Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Epiphany! Galette des Rois

This recipe was shared with me by the generous Nathalie P. The French parents at my children's culturally diverse public school make galettes each year around January 6, the Epiphany. For ye not versed in Christian history, Epiphany is the 12th day of Christmas and commemorates the arrival of the wise men in Bethlehem to meet the newborn Jesus.

I'm not sure how the galette came to be served on this occasion. Can anyone answer? The custom is to hide a fève, fava bean, in the cake before it is baked. At service, the youngest child goes beneath the table and decides who gets each piece of cake. The person who finds the fève in his piece of cake is crowned King or Queen.

Galette des Rois
Print recipe only here


100g sugar
100g almond meal (or fine ground almonds)
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 T rum
1 t almond extract
2 sheets puff pastry (enough for two 10-inch circles)


Cream butter until it softens a bit. Add sugar and cream until light and fluffy.

Add the egg (just the whole egg, the yolk comes later). Mix until incorporated.

Add the rum and almond extract.

Add the almond meal, mixing well until incorporated.

Assembling the Galette
Preheat oven to 375°

Unfold thawed puff pastries and using a pie pan as a template cut into two circles (if using homemade puff pastry, roll it out to a thickness of 3mm and about 10 inches in diameter). Make a few cuts in the middle of one of the circles to allow steam to escape while baking.

Lay one circle on parchment paper and spread frangipane in the middle – Leave one inch around the edges of the dough.

Place a dried fava bean or ceramic figure in the frangipane.

Using the egg yolk, brush the edges of the dough.

Place the other dough circle on top and seal the edges very tight

Make a quick egg wash with the remaining egg yolk and 2-3 T milk. Brush top with egg wash, being careful not to let egg wash run over the sides or it will disrupt the puff pastry from showcasing its trademark laminations.

Bake for about 30 min or until the top and edges are nicely browned

Allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting into it.

Enjoy with champagne, sparkling apple cider or a sweet white wine.


Meredith said...

Some background on the king cake... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_cake
As with all man made traditions, it's flexible =)

Katie Fairbank said...

goodness! that small plastic baby is so creepy. let's hear it for la fève.