The Galette des Rois is made to celebrate the Epiphany, the arrival of the Magi to visit the baby Jesus, on January 6th. The Brioche des Rois is more traditional in southern France, while the Galette is the king in northern France.
[Serves 8 people]
For the pastry cream:
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the almond cream:
- 3 egg yolks
- 1-1/4 cup ground almonds
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- A splash of rum (optional)
- 2 store-brought crusts, or you can make your own "pâte feuilletée"
- 1 yolk for brushing the crust before baking
- A paper crown and a "feve" (small trinket hidden in the pastry - you could use a dried bean)
- For the pastry cream, beat the eggs and the sugar for 1 minute. Heat the milk and vanilla in a pot, then add the egg-sugar mixture. Heat on low until the mixture thickens. Cover the mixture with saran wrap, making it touch the top of the cream, and cool for 1 hour.
- For the almond cream, mix the butter and the sugar. Add each egg yolk seperately, then mix in the ground almonds and the rum, if you wish.
- Mix the pastry cream and the almond cream together. You can put this into a pastry bag to pipe onto the bottom crust in a spiral fashion, but I just pour it into the middle of the crust, keeping about a 1 inch border.
- Add the "feve", but not too close to the middle in order to avoid hitting it when cutting to serve.
- Brush some yolk on the outside border, place the second crust on top, and pinch to seal. You may use a knife to lightly cut some designs into the top of the galette.
- Brush the remaining yolk on top, and bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 400°, then lower the temperature to 350° and continue baking for about 30 minutes.
The tradition is that the youngest person closes their eyes and says who each piece is for while the galette is being cut. The person who finds the "feve" in their slice is crowned King or Queen. For us, it was my husband Jean-François, and he wore the crown the whole day!
Jean-François is king for the day (Photo : Laura Crotet)
- Laura Crotet, France Just For You
If you would like to be royalty for a day while traveling in France, contact us to help you plan your trip.