Welcome to my blog, through which I hope to be able to share my experiences of gluten free cooking, baking, experimenting and eating.
When my daughter was diagnosed (age 6) with Coeliac Disease, our world of eating changed overnight. From breads, pastry and pasta to cakes, biscuits and puddings.......... suddenly most of what we knew was 'off the menu'. I think I must have tested every available gluten free product on the market, seeking out replacements to try and keep things as normal as possible. I was disappointed to find that what was available was often dry, crumbly and flavourless.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to turn my kitchen into a laboratory, turn all I knew about cooking on its head and start creating!

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Salmon & Mushroom Pithivier - gluten free (made with Jus-Rol GF Puff Pastry)

This Salmon and Mushroom Pithivier is one of my all time favourite pies! I have been making it for well over 20 years and it has always been a regular dish on my dinner table, especially for Sunday lunch and special occasions. It has the ability to wow guests, yet if you are using a ready made puff pastry, has to be one of the simplest spectacular mains with which to woo those you are entertaining.

This pie doesn't have the same impact with non-puff pastry however. Puff pastry is the key to a light, crisp, flaky exterior and an attractiveness that leaves the mouth watering and desperate to eat.

And there lies the rub.... For those of us who are gluten free, puff pastry is either a long and arduous job to make (you can find a recipe I use here), or you need a decent commercially made gluten free ready to roll or ready-rolled pastry to hand. Whilst these are now starting to be produced, they are quite a recent addition to the free-from cabinets in supermarkets, so for many years, I have been deprived of my beloved Salmon and Mushroom Pithivier.

I have gone out of my way to try any commercial puff pastry I have found and my verdict is that they vary considerably, both in ingredients, flavour and results. With those you roll yourself, the flakiness can be a little hit and miss (dependent on your success in rolling them first time) and their ability to roll can leave me wanting to throw them out of the window and revert to making the pastry myself (long and arduous as that may be....)

Even before I was gluten free, when it came to ready to use puff pastry I was always a 'ready rolled' girl. It was just easier and the outcome was better.... both edibly and emotionally! So finding Jus-Rol ready-rolled gluten free puff pastry sheets has been a real boon to expanding my dinner-table, gluten free 'quick but impressive dish' repertoire.

I have used it in a few recipes across the blog now (see the list below) and I have mostly been really happy with it. The baked texture is pretty good and the biggest bonus of all is that it is ready-rolled (the only ready-rolled GF pastry I have thus far found......)

Those of you who have read previous posts will know that initially I was rather amused (and bemused) that Jus-Rol deemed it necessary to make their gluten free pastry sheets round, when everyone else had far more practical and useable rectangular pastry sheets. Whilst this caused me much irritation, depending on what I was making, I took to seeing it as 'good sport' to come up with round pastry dishes on which to use the stuff. Less waste and less frustration has to be good for the planet and for your blood pressure, so it's a win-win right?

Pithivier has got to be a natural choice for a circular piece of pastry (although they can also be made into squares and rectangles too) and this one is stuffed full of delicious fresh salmon, button mushrooms and a sprinkling of complementary tarragon. Not only is it amazingly good to eat and incredibly simple to prepare, but it shouts 'show-stopper' and makes you look really clever when you set it on the table.

This Pithivier is quick enough to make as a mid-week meal, yet fancy enough to eat at a celebratory feast. It feeds at least 6 and if there's any left over, is also perfect as a next day cold lunch too!

Of course no sooner than I share this with you, I have discovered that all our complaining about the unusualness of round pastry sheets has been heard..... Having decided to make one of these lovely pies for tea, I went out to buy a second pack of pastry as I already had one (round) pack in the fridge and I needed two to make it..... But guess what? Jus-Rol has re-shaped their gluten free puff and it now comes as a rectangle! Yay!

I am sharing my Salmon & Mushroom Pithivier with the following linkies :

Cook Blog Share with Everyday Healthy Recipes

Brilliant Blog Posts with Honest Mum

Cook Once Eat Twice with Searching For Spice

Inheritance Recipes with Coffee & Vanilla and Pebble Soup

Baking Crumbs with Only Crumbs Remain

Recipe of the Week with A Mummy Too

Other recipes made with Jus-Rol Puff Pastry on Gluten Free Alchemist :
Sun-Dried Tomato, Parmesan and Walnut Puff Pastry Whirls
Spanakopita Galette
Quick & Easy Pizza Galette

Salmon & Mushroom Pithier (serves at least 6)


2 packets of Jus-Rol gluten free puff pastry (or approx 600g other make/home-made)
3 to 4 raw salmon fillets - de-skinned & de-boned 
100g button (or other) mushrooms - cut into small cubes
a couple of sprigs fresh tarragon (or 2 to 3 teaspoons dried) - chopped
juice of ½ to 1 small lemon (to taste)
black pepper and sea salt to season

1 egg - beaten (for egg-wash)


  1. Prepare your filling first : Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
  2. Parcel wrap the salmon in foil with a little salt and pepper and bake for about 10 to 15 minutes until cooked, but still moist. Flake the salmon flesh.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the salmon, mushrooms, tarragon, lemon juice (to taste) and seasoning (to taste). Set aside to cool completely.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 200 C/400 F/Gas 6.
  5. To assemble the pie, lay a large piece of baking paper on a large baking tray (it will need to be big enough for the pastry to lie flat).
  6. Place one of the pastry sheets on the baking paper and spoon the cold salmon filling on top, spreading towards the edges, but leaving a 2 cm pastry edge clear (without topping).
  7. Brush the pastry edge with a good coating of egg wash and then place the second sheet of pastry over the top of the salmon filling, sticking the edge of the top sheet to the bottom sheet, but still leaving a strip edge of about 1½ cm pastry showing from the bottom sheet. 
  8. Egg wash the edges of the top pastry sheet where it joins the bottom sheet (to make a sticky edge) and carefully roll the bottom sheet over on itself a couple of times until it sticks over the top sheet. This will form a seal to the pastry edge and also tidy the sides. Press down lightly to secure.
  9. Use a sharp knife to lightly score (but not cut through) the pastry top in a diagonal-swirl pattern. 
  10. Use a skewer or the tip of the knife to pierce a small hole in the centre of the pie and then egg wash the whole top surface.
  11. Place in the oven and bake for approx 20 to 25 minutes until golden and crisp.
  12. Remove from the oven and leave to sit on the tray for about 5 minutes to cool, before carefully transferring to a serving plate. Serve hot or cold.
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