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Contents of article "La galette des rois - December"
La Fête des Rois (Three Kings Day)
The French tradition of serving a frangipane filled tart known as the ’galette des rois’ (or the gateau des rois in the South of France) on, or around the 6th January, (the first Sunday of each New Year) actually dates back to the 14th century. It is an ancient festival which celebrates the 3 kings who brought gifts to Jesus, soon after he was born.
Although a normal school and working day, La Fête des Roisis still very much a family tradition.A ’fève’ (*originally a bean but now tends to be a plastic trinket)is baked inside the cake and the cake is shared around the table. Whoever receives thefève is then crowned king or queen for the day and has the much coveted opportunity of bossing the rest of the family about!. That same person can also choose someone to be their king or queen. According to tradition, the cake should be cut into as many slices as there are people present, plus 1 extra. This extra slice is called either, the part du Bon Dieu (God’s slice), the part de la Vierge (the Virgin Mary’s slice) or the part du pauvre (poor man’s slice) and should be offered to the first poor person who stops at the home! (*Tip: Watch out for your teeth if you are the lucky winner of the ’fève’; Trust me - I talk from experience!)
Galette des Rois - recipe
- 1/4 cup almond paste
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 (17.25 ounce) package frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 dry kidney bean
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar for dusting
- Place the almond paste into a food processor or blender with about half of the sugar, and process until well blended. Add the butter and remaining sugar and process until smooth, then blend in 1 egg, vanilla extract, almond extract, flour and salt. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Butter a baking sheet or line with parchment paper, and set aside.
- Roll out one sheet of the puff pastry into an 11 inch square. Keep the pastry cool, do not knead or stretch. Use a large pie plate, cake pan or frying pan to trace an 11 inch circle onto the dough using the tip of a small knife. Place the circle of pastry onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the second sheet of pastry. Refrigerate both sheets.
- Mound the almond filling onto the center of the pastry that is on the baking sheet. Leave about 1 1/2 inch margin at the edges. Press the bean or feve down into the filling. Place the second sheet of pastry on top, and press down the edges to seal. Beat the remaining egg with a fork, and lightly brush onto the top of the gallette. Use a knife to make a criss cross pattern in the egg wash, and then prick several small slits in the top to vent steam while baking.
- Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Do not open the oven until the time is up, as the pastry will not fully puff. Remove from the oven, and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Return to the oven, and cook for an additional 12 to 15 minutes, or until the top is a deep golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- Lay a golden paper crown gently on top of the cake. This will be used to crown the person who finds the bean or feve. Serve warm or cold. Bon appétit!
Make sure to tell everyone about the bean or fève; particularly those with crowns!!!