Galette des Rois, made from flaky pastry and almond frangipane, is traditionally eaten in France at Epiphany, on 6 January. It is the last of the festive seasonal foods before we all get back to work or school again. Hidden inside is a ceramic token known as a fève ('bean'). The person who gets the fève in their slice gets to be king for a day.
250 g butter
320 g flour
A pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup almond meal
100 g butter
A pinch of salt
2 eggs (+ one for the eggwash)
- Put the 250 g block of butter in the freezer for an hour.
- Combine the flour and a pinch of salt.
- Coarsely grate the butter into the flour.
- Mix with a knife and / or your hands until it forms a dough, adding water as needed.
- Put the dough in the fridge for half an hour.
- Combine the sugar, almond meal and a pinch of salt in a stand mixer bowl.
- Add 100 g butter and mix well.
- Add the eggs one at a time and mix well each time.
- Divide the pastry in half and roll each half out into a circle of 28 cm diameter (use a large dinner plate as a template).
- Line a baking tray with a silicone mat.
- Place one of the pastry circles on the mat.
- Spread the almond paste (frangipane) on to the pastry, leaving a 5 cm margin all the way around.
- Put a fève in the frangipane.
- Beat an egg and brush the pastry margin.
- Place the other pastry circle carefully on top, matching the edges and pressing gently around the edge of the circle.
- Chill the cake for 45 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 200C.
- Incise a decorative pattern in the pastry with a sharp knife. Be careful not to cut through to the filling.
- Pinch the edges together to ensure a seal and add to the decorative look.
- Snip a nick in the top to allow steam to vent. If you don't it is certain to leak at the edges.
- Brush the top with eggwash.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Cool on a rack. Serves 8.
At Step 16 you can use the leftover pastry to make mini galettes. Roll out the pastry and using a small scone cutter cut out as many fluted circles as you can. Cut small pieces of almond paste (available in the baking section of any French supermarket, sometimes plain, sometimes green or pink) and place on half of the little circles. Eggwash the edges and top with the remaining circles. Press to seal. Chill along with the big cake. When the big cake is ready to bake, eggwash the minis and put them on a separate tray. Put them in the oven at the same time as the big cake, but take out at 20 minutes and cool on a rack.
Locally made butter from the Laiterie Cooperative de Verneuil can be purchased from their factory shop, the Maison des Producteurs in Loches, the EpiService corner stores in Preuilly sur Claise and Le Grand Pressigny and the Intermarché supermarket in Yzeures sur Creuse.
There are several local flour millers, milling either their own wheat or working with local farmers. I used flour from Farine du Berry, available in the Intermarché supermarket in Yzeures sur Creuse.
The eggs came from Lait Grand Cru, a local dairy farm who make home deliveries of dairy products, as well as poultry if you order it.
The almond meal and sugar were purchased from the SuperU supermarket at La Roche Posay.