Festive Pithivier

The countdown to Christmas has begun and the cooks amongst us are starting to plan the celebratory food. My folks adore homemade mince pies (I have to tell them off when they start snaffling the ones I make for my classes!)  instead of Christmas pud, so here’s a huge sharing mince pie in the shape of a Pithivier which is a concoction thought to originate from Pithiviers in France. I’ve added walnuts and orange zest to the original recipe and have kept the traditional spiral decoration. For an extra glam look you could add a circle of nuts and glace fruits.

Waste not, want not! Layer up the left over puff pastry and re roll. Use to make a few mince pies, or spread with tomato paste, grated cheese and a slice of ham, roll up like a swiss roll, cut into circles and bake for a savoury snack.


(Serves 6-8)

  • 1 large Bramley apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 200g mincemeat (I used supermarket own, but feel free to use a luxury version)
  • 40g walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 50g dried apricots, chopped
  • Grated zest of 1-2 oranges (according to taste)
  • 500 g packet of butter puff pastry
  • 100g marzipan
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp apricot jam for glazing (I always buy one of those mini pots)


  • Pre heat your oven to 200C/180Fan/Gas6
  • In a large bowl, mix together the chopped apple, mincemeat, walnuts, dried apricots and orange zest.
  • Roll out the pastry to the thickness of a pound coin (mine measured roughly 32cm x 42cm.) Using a 20cm plate or tin as a guide, cut out a circle and place on a baking tray. Cut another slightly bigger circle, guiding the knife around, ½ cm outside the plate or tin.
  • Spoon the fruit and nut mixture into the centre of the smaller circle, leaving a 2cm edge of pastry. I pushed all the fruit and nuts together tightly in a hump. Roll out the marzipan to a 15cm circle and place on top of the fruit.
  • Carefully place the bigger pastry circle on top, pressing firmly around the edge to seal. Pithivier, DemoMake a scalloped edge by pressing down with your thumb and pulling the pasty in with the tip of a knife and repeating all the way round. Next, make a small air hole in the centre and with a sharp knife make light curved strokes spiralling out from the centre.
  • Brush with egg wash and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden. Allow to cool then brush with warmed, sieved apricot jam.

This is lovely served either cold or warmed through, accompanied by some cream or Greek yogurt. Merry Christmas!

Pithivier Baked