Farmhouse Lancashire cheese, spiced pear and kale pithivier

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This stunning pithivier, filled with savoury Lancashire cheese, spiced pear and kale, is surprisingly easy to make. This vegetarian-friendly dish would make a great centrepiece for your next dinner party.

First published in 2018




Spiced poached pears



  • 10cm pastry cutter
  • 15cm pastry cutter


Begin by poaching the pears. Heat the vinegar, water and spices together until they come to the boil. Peel the pears and place in the poaching liquor, weighing them down with a plate to keep them submerged. Simmer until the pears are just cooked – this should take about 15-20 minutes but will depend on the ripeness of the pears. Remove from the heat and leave to cool in the liquor. Refrigerate until needed
To make the pithivier, begin by rolling out the pastry to a 4mm thickness. Cut out four 10cm wide discs and four 15cm discs. Place on a tray and cover to stop them drying out. Place in the fridge
  • 500g of puff pastry
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Over a medium heat, warm the butter until foaming, add the shallots and gently cook until they are soft and translucent, but do not have any colour. Add 100ml of water and the kale and wilt over a high heat until tender. Drain and place on a tray to cool. Once cool enough to handle, squeeze the excess water out of the kale
  • 500g of kale, trimmed and chopped
  • 50g of butter
  • 200g of Lancashire cheese
To assemble, take the four 10cm discs of puff pastry and place on a baking tray. Put a pile of the kale on each disc, leaving a 1cm border around the edges. Remove the pears from the poaching liquid, cut in half lengthways and cut out the cores. Slice the pears and place on top of the kale. Top the pears with sliced Lancashire cheese then top with the four 15cm discs. Gently mould over the filling and seal onto the bottom disc, leaving you with a nice dome shape. Brush the pithiviers with the egg yolk and reserve in the fridge for at least 1 hour
Remove from the fridge and cut a 1cm hole in the top of each pithivier, to allow the steam to escape whilst cooking. Take a paring knife and score the outside of the pastry, making sure you don't go all the way through. Bake for 20–30 minutes until golden brown
In a pan set over a high heat, reduce the pear cooking liquor to a thick syrup
When the pithiviers are golden-brown, remove and serve immediately, garnished with the reduced pear cooking liquor spooned around the outside

Behind every strong man there’s a strong woman and never has that maxim rung truer than at the Michelin-starred Pipe and Glass, where talented chef-proprietor James Mackenzie resides with his equally capable front-of-house wife, Kate.

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