‘La Galette des Rois’ is made especially for the Epiphany, traditionally observed on January 6th, a biblical date to celebrate the arrival of Magi (also known as the three Kings or the three Wise Men) visiting Jesus in his manger.
The custom is to hide a little charm or fève within, and the lucky guest who finds it is crowned King or Queen. That’s the reason why, when you buy a Galette des Rois in the bakery, a paper crown will be included. The more upscale fèves are made of porcelain or gold-plated and make collectable items. Collectors are called fabophiles. Remember to be careful when you bite into your galette, or your celebration may result in an unscheduled visit to the dentist.
Here is an easy and quick version of the galette:
Ingredients (Serves 6-8)
2 circles of puff pastry (pâte feuilletée) refrigerated
100 g butter (softened)
150 powdered almonds
pinch of flour
3 eggs, separated
tablespoon or rum – optional
drop of vanilla essence
3 teaspoons icing sugar (sucre glacé) – optional
1 fève (small porcelain figurine or metal charm)
Making the galette
Pre-heat the over to 200 degrees.
With a whisk, cream the butter and mix in the powdered almonds, and flour.
Beat the three egg yolks and add to the almond mixture, a little at a time.
Incorporate rum and vanilla.
Place one pastry round on a baking sheet. Spoon the almond and egg mixture into the centre. Insert the fève into the mixture about two inches from the edge.
Mix the egg whites with two teaspoons of water. Use pastry brush to wet 1/2″ edge around pastry round with egg mixture to form a seal. Place other pastry round on top and gently pinch edges. Then with the pastry brush wet top of pastry with egg wash mixture to give it a shiny finish.
Score an inner circle about half an inch from the edge minding that the cut does not go all the way through the pastry. In the same way, very lightly score a pattern or a few lines on the top to let the steam out while baking.
Bake about 25-30 minutes or until the top turns golden and the edges puff up.
Cool on a wire rack.
Serve at room temperature (you can sprinkle it with icing sugar) and remember keep the paper crown handy for the lucky winner to wear.