Pith-Pith-Pithivier-ish – with Taleggio and Garlic Mushrooms

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Trying having to two double gins and then saying pithivier, it’s a real laugh. I actually don’t think this is a pithivier, it’s probably just a puff pastry tart. I’m not entirely sure what constitutes an actual pithivier, but this is my version. My version in that it may be loosely based on the actual thing. I remember quite clearly that a pithivier needed to have lines scored down the puff pastry with a sharp knife before going in the oven. I did this so I think it counts.

It was actually pretty delicious. David did point out that a whole plate of it was a bit filling but you don’t need to be gluttons like us. Also I think a tart little salad on the side would help enormously with that. David had also consumed an errant mint leaf from the Jersey Royals which displeased him greatly so I think that may have marred the occasion. I’ve talked about Taleggio before, it’s one of my favourite cheeses. You don’t always see it in supermarkets but I got mine in the fancier cheese section of Asda, next to the delicatessen bit. Of course, best of all is buying it from a great, small, independent cheese shop but not everyone is blessed with one of these. Mild-ish but full of flavour and a texture that begs to be melted. The perfect pairing for this is the sultry buttery mushrooms sauteed in garlic and thyme and zingy rocket. I, obviously, used pre-made puff as my life is too short and fraught with melodrama to be making puff pastry but you could make flaky pastry if you have lots of time or the domestic inclination.

I actually found the process of making this quite pleasant, even so far as calming, as I got to fiddle about with decorative strips of puff pastry and totter about in the herb bed picking thyme. I was having the sort of day where I’d have willingly walked into the mouth of a polar bear so that must attest to the ease of this recipe. It also makes you feel pretty darned domestic when it comes out of the oven looking all golden and special.

You could make this into any shape you fancied and you could fill it with pretty much anything but it was really delicious and the perfect supper for the sort of wet and grizzly weather we’ve had recently. I took a picture of it cut so you could see the melty greatness…

Pithivier of Taleggio, Mushrooms and Rocket

Enough for 2-4, depending on your appetite

  • 250g taleggio, sliced
  • 350g mushrooms, sliced
  • a handful of thyme leaves, I much prefer fresh
  • a garlic clove, crushed
  • a knob of butter
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 handfuls of rocket leaves
  • 300g puff pastry (ish) – a pack sized amount
  • 1 egg, beaten
  1. Preheat oven to 190C.
  2. In a large frying pan, melt the butter and heat the oil. Throw in the mushrooms and saute until softened.
  3. Add the thyme and garlic, turn the temperature down a little and cook for a further 2 or 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper and set to one side.
  4. Either roll out your pastry or lay it out on a board. You want it to be pretty thin and, in this case, 2 large squares of the same size.
  5. On one of the pieces of puff, lay your rocket. Top with the mushroom mixture and then the sliced taleggio.
  6. With a pastry brush, brush the egg around your filling and lay the other piece of puff over the top, tucking and ruching to make sure there aren’t any holes. I then proceeded to add fancy strips and pithivier-required lines with the tip of a knife but you could do anything you wanted on the top. Perhaps a leaf or a fresco…
  7. Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, until the pastry is golden and crispy.
  8. If you have the patience to wait 5 minutes for it to cool down, it’ll be easier to slice. I didn’t and I had copious ooze. There was cheese all over the kitchen but it was delicious.

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