Today, we celebrate Epiphany in France (on the second Sunday of January). The occasion to taste a delicious Galette des Rois!
There are two ways to celebrate, depending on where you live. The people living in the North and in the center of France use to eat a “Galette des Rois”—King Cake—made of puff pastry and frangipane filling (almond cream + pastry cream), while the Southern people prefer a “Couronne des Rois” —King Crown—, which is a brioche flavored with orange blossom water and decorated with candied fruits.
Since I am from Lyon, I prefer the puff pastry version 😉
Here is my version of King Cake which is a super simple easy recipe. Purists will have to forgive me, since I do not make a traditional filling of “frangipane”. Instead, I prefer to prepare a “pithiviers” cake which is a puff pastry galette filled with a simple almond cream (much easier according to me).
MY GALETTE DES ROIS RECIPE
- 1/2 cups (1 stick/120 g) of soft butter
- 2/3 cups (130 g) caster sugar
- 1 cup (120 g) almond meal
- 1 tbsp rum (optional but highly recommended for the traditional flavor)
- 2 eggs
- 1 x 250g ready-rolled all butter puff pastry sheet
- some flour to roll the pastry out
- 2 beaten egg yolks, to glaze
STEP 1: Prepare the almond cream filling
Quickly beat the butter (if not already soft) in a stand mixer with the paddle.
Fold the eggs in the butter. A few seconds after, keep whipping and add sugar until rather smooth (less than one minute).
Replace the paddle with the whip. Add almond meal and mix until smooth. Pour rum and pulse in order to flavor the filling.
Place the almond cream in a pastry bag (or in a bowl) in the refrigerator until needed.
STEP 2: Assemble the Galette des Rois
Lightly sprinkle flour on a clean work surface (marble is ideal to work the puff pastry for temperature control—See Tips at the end of the recipe) and roll the pastry out in order to get a thin pastry that can be cut into two 9-inch discs (23 cm). I use a 9-inch cake ring but you can use the bottom of a springform pan.
Place the two pastry discs in the refrigerator for a few minutes
Put one disc on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Pipe the cream filling on top (or spread it with a tablespoon). Pay attention to leave approximately 2 cm of clean pastry all around the disc. Set aside in the refrigerator for a couple of minutes.
If you celebrate Epiphany, do not forget to hide a “fève” inside. Traditionally it used to be a raw fava bean (fève in French) that was hidden in the filling. Nowadays, we use ceramic figurines that might have any shape.
Then, glaze the edge of the pastry with egg yolk and cover the filling with the second puff pastry disc. Press on the edge to make sure that it sticks.
Use the tip of a knife to make indents all around the pastry. Start from the outside and bring the puff pastry back towards the inside. This helps to seal the pastry and make sure it will rise instead of spreading while cooking.
Place in the refrigerator for 30 min. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 410°F (210°C).
Make a hole in the top of the cake with the tip of a knife. The chimney will prevent the cake for not breaking apart.
Brush the cake with the remaining egg yolk, then make regular indents or swirls on top of the pastry (necessary to have an even shape). Here are two traditional options for the design :
Bake for 8 minutes at 410°F (210°C), then lower the temperature to 340°F (170°C) and bake for 20 minutes. According to different appliances the time might be slightly different, so keep an eye on it. Bake your Galette des Rois until nicely browned.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool before tasting.
Watch your teeth when eating this pie! The one who finds the fève is the King or Queen of the day!
Place your prep in the refrigerator between each step to make sure that the pastry will be cold enough. Otherwise puff pastry can be too fragile and the filling might leak out.
Use only all butter puff pastry to obtain the best result.
Photo credit @DelphineHurierMichaud