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 from their local boulangerie.
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.
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?
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 almond meal, 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. See for yourself!
Galette des rois
- 2 sheets of puff pastry or 2 recipes of homemade puff pastry
- 100 g unsalted butter 1/2 c, softened
- 100 g granulated sugar 1/2 c
- 1 egg plus another egg for brushing on top
- 100 g almond meal or almond flour
- teaspoons splash of cognac or rum couple
- 1 in crisp apple gala or fuji, peeled and sliced thin wedges
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- teaspoons splash of lemon juice couple
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
In a bowl, combine the apple slices with the brown sugar and lemon juice. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with a spatula until combined and fluffy. Add the egg and mix in well.
Add in the almond meal and the splash of cognac (or rum) and stir together until combined well. Temporarily set aside.
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.
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.
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.
Beat the extra egg before brushing it on top of the pastry. Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the pastry is golden and crisp.