Steps sounded behind me. I turned. Runa caught up with us. “Matilda said you would be out here. That child is odd.”
More like unsettling, until you got to know her. “She’s an animal mage. They are unique. Did something bad happen?”
“You mean in addition to everything else? No.”
We both watched Shadow sniffing at cracks in the asphalt.
“Whatever is cooking in the kitchen smells amazing. What are we having?”
“Lemon roasted chicken with rosemary baked potatoes, chive butter, kale and brussels sprout salad with tahini maple dressing, and an apple pithivier.”
Runa gave me a long look.
“I cook when I’m stressed out. It sounds more complicated than it is. In reality, it’s mostly season things, dump them in a baking pan, and stick them in the oven.”
“What’s a P.T.V.A.?”
“It’s a French pie-cake made with puff pastry. The traditional version uses rum and almonds, but nobody likes rum, so I make mine with apples.”
I learned about pithiviers by watching the reruns of the Great British Baking Show. Behold, you too can have an apple pithivier. Here is mine.
Here is the recipe. Mine isn’t as pretty as hers, but it was delicious.
Mmmm. Apples. Looks fantastic to me.
Kris Ten-Eyck says
yum. And I thought dumping homemade applesauce on some puff pastry and folding over the edges was the yummiest use of the puff pastry.
Yummy! Looks delicious
Mmm that looks yummy! I like anything that has puff pastry.
As always, thanks for the snippet. Can’t wait to read the whole book!
Lora Tyler says
Wow! How beautiful! Thank you for the recipe….. BTW, I love your little snippets.
Love it love it love it!!
When I first graduated from college (waaaay back in ‘92), moved to a big new city, and took my fancy software engineering job, there was a bakery near my apartment that had pithiviers. I had never had one before and they were magical! I’ve always been uptight with money, but whenever I had the rare morning where I felt particularly adult and fancy, I’d stop in for a latte and a pithivier. Just thinking about that still gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling.
That poor count will have no chance…
Hahaha, so true!
Love it! My sister is an avid watcher of the GBBS (yes, we have acronymed it). I will have to get her to make a pithivier.
Tasha A. says
I LOVE GBBO!! it’s such a fun show!
Thanks for the snippet!
I LOVE Mary and Paul. I want to try and make everything from that show. but then i remind myself that i also want to lose weight this year… lol
Posting a pithiviers recipe now is actually very seasonal since it is the same recipe as « la galette des rois » which is traditionally eaten on the Epiphany (1st Sunday of January). The difference is that there is a small porcelain figurine inside. You portion out the galette according to the number of people at the table. The youngest goes under the table and chooses who gets which slice. Then whoever gets the figurine in their slice is crowned king or queen and chooses someone else at the table as their queen or king and they both don a golden cardboard (provided with the cake by the bakery). Nowadays bakers do this cake throughout the month of January so you get multiple chances to be king or queen.
I was in France this year only until the 2nd so I was only able to do it once unfortunately!
Lea Hynes says
I was in France until the 3rd & forgot to get one for my trip home 🙁
You may be able to get them at Paul which I know is in some places in the US now. Just be careful not to break your teeth on the figurine!
Margot D. says
One time I heard a story about a dude who never, in his whole kid-life and teen-life and then early-adult-life, got la fève, and so, realizing this he went to the closet bakery to get himself one – obviously if he ate the whole thing by himself, he WOULD BE king.
There was no fève in it.
(Sorry, I’m dying of laughter every time)
Backery must have run out and didn’t tell anyone.
This tradition reminds me if the King Cake that is served around the Mardi Gras season in Louisiana. That cake contains something, usually a baby figurine, baked inside.
Looks yummy! I’d take the rum over the almonds though…. I”m not sure how you can do a swap out of rum for apples though.
I wouldn’t object to trying it though!
Well, having clicked the link and read the provided reference material, I understand the swap out more but I would want to do a side-by-side comparison…. and maybe some rum-soaked dried apples?
At this point, in this week, I’d definitely keep the rum in this, maybe double it, lol!
maybe Rum on the side?
I’ve never been much of a cook. I do it because my family needs to eat but I don’t really enjoy it. However, we’re in the middle of a massive remodel and everything on our main floor will be new from the rafters to the subfloor, including the kitchen. (I keep reminding myself it’s going to be worth the hassle). Now that the space is really “ours” for the first time, I hope to learn how to really cook and enjoy it, and I think I will add this recipe to my list of things to try. So, thanks! Should be fun. ?
Snippet and a cool recipe. Awesome, thank you!
I can cook, but baking is very precise and I am not . I like to change recipes, what if I add this or substitute this . And you can’t do this with baking. But this looks scrumptious and probably smells wonderful. I envy bakers.
I am so happy Matilda will be in this book. She is very special, and anything you write with animals is going to be unique. When Matilda was kidnapped and rescued was one of your best dramatic , thrilling scenes in the book. Second only to the ferret heist.
And when Nevada and Rogan were trapped underground in the magic circle . Freezing to death and saved by Rogan andNevada working together and a piece of chalk. I believe that was my favorite dramatic moment…
Actually you *can* swap things in and out with baking, but it takes some experimentation unless you’re a good chemist. A friend gave me her biscuit recipe (American biscuits, not the British definition) which turned out heavier than I wanted. It took me three trials after the initial batch to get to what I had in mind. Just take notes on every trial so that once you’ve got it, you can remember what you did.
…unless you’re a good chemist…
What’s that quote? Cooking is art and baking is chemistry? I’m a terrible baker, but then I always sucked at lab work (I was fine on the theoretical side. Just crap in the lab).
Patricia Schlorke says
I cook and bake. With baking, if I haven’t made the receipe at all, I follow the original receipe step by step. If I baked something over and over, I will switch out flavors or something else. Example: in chocolate cake (whether from a box cake mix or from scratch), I put orange extract instead of vanilla in the cake.
Angela Flannery says
I use sweet orange oil (essential oil) in my chocolate cake and my brownies. Also added it to my oatmeal craisen cookies…so good!
OH heck, if you can cook, you can bake. If baking just doesn’t interest you that much, no sense in bothering, but I am the most slapdash person ever, and my friends all think I’m a great baker. Well, they are my friends, but I always swap out something for something else. Apples or rum, almonds and Calvados etc. Basically if everything going in tastes good, the chances are pretty darn good., so many choices. If it interests you give it another shot. Have fun.I also bake to relax or perhaps, unwind.
trailing wife says
Sure. Pretty much anything baked can be improved by the addition of chocolate chips and/or chopped almonds and/or raisins, whether plumped with water or rum in the microwave. (I highly recommend rum raisins.) There will be an increase in baking time because of the increased volume, but that’s easily handled with several toothpicks to check for doneness.
There’s also an Irish bread called tea brack, for which you soak the raisins in strong tea. It’s fabulous.
Karen the Griffmom says
This is beautiful. I do gallettes, by this gives me an excuse to mess with puff pastry. The local Cub Scout group’s apple pasties don’t cut it. Thanks for the snippet. Anyone else up for a Baylor Family Cookbook? ???
Sign me up!
We just watched that episode! Actually, in the evenings that we were both home and not otherwise occupied* we watched first both John Wick movies, and then went into a GBBS marathon of that season (both while knitting). Which isn’t a bad summation of my sister and my relationship, really…
I don’t know if there’s a way that I could create a puff pastry that would work with our dietary limitations (okay, I suspect no… though maybe by cheating a lot) but I’m getting really inspired on savory biscuits.
* Usually this means I started cooking late, though the braised lamb shanks were totally worth it…
Lea Hynes says
If the dietary limitations are gluten & dairy… I think tesco (if you’re out UK/ireland way) had a ready made puff pastry without those.
Otherwise it’s spend a day experimenting with online recipes until you find one you like & freeze a batch for baking days! Do it with your sister?
I’d be shocked if commercial ones work… (it’s complicated, though my sister and I are pretty similar) but you are correct!
… I’ve mostly been a bread baker, and am notably weak on pastry, but these are things I should play with more now. Though I’m also thinking of cultivating friends and neighbors and getting back to bread baking at least a couple times a month.
John Wick and a reality baking contest…. which one had more carnage???
Food carnage or people carnage? One of the things I like about the GBBS is how *nice* most of the people are (I mean, there’s Paul…) sure, the competition is fierce – but the people are kind, supportive and helpful.
We make a savory pithivier using the Christmas turkey and trimmings leftovers. It tastes amazing and is an easy way to use up leftovers the next day. Layers of thinly sliced turkey, stuffing, sausage and veg stacked up and covered in puff pastry. Mmmm yummy.
That sounds awesome. I wonder how it would be to sub dark chocolate for the apple butter?
Karen the Griffmom says
I vaguely remember reading a recipe for a French-Canadian dish that sounded like this? Help?
Dr Jules were unicorn says
No one likes rum? Exhibit one : the Mojito! End of argument
Angel Mercury says
I read that and shouted “Blasphemy!” in my head. Who doesn’t love rum? More for me then 😛
There are many types/flavors of rum. Different amounts, when you cook with it, will alter the flavor also. You can generally exchange brandy for rum in many recipes. I’ve found people don’t like a strong rum flavor, but like a weaker flavor in baked goods.
I was just thinking of how much I was missing the sweep of th blade installments when we get both a snippet and a recipe! Thank you Author Lords.
Fun french facts :
– A pithivier is a “galette des rois” with a “fève” : some small token of porcelain that is put in the cream, whoever finds it becomes the king or queen
– right now in France we are celebrating epiphany (well on the 6th of January to be more precise but it starts a week before and ends a week after) a season where we eat galette des rois
– there are tons of recipes some with apples, some with raspberries but most with almond cream and no rum (we are not that fond of it either)
Nicholi Gold says
Epiphany is my favourite holiday. 🙂
In the south, Galette des rois is call King Cake and is a big New Orleans/Mardi Gras treat. Whoever finds the baby makes the cake next year.
Ooh, good snippet! The pithivier looks great, I am going to try it. I bet mine is not as pretty, either but the hubs won’t care ☺
Woke up at 4:30am, saw this, and now I’m hungry….. lol
Go back to sleep…. go back to sleep… you don’t need to eat… you don’t need to eat…
Ha…you are not alone in being inspired by GBBS. I went with palmiers over the holidays and a friend of mine made Pru’s mince pies that were done on one of the holiday specials. Your pithivier is impressive and doesn’t look like it has a soggy bottom!!
Thanks for the snippet! Your pithivier looks amazing. 🙂
Cheryl M says
The recipe looks wonderful, I shall need to remember it for a dinner party later this month. And, its nice to know I’m not the only person who stress cooks. ?
Love the Great British Baking Show! I’ve watched all the years, first with Paul and Mary, now with Paul and Prue. I recently found their christmas specials and teaching episodes on Netflix and binge watched over the holidays. I both drool and feel jealous as I cannot have gluten and could not eat 95+% of what they make.
Well done with curves on top. Looks delicious.
Episode I was rewatching last night had a meriange swirl. Realized I might be able to make that one – eith my new standing mixer to beat those egg whites and sugar for the merainge (which i may be misspelling)
Aleta McO says
Almost. ? Meringue. It’s a tricky one!
trailing wife says
The clever people at Cook’s Illustrated looked into modifyimg recipes to meet gluten-free needs. I picked up the cookbook a few years ago so I could bake for one of our collection of acquired “grandmothers”.
I’m a good cook, but that is a lot of work. It may not be that complicated, but it’s time-consuming. Is Catalina working for the agency? If so, where does she find the TIME?
Karen the Griffmom says
You can make crockpot apple butter (easy) or buy it; puff pastry also easily available. There is a variation using almond meal for the filling; given the amount of gluten-free baking material out there, shouldn’t be too hard to source.
Funny thing is I was just staring at some apples on my table thinking I want to make a pie instead of the applesauce I’ve been making lately but I wanted it to be unique and not the general pie that I usually make. Then I go to your blog to see if you put anything since yesterday’s Arizona penal system debacle and you have this awesomeness to share!
Debi Majo says
Looks tasty! Makes my mouth water! I found this in an email today. Now I have to re-read the entire series… again. ?
trailing wife says
I saw that! And for once I hadn’t already bought it, so I could take advantage. 🙂
Thank you for the snippet and recipe ?
Hilarious! I’ve been binge watching the GBBS on Netflix for the past month, I’m totally hooked. I was also hoping to find out how to make a crumpet, but they haven’t covered it yet that I’ve seen. Maybe there’s not enough proofing or meringue involved.
Bah – I am reminded that I was going to try to make crumpets (that worked with our ridiculous list of allergies and other sensitivities*) while I was staying with my sister. I would probably have used King Arthur Flour’s recipes for a start… and then improvised freely, because I’m like that (also, I would have been working with potato and maybe oat flour).
(…anyhow, I’m having a chat with my rather neglected sourdough starter to see if it’s up for being revived and refreshed. I domesticated it, and worked with it for twenty years, but not eating wheat has kind of taken the fun out of things.)
Nicholi Gold says
Thank you for sharing. 🙂
So hungry now…
Thank you for the snippet! Off to see if I have the ingredients for the
Sorry to disappoint you all…
As a french amateur baker, I never saw any recipe or tasted any pithiviers with rum in 40 years…there is generally no alcool with the almond (only bitter almond extract)
The only recipe I know with alcool is with schnapps ( and precisely cherry schnapps).
Isn’t Paul Hollywood from England? He has traveled and baked professionally in several European and Eastern Mediterranean Countries. His books seem to favor Greater British Isles breads and pastries.
Yep, he is from Yorkshire, which means that any of his French recipes are deeply suspicious! Just think about the way the British (including him) have mangled « l’éclair au chocolat », filling it with whipped cream! And I say this with great affection, having married an Englishman and lived in the UK for 25 years…
Oops. It is from Cheshire… near Liverpool… completely different accent!
Better get that right before anybody from Yorkshire comments!
FFS, even I know better, and I mostly don’t do pastry! (Of course, the temptation to eat crème pâtissière with a spoon…)
If you are French or living in France, we have the tv adaptation of that baking show, “Le meilleur pâtissier”, where Mercotte is a judge (and a baker obviously).
There have been a Pithiviers contest in the show too (where they provide a classical pastrie recipe – missing some elements – to the contestants who have then to try to make it right), and you can find her blog post about it here and see that there is indeed rum in the recipe: https://www.mercotte.fr/2013/11/04/le-pithiviers-deuxieme-epreuve-technique-le-meilleur-patissier-saison-2/
Maybe you did miss out? 😉
Tais S says
Puff pastry is the MVP of the kitchen. I swear could live on the stuff, endlessly rotating fillings, salty and sweet, and never really get tired
Patricia Schlorke says
Thank you for the snippet and the receipe. ?
d LM a says
A household of one (ooh, ooh me Me) cannot afford to make a P T V A and have a slice not to mention lose weight resolutions
Dag nab it
Can’t trust myself to get 1 at a bakery and a chocolate frosted donut substitute is just sabotage
Let it go let it go let it go … let it
Matilda is the pixie you look for in the corner only to find her right next to you
August August August … arrgh
I try so hard not to read
Resistance is futile.
Patricia Schlorke says
? very true.
Thank you for the snippet and recipe. I’m thinking that I may well make this for my birthday in a couple of weeks. Providing that my family is going to visit.
Gloria Magid says
Looks delicious – probably too many calories for right now, though. Need to lose 15 pounds ( at least) before my hip replacement surgery in April. Sigh…
Oh my goodness! I love that show! I listen to it while I’m c!eating! LOL
You like the British baking show too? Isn’t wonderful? One of my fav shows and I generally don’t like reality TV
I like rum, where’s mine. 🙂
Jill S. says
Loved the snippet.
The pithivier is a work of art. Looks just like a hefty sunflower. You are a domestic goddess!
Chris Weingarten says
The photo of the Pithivier reminded me of Grace Draven’s “Radiance” in her Wraith Kings series. Suspicious.
There’s a Kai pie that contains a live poisonous creature. You split it open, spear the creature before it bites you to kill it, then eat it. It’s a Kai delicacy.
The recipe looks yummy and the ingredients benign.
Patricia Schlorke says
So long as Ilona’s pie doesn’t breath in and out, she’s safe. ?
I agree with Ildiko…it’s a vile pie. If anyone doesn’t know what I’m talking about read “Radiance” and you’ll find out.
Thanks for the snippet and the recipe!
Btw, did you know your book already has 3 reviews on Amazon? Pretty remarkable for a novel that hasn’t been published yet!
No one actually makes their own puff pastry from scratch. Even chefs recommend store bought. It’s just as good if not better because the machine rolling is more exact and temp controlled.
Also, you can sub amaretto for rum to amp up the almond flavor in the frangipani. Equally you can put a bit of Calvados into the apple butter if you want a boozy pithivier.
sounds scrumptious, now I have to try making one?
PTVA – the PTSD of GBBS addicts! We watched reruns of GBBS over Christmas and ended up baking a yummy pistachio/ginger three layer cake with Greek cheesecake icing (gluten-free) because someone used the pistachio/ginger flavor combo on the show and my mom likes pistachios ?. Very yummy!
Lynn T. says
Thank you, Ilona Andrews. I needed the laugh….too much family drama. I enjoyed the snippet.
Thanks for new Apple recipe to try while we are house bound due to next winter storm whatever it brings as frozen precipitation. If it flops my mobile 4 pawed hoover unit will scarf down as it is human food. One of my BIL believes puppy is a mutant which may be but he has alot of puppy mill habits such as food scavaging and hording.
“The traditional version uses rum and almonds, but nobody likes rum, so I make mine with apples”
Hey, I like rum! Next to expensive champagne, it’s the only alcohol I can stand.
Tina in NJ says
I was just saying to my sister that Catalina could use something positive, like a puppy. I can’t wait to meet Shadow and I hope s/he gives Catalina the unconditional love she deserves. I am also glad we’ll see Matilda again. Thank you for the snippet.
Thank you very much for the snippet ! ? So funny that you used the snippet to talk about your baking ? I love it ! ?
Alexandra Harper says
Loved the snippet! Love the baking show connection too =)
Yum ! Personally I prefer what is called galette des rois in France, preferably made with almond cream or frangipane (in this one you add pastry cream to the almond cream). I don’t use rum but you can add some if you like.
Always fun to see what you come up with next!glad to have Matilda back and another dog…..miss reading Innkeeper Friday’s….
Hummm puff pastry and apples ….I may try that….
By the way the Demon hunter book is well written , but no interesting content, really ,seems an excause for gratuoitus sex…..which it also well written..but she needs a lot more content….
You guys are still clear for a book…..
Ummmm I like rum, just saying.
Rum cream pie- to die for
Rum soaked chocolate cake- yum!
Run in hot cocoa- OMG delicious
Musdslide- made the right way, with rum, not that vodka based stuff
Oh oh and the spiced rum filled candies made by Bayou Rum
… and the list goes on!
Oh, almost forgot rum balls, which I WOULD eat if not for the nasty nuts in them 🙁
Ms. Kim says
I forget, who is Runa?
Runa Etterson, Poison Mage. She was in the Novella. I can’t wait for more fun interaction between her and Runa.
That looks delicious! Looking forward to the book!
Joan Marie says
I listened to Diamond Fire AGAIN today. I have enjoyed this novella very much and look forward to visiting with all the family and friends when the next book is available. While I really enjoy Renee Roudman (sp?) I think it was a great decision to give Catalina her own voice.
My husband and I watch the GBBS together to relax. It is a gentler, kinder contest show and we have seen things baked we didn’t know existed.
Thanks for the snippet and the recipe.