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Camembert and tomato chutney pithivier

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What I have opted to share with the Gourmandize readers is my really simple but tasty individual camembert and tomato chutney pithiviers. I say pithiviers, because calling these beasts a cheese pie sounds too gluttenous, but that is exactly what they are.


These pithiviers can be enjoyed by everyone as they can be a starter before christmas dinner, and also the vegetarian main option - a real indulgent treat with garlic and rosemary roasted potatoes, parsnips and sprouts.

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Ingredients

  • 1 135g individual camembert
  • 1 320g packet of ready rolled puff pastry
  • For the chutney:
  • Tomato chutney
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1/2 a red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tea spoon chilli flakes
  • 2 tea spoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tea spoon fresh lemon thyme

Details

Level of difficulty Average
Preparation time 45mins
Cooking time 30mins
Cost Average budget

Preparation

Step 1

Start by making the very easy chutney as you will want it to cool before filling it in the pastry - you don't want a 'soggy bottom'!

Step 2

Quarter, then eight the tomatoes. Slice the onions finely and chop the garlic. Season and soften the tomatoes, onions and garlic in a tea spoon of olive oil. Cook on a low heat for 10-15 minutes to remove as much of the juices and possible. Add the balsamic vinegar and chilli flakes and reduce/cook this off for another 5 minutes. Add the fresh thyme and leave the chutney to cool.

Step 3

Roll out the puff pastry (even the best chefs don't make their own puff pastry!). It is is a fair width already, but to accomodate the camembert, roll it out a tiny bit thinner. Cut the sheet of pastry into quarters. I leave my pastry on the non-stick backing to prevent it sticking.

Step 4

Keep the camembert chilled. When ready, take the camembert and slice it into two along it's middle/equator.

Step 5

Top two of the pastry quarters each with half of the chutney and then each half of the camembert, rind down. Next use your finger to wet the rim of the bottom half of pastry. Top each base quarter with the quarters that are left, pushing down to remove and air and making sure the top and bottom pastry sheets are stuck together.

Step 6

Next, cut away the extra pastry around the camembert, leaving half a centimetre. You can create a scalloped edge by pressing the pastry between thumb and finger. No need to be delicate, this can look rustic!

Step 7

Poke a tiny steam hole in the top and gently score patterns over the surface. Place the pithiviers back in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes or overnight.

Step 8

When ready to bake, brush with an egg and bake on a tray in the oven for 30-35 minutes at at 200 degrees until crisped and browned.

Step 9

Serve hot with a crisp peppery salad such as rocket and watercress or let the oozy gooey cheese inside the pithivier dress your roasties and veg.

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