high smoke point and happens to make the best homemade oven chips ever! What’s not to love?
Stilton, Leek & Potato Pithivier
500g potatoes, left whole if small, halved or quartered if larger, skin on or off
2 tablespoons rapeseed or olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
500g leeks, very well washed and finely sliced
1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves
2 tablespoons crème fraiche, full or reduced fat
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
salt and pepper
500g block puff pastry (or homemade rough puff if you prefer)
a little plain flour for rolling
150g Stilton, crumbled or chopped
1) Cook the potatoes until tender. Drain, cool for a few minutes then slice into 5mm thick slices and set aside.
2) Meanwhile heat the oil in a large frying or sauté pan and sauté the onion and leeks together for 15 minutes until very soft. Add the thyme about half way through the cooking time. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
3) Preheat your oven to 200°c/180°c fan/gas mark 6.
4) Lightly whisk one of the eggs in a small bowl then whisk in the crème fraiche, mustard and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
5) Stir the eggy mix into the slightly cooled leeks and set aside.
6) Roll out your pastry on a floured surface and cut out two large round disks, one of which should be 2 cm wider than the other. You can use a large dinner plate (about 28cm) as a template.
7) Place the smaller round of pastry on a lined baking tray.
8) Layer the potatoes over the middle of pastry disk, leaving a 1.5cm edge around the sides. Season generously with salt and pepper.
9) Scatter over the crumbled Stilton and then spoon on the leek mix.
10) Lightly whisk the remaining egg and brush the pastry edge with it.
11) Carefully place the larger pastry round over the top and press the sides down firmly. Crimp the edges in to a scallop pattern.
12) Poke a small hole in the middle of the pithivier so that steam can escape and lightly score the top of the pastry with a sharp knive to resemble a sunshine pattern, trying not to cut all the way through.
13) Brush all over with the beaten egg.
14) Place in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes until the pastry’s golden and cooked. Remove and cool on a wire rack for a few minutes until ready to serve.
Delicious served a little warm with a crisp green salad.
See you in February,