The Galette des Rois (King’s cake) is the traditional treat/pie/cake used to celebrate Epiphany in France. It’s basically an almond cream sandwiched between two sheets of puff pastry…how can you go wrong?! Although Epiphany usually falls on January 6th, the Galette is usually available throughout January in French patisseries. I may have missed January 6th for this post but at least it’s still January! When I was 15 I went to France on exchange for 3 months – luckily I didn’t come back home until the end of January. I loved the Galette so much we had one almost every single day at lunch. It is just so delicious and to my surprise quite easy to make!
There is a fun little ritual that goes with it too. Hidden inside the Galette is a fève – typically a dried kidney bean or a small little ceramic trinket. The bakery who made the best Galette (in our opinion) had obviously stocked up on little ceramic boats, therefore I also have quite the collection of boats!
Anyway, the Galette is cut into portions and the youngest member of the party is to hide under the table as to not sneak a peak of where the fève may be hiding in the Galette . Once divided the host points to a portion and the youngest will be asked “pour qui?/for who?” This continues until everyone has a portion. Whoever gets the fève is then the king or queen for the rest of the day. When purchased from a bakery you will typically be given a paper crown to take home with your Galette. How fun!
2 sheets puff pastry – fresh or frozen, whatever you’ve got on hand
100g almond meal
100g butter, chopped & chilled
1 tbsp rum (optional)
egg wash (1 egg & 100ml milk)
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Defrost the puff pastry if using frozen.
To make the filling put sugar and almond meal in a food processor. With the motor running add the chopped butter and beat until the consistency of breadcrumbs. Still with the motor running add the eggs and rum. Process until combined. If you don’t have a food processor simply combine the sugar and almond meal. Rub the butter into the mixture with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Beat in the eggs and rum.
Lay out the pastry and cut a 21 cm round and a 24 cm round. Place the smaller round on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Pile on the filling and spread it out leaving a 1.5 cm border around the edge. At this point hide the little fève in the mixture, pushing it down so that it won’t be evident through the pastry. Brush the edge with the egg wash and lay the other round on top, gently sealing the two layers together around the edge. Using a sharp knife decorate the top in any pattern you like. Poke some holes through the pastry for steam to escape during baking. Brush with egg wash.
*Tip: When dealing with puff pastry try not to brush with egg wash on the sides of the pastry – this will limit the pastry from rising to its full potential.
Bake in a oven for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool before serving.
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