Olivier's Grandma's Pithivier Dessert Recipe

Olivier

If you follow the blog, you've probably noticed the "pithivier cake" cooking tutorial my childhood friend Alexia, her husband Olivier and I filmed during their visit to Silicon Valley. We've received great feedback, but many of you asked for the recipe in print for easier readability. So without further ado, here it is. 

I've baked another pithivier; they're so easy to assemble (we've made four already since I learned Olivier's grandma "Mamie Françoise's" 1930s award-winning pithivier cake recipe). It originates from the small town of Pithiviers, in the Loiret département in north-central France where Olivier grew up. As we mentioned in the video, "shhh," this recipe is a secret! It's only made with almond flour, eggs, sugar and oranges. There is no butter; the richness comes from the abundance of almonds in the batter. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvBX8yONCLI&var=0

 

Ingredients

Yields: 8 servings

4 large whole eggs, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups almond flour, sifted
2 oranges
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (see tips)
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons red and green dried fruits (see tips), chopped into small rectangles


Directions

Making the pithivier cake batter:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Separate the eggs. 

Make sure the almond flour is well sifted. 

In a mixing bowl, using a wooden spoon or whisk, mix the egg yolks into the granulated sugar until just combined. Add 1½ teaspoons orange zest and the juice of 1 orange (½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice with pulp). Mix well. Add the almond flour. Stir until just combined. The batter should be smooth. Don't over-mix. 

In another bowl, add a pinch of salt to the 4 egg whites. Using an electrical mixer, beat the egg whites for about 2 minutes at medium speed. Increase to maximum speed and keep beating for another 2 minutes until the whites are stiff. Do not overbeat or the texture will become grainy. 

Pour ⅓ of the egg white mixture into the cake batter mixture and gently stir everything to soften the batter. Pour in the rest of the egg whites and, using a spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the batter to get an airy batter.

Generously grease 8 mini cake pans with butter for easy release. Dust with flour, then remove any excess flour.

Divide and pour the pithivier cake batter into the 8 molds. Bake the cake for 20 minutes at 350°F. A skewer or a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake should come out clean.

Remove from the oven. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before unmolding. Transfer onto a flat serving platter. Let cool completely.

For the orange glaze:

Combine 2 cups powdered sugar and 3½ to 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice. Mix until smooth.

Assembly:

Completely cover each cake with a thin coating of the orange glaze. Delicately level the top using a spreader. Decorate with the red and green fruits. Once  the glaze is set, delicately remove the excess glaze around each cake; it should come off easily. Allow the cakes to sit for at least 2 days before eating. 

Bon appétit!

Pitivhiers Cake Recipe with Picture

 


Tips

You can bake this cake in a (9-inch diameter) pan or in individual pans as I did this time. 

I used dried kiwis and dried papaya. You could use fruits confits (syrup-coated dried fruits). The authentic recipe calls for cerises confites and angélique.

If you want to make a gluten-free version, omit the flour after greasing the cake pans.

To maintain the freshness of almond flour, I store the extra almond flour in the freezer for future use. I used 2 cups of almond flour, which is the equivalent of between 200 and 250 grams. 

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on June 13, 2014.


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