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Galette des Rois

by on July 29, 2006 · 13 comments

As mentioned earlier, my goal for today was to tackle a French pastry called Galette des Rois à la Frangiapane. In France, this pastry is eaten primarily around the holidays. Clotilde does a nice job of describing the tradition surrounding its presentation, though after reading her blog, For today, I completely disregarded the step involving hiding a feve – which could either be a fava bean or a little “favor” such as a plastic baby or plastic Disney princess figurine.

There are easy versions of this recipe and there are more complex. I chose a more complex, but still relatively easy recipe by Cindy. Cindy does not use store bought almond paste, but makes her own version which includes the addition of a crème patissiere (pastry crème).

Galette des Rois (adapted from Cindy’s recipe)

Creme:
1 cup whole milk
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Almond Filling:
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons blanched almonds, toasted lightly
7 tablespoon granulated sugar
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, salted
2 eggs
1 tablespoon of rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract (optional)

1 17.3 oz package puff pastry (or 1 pound homemade), thawed
1 egg yolk

First, make the Creme:
Place milk in a saucepan and heat over low. While keeping an eye on the milk and watching that it doesn’t break into a boil, whisk together egg yolks and sugar in a separate bowl. Whisk in flour. Bring milk to simmer. Whisk 1/3 cup of the hot milk into the egg mixture. Slowly whisk egg/milk mixture into saucepan with simmering milk, whisking constantly. Raise heat slightly, whisking constantly, and cook for about 1 minute or until mixture is thick. Pour into a clean bowl. Whisk in vanilla. Set aside to cool while you prepare the filling. If you prefer, you can do this step a day or hours in advance and chill in refrigerator until ready to use.

Second, make the Almond Filling:
Grind toasted almonds in a food processor. In a mixing bowl, beat together sugar and softened butter. Add eggs, one by one. Add rum and vanilla.

Third, make Frangipane. Add half of the pastry cream (about 1/2 cup) to the almond mixture. At this point, it might be a bit liquidy. Chill mixture in the refrigerator for an hour or more to firm it up a bit. You may be able to skip this step. Mine needed to chill a bit.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Roll one sheet of puff pastry into a 12 inch circle. Spread the frangiapane on the dough leaving a border of a little over an inch. Roll out the second sheet of puff pastry and form a larger circle. Lay it on top of the frangipane. Press down the edges tightly to seal in the frangiapane. Chill for 30 minutes. (I forgot to chill mine after filling and I think it caused some leakage. Using a pastry brush, brush the entire galette with egg yolk. (I didn’t do this very well which is why my galette is streaky looking).

Bake at 400 degrees F. for 25-30 minutes. Cindy used different baking times, but I suspect most Americans will use Pepperidge Farm puff pastry and that’s the temp they gave on the box.

The “grams” thing on my kitchen scale doesn’t work anymore, so instead of using weights, I used volumes. I used a bit less flour in the pastry crème, but that was about the only change made.

Here are some pictures from this morning. Blanched almonds first. I toasted them and got that out of the way (400 for about 7 minutes).

almondtartblanchedalmonds.jpg

The pastry creme looked like this.

almondtartpastyrcream.jpg

Puff pastry! Pepperidge Farm is the only brand around. It’s pretty reliable.

almondtartpuffpastry.jpg

Before baking (the point where I should have chilled it).

almondtartreadytobake.jpg

After baking. This is after I trimmed out all the leaks.

almondtartfinished.jpg

And here’s a cut slice.

almondtartcut2.jpg

Have ready: 1 heavy saucepan, 2 clean glass bowls, 1 large mixing bowl, maybe a food processor, parchment lined baking sheet.

If you’d like my adapted version of the recipe, keep reading. Otherwise, I highly recommend just following Cindy’s as she directs.

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Published on July 29, 2006

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

carole July 29, 2006 at 6:47 pm

Its 90 in Cleveland today otherwise I would be in the kitchen.

I have all the ingredients on hand so maybe tomorrow

tg July 30, 2006 at 11:15 am

ok so this has to be the basis for that godawful new orleans-bred “king’s cake” that shows up around here every lent, right? i say this because of the hidden toy, which the king’s cake also has. (maybe someone has made this connection already and i’m just slow.) but this seems refined and appealing, as opposed to the new orleans-bred king’s cake, which to me is gross, gaudy, and inedible – at least that’s the case for the ones i’ve tasted around here…

Anna July 30, 2006 at 12:07 pm

My parents weren’t very religious, so we didn’t have any special Feast of the Epiphany treats — no Galettes, no King Cakes….it was pretty much just candy from Walgreens. I didn’t even hear about King Cakes until my late twenties when I worked in this office with a chick from New Orleans whose dad kept sending them to her. She would put the King Cake in the break room and everyone would have at it. The person who got the baby was supposed to go to a local bakery and buy another one for the office. So the King Cakes just kept coming. They were definitely tacky and not as classy as gallete.

penguin July 30, 2006 at 2:45 pm

While the galette is not tacky, it is ubiquitous in France throughout the months of January & February. There are a few different types but the one you made, Anna, is the most common, I think. As a college student, I spent a year studying in France and the galette was the token dessert at every dinner or event between New Year’s and Ash Wednesday. At a certain point, everyone I knew had a “feve” (or toy), so how lucky is it anymore? I never wanted to see another galette as long as I lived. More than 10 years later, I am nostalgic for them and often entertain the idea of making one for Epiphany, although I never have. And as a side note, I don’t think I have ever tasted a “homemade” one. They were all purchased from the local patisserie. Yours looks lovely, Anna (and authentic).

tg July 30, 2006 at 5:48 pm

off-topic (but urgent nonetheless!): have you abandoned your wine blog? i can find no convenient link on this new page. signed, desperate in dallas

Anna July 30, 2006 at 6:00 pm

Funny you should ask. We’ve been working on moving that today. All of the old stuff is currently being moved to
here

Anna July 30, 2006 at 6:17 pm

Penguin, you are so lucky to have studied in France. Someday I’ll get there. Thanks for saying my galette looks nice.

Anna July 31, 2006 at 10:01 am

Well, this is exciting. I sent a few slices of this to Todd’s office this morning and am getting (unrequested!) feedback. The last comment someone sent Todd was.

“Man, that French pastry is the real deal- I used eat this in Paris when I was young. Amazing!”

cookiemonster July 31, 2006 at 1:59 pm

tg—you just haven’t had a GOOD KING CAKE….Oh my gosh…here in LA. Cake Palace makes the best…..filled with all kinds of fruit and cream cheese fillings…yum!!!

Melissa July 31, 2006 at 4:07 pm

My family traveled to France most summers when I was growing up, and I lived in Paris for a year as an adult. The galette tradition I remember is that you would cut the cake into as many pieces as there were people at your table, and then the youngest person would crawl under the table and call out names (perhaps a job for Fuzz?), and the pieces of cake were distributed in that order. The person who found the charm was the King (or Queen!) for the year. The galettes are traditionally sold with a gold paper crown for the King.

Thanks for this recipe – it brings back lovely memories. I’ll try it next January 6th!

Anna July 31, 2006 at 8:21 pm

Melissa, thanks for painting such a nice mental picture. I’m seeing Fuzz under the table this year calling out names. If you only knew just how perfectly suited she was for that job….

I hope you do give it a try in January. Between now and then, I might play around with some variations.

Dolce June 10, 2009 at 12:25 pm

Hello Anna

Just discovered your blog as I am a cookie lover :) I live in NY though French, so of course the Galette des Rois, I had to have a look at your recipe :)
If you want to jazz it up a bit at the end, I recommand brushing your galette with egg yolk and then with a knife, “draw” designs onto it, before you put it into the oven. When it bakes, the drawing created (usually work from the center in curved lined through the edge of the galette, or just some criss cross) will expand and create a top notch design to it.

Best,

Dolce

Anna June 10, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Hello Dolce!

Thanks for the tip. I haven’t made a galette des Rois in a while, but I used the make loads of them and I even taught a few friends how to make them. I am going to try dragging the knife through the yolk next time.

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