Growing up, I knew that January 6 was the date in which the three kings visited baby Jesus. This meant two things for me: my mom would give me candy on that day to represent the gifts that the kings brought to baby Jesus and if I was lucky we would go to a pastry shop to get a roscon de reyes. Roscon de reyes is a yeasted bread braided into a wreath. It is something between brioche and Danish pastry, and filled with cream. Later in life, I discovered the French Galette des Rois that is made with puff pastry and frangipane. This year I tried my hand at making it. I liked this Dorie Greenspan recipe the most because it mixes frangipane (almond cream) and pastry cream. The mixture of the two makes for a lighter and creamier filling. I wanted to adapt the recipe to try to mimic Pierre Herme’s Ispahan galette (filled with rose & lychee cream and raspberries), but thought it best to try the recipe as is the first time.
Please note that you will have more almond cream and pastry cream than you need. You could use the leftover pastry cream to make cream puffs. To make the pâte a choux follow this recipe.
Galette Des Rois
(Recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan at Serious Eats)
Almond Cream (makes 1¼ cups)
• 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
• 3/4 cup ground blanched almonds
• 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon cornstarch
• 1 large egg, at room temperature
1. Place all dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor with the butter. Process until smooth. Add in the egg and process until smooth. You can freeze any leftover almond cream.
Pastry Cream (makes 2 cups)
• 2 cups whole milk
• 1 plump, moist vanilla been, split and scraped
• 6 large egg yolks
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/3 cup cornstarch
• 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced, and at room temperature
1. In a medium saucepan, bring milk and vanilla bean to a simmer. Turn heat off and let it infuse for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean from the milk.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the yolks, sugar, then sift in the cornstarch and mix well. Drizzle in 1/3 of the hot milk. Place the egg milk mixture in the saucepan with the rest of the milk. Turn heat to medium and cook stirring constantly until the mixture thickens.
3. Strain mixture into a bowl, let it cool for 5 minutes, and add in the butter. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled. Use within two days.
• 14 ounces all-butter puff pastry, homemade or store bought, chilled and ready to roll
• 3/4 cup almond cream
• 1/4 cup pastry cream
• 1 tablespoon dark rum
• 1 large egg
• Powdered sugar for sprinkling at the end
1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Roll one puff pastry sheet to make it even, and cut a 9 inch circle. Cover and refrigerate. Roll out second puff pastry sheet to make it even, and cut a 9.5 inch circle. Cover and refrigerate.
3. Stir together ¾ cup almond cream, ¼ cup pastry cream, and 1 tablespoon rum and place a side.
4. Take out the 9 inch pastry from the refrigerator, brush egg in outer 1 inch of circle. Place the cream in the middle and smooth it out without placing any on the 1 inch border that was brushed with egg. If you are using a trinket, then place inside the cream. Take out the 9.5 inch pastry from the refrigerator and place it on top of the smaller one with the cream. Press the edges well trying to not stretch the pastry. Using a sharp knife, cut out a scalloped border. Brush the top of the galette with egg. With the knife, delicately make a decorative pattern on top of the pastry from the center to the sides, without cutting through the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Cut a steam vent in the center of the galette. You can refrigerate the prepared galette for 24 hours or freeze for a month. Pre-heat your oven to 450°F for 30 minutes.
5. Place galette in the oven and lower the temperature to 400°F. Bake galette for 35 minutes, until it is golden brown. Take galette out from the oven, increase oven temperature to 450°, sift a very light coating of powdered sugar on top, and place galette back in the oven for about 5 minutes until the sugar melts and you get a beautiful golden brown glaze on top. Watch the galette closely as it can burn quickly. Take galette out of the oven and let it cool for 15 minutes before serving. It is best served the same day it is baked.