mercredi, janvier 17, 2007

Galette des Rois

January 6 (3 Kings' Day or Épiphanie) is not a public holiday in France. But everywhere in the country mothers, fathers and bakers would be busy baking Galette des rois, basically puff pastry filled with an almond paste (frangipane). It commerates the day Baby Jesus was presented to the 3 Kings Balthazar, Melchior and Gaspard.

Children especially like this occasion, as a porcelain figure would normally be hidden in the pastry before it was baked and the person finding it would be King. He/she gets to wear a crown, choose his/her Queen (and normally offer the next Galette to those around him/her).

I made four Galettes this year on three separate days. I was glad that they turned out really well and that I received plenty of compliments from my guests (and especially from Hubby - a frangipane lover).

The recipe :

2 round discs of Puff Pastry (for 6-8 persons)
125g of Butter (I used salted butter)
125g of Sugar (I used fruit sugar)
4 Eggs (one for brushing the galette with)
300g of ground Almonds
25g of Maizena
2 Tbsps of Rum
1 Tbsp of Fleur d'Oranger

Beat the melted butter (in pieces but not warm nor liquid) with the sugar till you get a creamy dough. Add 3 eggs, the ground almonds, Maizena, rum and fleur d'oranger extract. I like to leave the filling in the fridge for a few hours before using it.

Spread the frangipane/almond filling in the middle of one of the puff pastry discs, hide the porcelain figure in it, cover with the other disc. There should be a 2-3 cm border of empty space between the edge and the filling (so that the filling will not flow out of the pastry) and one must seal the edges firmly (but not too hard or we'll not see the different pastry layers) with cold water. Make patterns on the top disc with a knife and brush a beaten egg over it. Bake in a pre-heated 200ºC oven for 20-25 minutes.

The youngest person at the table normally gets to close his eyes and designate who gets a particular piece of the tart. Do not bite into your galette too hard or you may break your teeth if it happens to contain the porcelain figure.

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