Galette des Rois/Brioche des Rois: A French Tradition and Recipe!
In France, the entire month of January is synonymous with sharing dessert in celebration of l'Epiphanie. This is the day on which the three kings (“Les Trois Mages”) Gaspard, Balthazar and Melchior came to pay their tribute to the world-famous baby born just a couple of weeks before.
The actual day is January 6th, but it’s celebrated all month long.
This day has lost its religious significance in most French families, gaining a sweeter, much more buttery one. Families and friends in Paris and the North share a “Galette des Rois”, a flaked pastry pie filled with frangipane, a butter-rich, smooth mixture of crème d'amande (almond cream) and crème pâtissière (pastry cream); However in the South (so, here!), the tradition is maintained with a Brioche des Rois, a delicate cake.
The best thing about the Fête des Rois, apart from its delicious cake and another excuse to get together, is the family ritual that goes with it. The youngest child of the family hides under the table, an adult divides the galette in even slices, and the child calls out which slice goes to whom.
This is VERY important, because “la fève” is hidden in the galette. Historically a dry fava bean (hence the name), it is now a little porcelain figure. Whoever gets the fève in his serving is named King (or Queen) for the day, gets to wear the golden paper crown that comes with the galette, picks who the Queen (or King) will be.
It’s also so easy to make your own. Here’s the recipe:
3 Galette des Rois
2 sheets ready-made pie crusts, pâtes feuilletées (au beurre)
140g almond powder (poudre d’amande)
75g butter, softened
Mix the butter and the sugar until the mix whitens, then add the beaten eggs and the ground almond, mix well. In the middle of the first sheet of puff pastry, pour the mix.
Don’t forget to place “a fève” in at this point!
Lay the second sheet on top, and roll the sides of the sheets together towards the inside to seal the galette. With a knife, draw diagonal lines in both direction (so that they cross each other) to create the pattern. Then with a brush, spread the yolk on the whole cake to give it a golden colour.
Put in an oven for 30 minutes at 200° C Serve warm.
Written and Recipe by Linda Martin, an American living in Bordeaux
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I am a 40-something year old American woman. Born in Texas, raised in Las Vegas!
Frenchified for Life
is a fabulous little lifestyle blog about truly embracing French life!
My intent is to simply inspire you to create something unique and beautiful in your everyday life. The French have this wonderful and annoying habit of seeing the world through rose colored glasses, might as well learn something from them!
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