Today Christians worldwide celebrate the Epiphany. In French tradition the celebration includes the Galette des Rois or King's Cake. So when my friend Terry Meredith, French teacher at Aquinas High School in Augusta Georgia, asked if I would make the coveted Galette des Rois for her students, I stepped up to the plate! The galette is a cake made with puff pastry and frangipane and usually has a little charm - called a fève - baked into it. According to tradition, whoever gets the piece of cake with the fève, gets to wear a crown and is favored for the day.
|Aquinas High School students with the Galettes des Rois|
Galette des Rois Recipe
(Adapted from a recipe by David Lebowitz)
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
4 ounces unsalted butter, cubed, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 teaspoons rum extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 sheets puff pastry, chilled
1 whole almond (for fève)
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon cream or milk
In a medium bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the almond flour, sugar, salt, and orange zest. Gradually fold in the butter until it’s completely incorporated. Stir in the eggs one at a time, along with the rum and almond extract. (The mixture may not look completely smooth, which is normal.) Cover and chill.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On lightly floured surface, roll one piece of puff pastry into a circle about 9-inches round. Using the bottom of springform pan as a template, trim the dough into neat circle. Place the dough on the baking sheet. Cover it with a sheet of parchment paper or plastic film, then roll the other piece of dough into a circle, trim it, and lay it on top. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.
Remove the dough and almond filling from the refrigerator. Slide the second circle of dough and parchment from pan so that there is only one circle of dough on the parchment lined baking sheet. Spread the almond filling over the center of the dough, leaving a 1-inch exposed border. Place the almond to act as the fève (charm) somewhere in the almond filling.
Brush water generously around the exposed perimeter of the dough then place the other circle of dough on top and press down to seal the edges very well. (At this point, you may wish to chill the galette since it’ll be easier to finish and decorate. It can be refrigerated overnight at this point, if you wish.)
Preheat the oven to 375F Flute the sides of the dough and use a paring knife to create a design on top. Stir together the egg yolk with cream and brush it evenly over the top – avoid getting the glaze on the sides, which will inhibit the pastry from rising at the edges. Use a paring knife to poke 5 holes in the top, to allow steam escape while baking.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until the galette is browned on top and sides. Remove from the oven and slide the galette off the baking sheet and onto a cooling rack. The galette will deflate as it cools, which is normal. Serve warm or at room temperature.