Galette des Rois

“It’s so beautifully arranged on the plate – you know someone’s fingers have been all over it.”     – Julia Child

The Galette des Rois

Galette des Rois

Celebrating the Feast of Kings.
At this time of year you will see Galette du Roi (or La Galette des Rois) in all the boulangeries in France. The Galette, which celebrates the biblical three kings, appears in the New Year around Epiphany, or the Feast of the Kings. This is normally celebrated in France on the first Sunday (after the first Saturday) in January.

The typical Galette du Roi of the Indre is made of flaky pastry like a pie and filled with frangipane, an almond cream paste. There are regional variations, and some enterprising bakeries offer a different filling for every day in January. However, if you purchase it in a supermarket or discount store, it will be a factory made pastry with the basic filling. Inside the cake is a very small ceramic figurine called a fève ( a bean, which is what they put in galettes long ago). The person who finds the fève is declared the king (le roi) or the queen (la reine) and gets to wear the paper crown that comes with the galette.

If there is no French pâtisserie where you are, I have included a recipe. Don’t be intimidated by its origin as you can use pre-made puff pastry/phyllo dough and have great results. The photo was taken at the pâtisserie of some elves known as Valerie & Nadine. Their boulangerie is located in Carcassonne near La Cité and these dear friends are happy to welcome you when you are there.

Valerie & Nadine

Ingredients:

1/2 cup ground almonds
1 stick butter
3 eggs
1/4 cup of sugar
2 sheets puff pastry
powdered sugar

Directions: 

Grind almonds in food processor
Beat sugar and butter
add two (2) of the eggs and almonds.
You now have Frangipane!
Butter a flat baking sheet
unfold thawed puff pastries and using a pie pan as a template cut into two circles
Lay one circle on buttered sheet then spread Frangipane in the center
and if you like, place a dried fava bean or ceramic figure in the Frangipane
Using the last egg, beat and paint the edges of the dough
Place the other dough circle on top and seal the edges very tight!
Brush top with egg.
Bake ~ 25-30 min at 375

The galette is quite rich and it will serve 12 people.

Bisous,

Léa

Boulangerie/pâtisserie

If pain (bread) is indeed the staff of life, the French settle for nothing but the preeminent baguette a staple of life. Gourmets in all aspects of cuisine, there is more than that golden loaf of perfection. There are cereal (wholegrain) loafs and baguettes with seeds and a myriad of additional delicacies. Typically, a boulangerie will offer sandwiches, salads, individual size quiche, pizza and grilled panini and more. In my experience, there is variation depending where in the country you happen to be.
Of course, there is much more to be found in these treasure troves of sustenance. Croissants, Pain au Chocolat, Pain au Raisin… Then we move on to the decadence of Napoleons, Charlottes, Tartines, Tarts, and specially created for holidays like Couronne and a special Galette. Couronne (Crown) is ring-shaped. The dough is the same as a regular baguette, which has been shaped into a ring. However, I have lived in the south of France for over four years and not had Couronne anywhere that was not comparable to a good brioche. Valerie and Nadine, owners of Croc en Stoc where I visited today tell me that it is a brioche type of dough and that is what I have found.
 While some are unadorned, the ones they sell in their boulongerie near La Cite in Carcassonne, are decorated with course sugar and red and green cherries. There are numerous types of galette. However, from immediately after Christmas until Epiphany the galette of choice is galette des Rois (King) cake. This flaky pastry is delicately flavored with frangipane.
While I managed to catch Valerie on camera, Nadine managed to avoid the lens. Next time she will not escape! They have been in business for over four

Croc n' StocOur daily bread and croissantspâtisserie

years. Now, dear friends, I wish them only the best and look forward to the next visit when we will explore the difference between the various types of patisserie.

Bisous, Léa