Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30-35 minutes
This recipe originates in the town of Pithiviers, in the Loiret department of central France.
The town has, since its origins, been an important crossroads, a centre for storing and trading grain destined for countries east of Gaul. Pithiviers means "where the four roads meet" in the language of the Carnutes. Thanks to trade between eastern and southern countries, this ancient Carnute flat cake, enriched by almonds brought by Roman traders, gave rise to the modern "pithiviers fondant."
Later in the 17th century, the invention of puff pastry (some sources attribute its invention to the Prince of Condé's chef, Feuillet, in the 18th century) allowed for the creation of a puff pastry pithiviers, well known to the master pastry cooks of France. But it is pithiviers fondant, iced and decorated with fruit, that is the local specialty that has earned an excellent reputation among pastry connoisseurs.
- Combine the ground almonds and sugar.
- Incorporate the softened butter, then the eggs, one at a time.
- Add the rum.
- Place in a 24/26 cm prepared baking tin and bake at 170° C (350° F) for 30-35 minutes.
- Decorate and unmold.
- Ice with white fondant and decorate with the candied fruits.
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