Galette des rois aux pommes (King’s cake)

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You know what I love about the French? They never stop feasting. Just when everybody here in the States is stocking up on green smoothies and kale salads, the French are out buying frangipane-filled pastry cakes like this galette des rois from their local boulangerie.

Galette des rois aux pommes

While we’re taking down our Christmas decorations and sulking over the end of the holiday celebrations, the French are preparing for yet another chance to gather together and eat like royalty. This, my friends, is why I love the French so very much.

In the spirit of embracing my inner Francophile, I’m continuing to indulge like it’s December 2015 and sharing this Galette des rois aux pommes with you.

galette des rois

La Galette des rois (literally, cake of kings) is a puff pastry cake filled with almond cream (frangipane) and served on Epiphany Day, January 6th. In France, this kind of cake is served throughout the month and is really what the holiday is known for rather than the holiday’s religious origin.

Traditionally, a trinket or charm is hidden inside the cake, and whoever receives the slice of cake with the hidden item is chosen as King or Queen for the day. Too bad that I act like I’m the Queen of Versailles every chance I get when I’m in France, anyways, regardless of what day of the year it is or what slice of cake I receive.

I mean, I didn’t buy a book on the manners and etiquette of French aristocracy for nothing, you know?

galette des rois

But I digress. Whether you decide to make someone King or Queen for the day or just make this galette sans trinket, you will be happy you made this dessert.

Like all sinfully good foods, this galette utilizes puff pastry. You can either make your own, or you can use store-bought sheets like I’ve done here.

Between two rounds of puff pastry, you’ll find delectable frangipane, which is made from an equal ratio of [easyazon_link identifier=”B0082GV1Z2″ locale=”US” tag=”monpetitfour-20″]almond meal[/easyazon_link], sugar, and butter. If this were a classic Galette des rois, then you’d simply find the frangipane, and sometimes pastry cream, inside. However, I decided to make a Galette des rois à la normande (Normandy) by adding sliced apples in between as well. I just think apples and almond cream go so well together, and the apples add a nice little surprise in there as well.

This dessert is so fragrant and sensational, and if you use store-bought puff pastry, then it’s such a cinch to whip up.

galette des rois

Galette des rois

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Sweet almond pastry cream and apple slices enveloped inside a round of golden puff pastry. 

Ingredients

  • 2 sheets of puff pastry, or 2 recipes of homemade puff pastry
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, (100 g), softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, (100 g)
  • 1 egg, plus another egg for brushing on top
  • 1 cup almond meal or almond flour, (100 g)
  • splash of cognac or rum
  • 1 crisp apple, gala or fuji, peeled and sliced into thin wedges
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar, (12.5 g)
  • splash of lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  2. In a bowl, combine the apple slices with the brown sugar and lemon juice. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with a spatula until combined and fluffy. Add the egg and mix in well.
  4. Add in the almond meal and the splash of cognac (or rum) and stir together until combined well. Temporarily set aside.
  5. Unfold your sheet of puff pastry and place a round plate that’s about 8 inches in diameter, face down, on top of the pastry. Trace the rim of the plate with a knife then run the knife along the tracing again to completely cut out the pastry round. Repeat this step with the second sheet of puff pastry, except this time, trace around the rim of the plate, leaving 1/2 an inch space between where you actually cut and the plate. You want this second round to be slightly larger than the first one.
  6. Place the first pastry round on your prepared baking sheet. Spread half of the frangipane filling over the pastry, leaving a 1/2 inch border bare along the rim of the pastry round. Place the marinated apple slices on top, then top with the rest of the frangipane, smoothing the frangipane out as carefully and best as you can.
  7. Place the second pastry round on top, pinching the edges together to seal the pastry envelope. Flute the edges, if you desire, and then use a sharp knife to make diagonal (zig zag) cuts on the surface of the pastry. Alternatively, you can make radial cuts to create swirls.
  8. Beat the extra egg before brushing it on top of the pastry. Bake the cake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden and crisp on top and up the sides (some ovens get hotter, which is why you'll want to start checking the pastry at the 20 minute mark for readiness).

Notes

You can serve the cake warm or room temperature, but I suggest waiting for the cake to cool to room temperature so that the filling doesn’t ooze out of each slice and instead has some time to solidify/set.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 6 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 588
galette des rois

18 thoughts on “Galette des rois aux pommes (King’s cake)”

  1. Hello Beeta,

    What type of rum do you use for the galette des rois? Bacardi light rum or dark rum? Not sure which type to buy.

    Merci!

    Reply

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