Christmas leftovers pie with a posh name – behold the pithivier!

After braving the consumer ape-shittery of not-even-January-yet sales shopping, we arrived home shaky and tearful. The perfect time to spend HOURS making pastry and attempting our first ever pie.

This pie was inspired by a James Martin recipe, which was on TV on boxing day. We watched it in stoic silence with the father-in-law and resolved to imitate it when we were eventually sent home with a Tuppaware full of Christmas meats.

You don’t have to make your own pastry – even James Martin didn’t bother, he just took some ready-rolled out of the fridge. There’s no shame in that.

A pithivier is a pie made of a disc of shortcrust pastry, with a filling piled up in the middle and a second, slightly larger disc of pastry laid over the top and sealed up. If you do get ready-made pastry, it’s as easy as… well… uh…

We did two pies, filled as follows:

Pithivier A

Layer 1: cooked ham
Layer 2: kale and celery (see method below)
Layer 3: roast pork, chopped up and laid into the kale

Pithivier B

Layer 1: roast pork
Layer 2: apple sauce
Layer 3: kale and celery (see method below)
Layer 4: slice of prosciutto

The method is as simple as this:

  • Roll out pastry
  • Cut your first circle
  • Pile up the filling
  • Egg wash the edges
  • Cut a second slightly larger circle
  • Drape it over the filling, and seal to the base
  • Egg wash the lot
  • Bake
  • You’ll find a little more detail and the specifics of how we did ours below.


    Made two pies; half a pie per person would be an OK portion
    200g flour
    100g butter, cold from the fridge
    3-6 tbsp iced water
    Whatever you like, within reason. See pie A and B above for what we used.
    Salt and pepper
    1 egg for sealing and glazing the pithivier

    How to

    If you’re making pastry, here goes… Sift the 200g flour into a bowl.

    Dice the 100g butter and put the blocks into the flour.

    Use a fork to mash the butter into the flour. Keep going until the mix looks like breadcrumbs.

    Add three tablespoons of the cold water and start to ball up the pastry. Add more water if it’s still too dusty.

    Knead the dough briefly and gently.

    Then gather the dough into a ball and wrap it in clingfilm. Leave it for at least 30 minutes.

    For the vegetable bit of our filling, we fried two chopped up celery sticks and two or three handfuls of kale in some oil, with a good pinch of salt and pepper.

    Fry it for six or seven minutes, then set it aside to cool. You want it to cool down a bit otherwise when you put it in your pie it’ll cause the dreaded soggy bottom.

    Back to the pastry…

    Whether you’ve made your own or you’ve got it ready rolled, take two circular dishes, one larger than the other.

    Roll out the pastry so it’s about 3mm thick. Place the dishes on top and cut round to make nice perfect circles.

    On the smaller pastry disc, pile up your layers of filling.

    Crack your egg into a bowl and beat it.

    Brush egg around the edge of the pastry base.

    Place your larger pastry disc over the top and press it into the base, sealing the top to the bottom.

    James Martin then cut some lovely pattern around the edges, which Mrs Burnt did a pretty decent job of trying to replicate. See picture. pithivier_overhead-500

    A wavy pattern should then be lightly scored into the top of the pithivier.

    Egg wash the whole lot to give it a shine when you bake it.

    Poke a little hole in the top with a skewer or similar to allow steam to escape.

    Place in the oven for 30 minutes at 180º.

    Pour yourself a drink, and if you used ready-made pastry, chuckle to yourself about what mugs we at Burnt are for bothering to make our own.

    When it’s done, eat it.

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