In honor of 3 Kings Day, I made a Galette des Rois, also known as a Pithivier. It has been bucket list to make since I was 20 when I first tried it at least 10 times in one week during my junior year abroad in Rouen, France. It is not an understatement to say you can not go anywhere in France during the winter holiday season without eating a Galette des Rois. This flaky cake has a layer of almond cream sandwiched between 2 layers of puff pastry. Hidden in the middle layer is a “feve” (the French word for bean”. Initially, bakers would include a dried bean. As time went on, the traditional “feve” was replaced by a ceramic figurine…sometimes in the form of one of the 3 kings, or a lamb or a baby Jesus. Whoever gets the “feve” in their slice is “king” (or queen) for the day and gets to wear the gold crown that comes with the cake. If you buy this cake in a bakery, or a cafe, it almost always comes with a gold crown. The Galette des Rois is traditionally eaten on January 6th which is the Epifany, also known 3 Kings Day. I have to say, I can’t believe how pretty it came out looking and that it actually puffed up like it was supposed to. This may seem intimidating to make, but if you go step by step, it is really rather easy.
|2 sheets of puff pastry (there are 2 sheets in a box)|
75g blanched almond flour
75g almond meal
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
1 “feve” (large dried bean or cermaic figurine)
Step by Step Directions
|1.||Take dough out of freezer and let thaw.|
|2.||Roll dough out large enough to cut a 23 cm /|
(9 in) circle. Line 2 cookie sheets with
parchement paper. Put dough on cookie sheets.
Refrigerate 20-30 minutes.
|3.||Take dough out of refrigerator.|
Place on a countertop.
Place a 9″ plate or tarte mold on dough.
|4.||Using a knife (I use plastic so I don’t ruin my |
counter) trace a circle around the pan/plate.
|5.||Pull off the excess dough. |
|6.||Repeat with the second piece of dough.|
You may want to make the top circle 1 cm larger
than the bottom circle so the edges will
meet despite the dome of cream the top piece
|7.||Cream the butter until it is very soft.|
|8.||Add sugar to the butter and cream.|
|9.||Add each of the 3 eggs one at a time. Whisk in |
|10.||Add the almond flour & the almond meal.|
|11.||Mix until blended.|
|12.||Add 1 tsp vanilla. Mix thoroughly.|
|13.||Put the almond cream into a pastry bag |
(or a ziplock) and cut the tip. Set aside.
|14.||Pipe the filling onto the puff pastry circle (start|
right in the middle (I made the mistake of
starting a bit off center). Stop about 4 cm
(1.5 inches) from the edge.
|Add a second layer of filling. Use all of the |
|16||Smooth the filling using a spatula. Make sure to |
keep the dome shape of the filling.
|17.||Brush edge of dough with water.|
Place a large dried bean or a ceramic “feve”
about 1 to 2 cm (1/2 inch) from the edge of the
|18.||Press the two layers of the dough together. |
Make sure you press it hard or the filling will
|19.||With the back of a knife, put the knife at the|
edge of the dough and gently pull it towards you
to give the tart the fluted look.
|20.||Beat an egg with a fork to make egg wash.|
|Using a pastry brush, coat the top of the |
galette with egg wash.
Do NOT put egg wash on the fluted part or
the pastry will not rise properly. (See how
just the bump, is shinny, not the edges.
|22.||Refrigerate for 2 hours.|
|Put a second layer of egg wash on the top |
(again avoiding the fluted lip).
Using the tip of a knife, gently carve a
design in the dough. Do NOT to cut through
See second image for sample pattern.
|24.||Poke very small holes on the top to let|
steam out. About 1 hole every 1-2 inches.
|25.||Bake at 200C / 395F for 20 minutes.|
Lower temperature to 180C / 355F.
Bake for another 30 minutes.
|26.||While the galette is baking, pour water and|
sugar into a pan to make a syrup.
|27.||Bring to a boil. Sugar will melt into the water. |
Do not stir. When sugar is dissolved, take off
burner and set aside.
|28,||Remove galette from oven.|
Place on a cooling rack.
Brush top of galette with the syrup.
This will make it shiny.
|30.||The person who gets the slice with the “feve” |
(you can see it hiding in there) is king/queen
for the day.
To make it even more fun, you can make a
paper crown for the “king/queen” to wear.
My recipe is based on this video: Watch the galette being made.