Crisp, flaky pies containing a scrumptious filling of peas, spinach, mint and melting garlic and herb cream cheese. The flavours of summer on a plate. For best results, use an all-butter puff pastry (such as the one made by the Dorset Pastry Company), or, for a vegan version, use the best-quality non-dairy puff pastry you can find, and replace the Boursin cheese with a non-dairy garlic and herb ‘cream cheese’; and a little soya milk for glazing.
Cook the spinach in a dry saucepan for a minute or two until wilted; drain and cool. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mash the peas and mint together – give them a quick whiz in a food processor or with a stick blender – so they hold together a bit.
Lay the pastry on a board and roll a little to make it even thinner, then cut into 4 x 10 cm (4 inch) circles for the bases, and four slightly larger ones, about 17 cm (6¾ inch) (a saucer is useful for cutting round) to go over the top.
Place the smaller circles on a baking sheet. Put a layer of spinach on top of each circle, leaving about 1 cm (½ inch) free round the edges. Put a quarter of the Boursin on top of the spinach, then heap the peas on top and around the Boursin. Cover with the remaining pastry circles, pressing the edges neatly together and crimping with your fingers or the prongs of a fork.
Make a hole in the centre of each and decorate the top with little cuts spiralling out from the centre, like a traditional pithivier, if you wish. All this can be done in advance. When ready to cook, brush the tops with the cream or soya milk.
Bake the pithiviers in a preheated oven, 200°C, 400° F, Gas Mark 6, for about 25 minutes, or until puffed up, golden brown and crisp. Serve at once.
Taken from Rose Elliot's Sumptuous Suppers, published by Hamlyn.