Duck and Goat’s Cheese Pithiviers

5 July 2024 — Dinner

Duck and goat’s cheese Pithiviers


50g butter

coarsely chopped 2 duck Marylands (about 1.2kg)

1 onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 tbsp plain flour

200 ml red wine

2 thyme sprigs

Pinch of ground allspice

150g soft goat’s cheese

For brushing:


1 tbsp olive oil

1 bunch spinach, trimmed

Rough puff pastry:

450g plain flour

450 gm cold unsalted butter, coarsely grated

How to make it

The richness of duck makes it the perfect filling for a pie, while the acidity of the cheese keeps that richness in balance in these goat’s cheese Pithiviers.

To make the pastry

  • For rough puff pastry, sift flour and a pinch of salt onto a work surface
  • Scatter butter over, then cut and turn butter and flour with a pastry scraper until roughly mixed
  • Make a well in the centre, add 185ml iced water and mix with a pastry scraper until a dough forms
  • Divide in two, wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest (20 minutes)
  • Working with one piece at a time, roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 1.5cm-thick rectangle
  • Fold short ends in to meet in the centre, then fold in half to form a book fold
  • Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest (20 minutes)
  • Repeat with remaining pastry, then repeat rolling, folding and resting twice more for each piece

For the filling

  • Preheat oven to 150°C
  • Heat butter in a large casserole over medium-high heat
  • Add duck skin-side down and cook, turning occasionally, until golden (6-8 minutes)
  • Transfer to a plate and set aside
  • Add onion and garlic to pan, reduce heat to low, season to taste and stir occasionally until onion is very tender (8-10 minutes)
  • Add flour, stir to combine, then gradually add wine, stirring vigorously to remove any lumps
  • Return duck to casserole, add thyme and allspice, cover and braise in oven until meat falls from bone (1½-2 hours)
  • Cool slightly, remove duck, shred meat and return to sauce (discard skin and bone), then season to taste

To assemble

  • Roll out each pastry half on a lightly floured surface to 5mm thick
  • Cut out eight 12cm-diameter rounds
  • Divide duck mixture among half the pastry rounds, mounding up in centre and leaving a 2cm border, and top with crumbled goat’s cheese
  • Brush edges with eggwash and top with remaining pastry rounds, pressing edges to seal
  • Brush tops with eggwash and score a pinwheel pattern in the top of each with the back of a knife
  • Place on an oven tray lined with baking paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes


  • Preheat oven to 190°C
  • Bake Pithiviers until puffed and golden (35-40 minutes)

Side Dish

  • Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat
  • Add spinach, cover, stir occasionally until wilted (1 minute) and season to taste
  • Serve hot alongside the goat’s cheese pithiviers

Original recipe by Rodney Dunn for Gourmet Traveller.

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