French Cooking | Gâteau Pithiviers – sweet French almond pie

Try to resist this delicious enclosed puff pastry and almond pie recipe from our chefs in France. Go on, we dare you!

The classic gateau Pithiviers is an absolute stunner. And don’t be misled by the pie part, this puff pastry dessert is delicate, sweet and a firm taste bud favourite.

The name ‘Pithiviers’ is after the French town where it is thought to originate from and the filling is often a sweet almond frangipane.

Many versions (and fillings!) of this recipe can be found but this one comes from chef David who runs the ever popular French cookery holiday in Gascony, South-West France. It’s a traditional version of the recipe but David gives it a regional twist by adding a splash of Armagnac.

Let’s get stuck in…


500g puff pastry
50g butter
115g sifted icing sugar
115g ground almonds
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp rum or Armagnac


1. Roll out two 25cm/10in rounds from the puff pastry.

2. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar and slowly add the egg yolks. Once they are combined, mix together all of the other ingredients too.

3. Using a circular pastry cutter cut semi-circles around the outer edge of one of the rounds of pastry.

4. On the same round, spread the filling over the pastry leaving a border of 2.5cm/1in all around.

5. Cut the other pastry round to the same size as the inner edge of the semi-circles.

6. Brush the egg whites onto the inner side of the semi-circles and centralise the top round of pastry over the filling.

7. With a knife, gently mark the semi-circles with a criss-cross pattern.

8. Again with a knife, mark curved lines 5mm apart, from the centre to the edge.

9. Egg wash the whole gâteau lightly and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees centigrade for 25 minutes until golden brown.

Once you have tried your hand at making this pie, why not immerse yourself in the delights of French desserts on a cookery holiday in France?

Or feel free to browse our full range of cookery holidays here.

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