Spiced pumpkin & chicken pithivier recipe

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A pithivier is a round, double-crusted pie usually made with puff pastry dough, marked with a pattern on top and given a high glaze with egg wash. For this version, however, I took an element from the sweet American pumpkin pie and came up with this mildly spicy curried filling.

  • Yield: 4 Servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
  • Cooking Time: 30 Minutes


  • 3½ tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Curry Paste
  • 10 ounces peeled, seeded and chopped pumpkin (about 3 cups)
  • 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ¾ cup drained canned or thawed frozen corn kernels
  • ¾ cup Chicken Broth
  • Scant ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1¼ pounds Rough Puff Pastry or puff pastry dough, thawed if frozen
  • A little flour, for dusting
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 recipe quantity Green Salad, to serve
How to Make It
  1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and curry powder and fry about 3 minutes until the onions are soft but not browned. Add the pumpkin and cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring.
  2. Toss the chicken in the cornstarch to coat, then add it to the pot along with the corn, and stir until combined. Add the broth and heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally, then add the cream and cook 6 to 8 minutes longer until the sauce thickens and the juices run clear when the thickest part of the chicken is pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Season with salt and pepper, cover loosely and let cool, then chill 30 minutes in the refrigerator to firm up.
  3. Heat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the pastry dough in half, then roll out each piece on a lightly floured surface to a circle about 9 inches in diameter and about ⅛-inch thick. Put one piece on the prepared baking sheet and spread the cool filling over the center of the circle, leaving a 1½-inch gap all the way round the edge. Whisk together the egg and milk to make an egg wash, then brush the edges with the egg wash. Carefully lift the other dough circle and place it over the filled base, gently pressing out the air as you press the edges together to seal. Seal securely and make a pattern by gently pressing all the way around the edge with the tines of a fork. Use a sharp knife to score a pattern on the top of the crust from the center to the edges.
  4. Brush the top with egg wash, then bake 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 300°F and bake 10 to 15 minutes longer until the crust is golden. If you want a high-shine finish and a really golden color, egg wash the pithivier a second time halfway through cooking. Serve warm with a fresh green salad.

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