Happy Twelfth Day of Christmas! We are still celebrating here, and I had the best time making my first Galette des Rois, the traditional dessert enjoyed on January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany. I love this cake, and was delighted with the recipe on the King Arthur Flour website. It was clear and easy to follow and came out beautifully. Delicious, too.
I was more familiar with the yeast-dough King Cake beloved in New Orleans and throughout the Gulf South, which is a circle of sweet brioche dough, often filled with cinnamon, almond paste, or other fancy flavored treats, and crowned with white icing decorated with the Mardi Gras Colors of gold, green, and purple. This galette des roi is elegant and serene. Both include a small favor, which might be a ceramic figurine, a coin, a charm, or in New Orleans, a little plastic baby which is included in the package by vendors and bakers who sell King Cakes.
I tucked an apricot in my galette des rois, since I had them and they are golden and round, very auspicious. My back up plan was a big pecan half.
You glaze the entire top with a simple egg yolk-water mixture. A little goes around the border next to the almond filling, to help seal up the two layers of buttery, flaky, handsome and delicious pastry. My glaze was splotchy, not as even as it should have been.
I took this photo after I had already put my galette into the oven to begin its baking time. I wanted a “Before” picture, but forgot. It has started to rise and also to separate, and at this point I was discouraged. But I let it bake and despite ways to go I have in the presentation and beauty and technique department, my galette came out handsome and golden, and I am thrilled and proud. I plan to make this again, so that I become very familiar with the wonderful dough and almond filling. I imagine letting it chill after shaping it would be a good thing — in this case, I needed to get it right in the oven so no chance to do that, and the recipe did not call for it.
If you’d like to check out this recipe on the King Arthur Flour website, click HERE!
It’s a glorious cake, fitting for a milestone day like the Twelfth Day of Christmas. Hope it’s been a good one for you, and that you are strolling into the new year with confidence, comfort, health, big dreams, fun plans, and joy. Happy New Year, and hope you get the prize!
- 1½ cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 16 tablespoons (1 cup) cold butter
- ½ cup sour cream
- ⅔ cup almond paste
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- ½ cup almond flour or very finely ground whole almonds
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon cold water
- Crust: Measure flour by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder.
- Cut the cold butter into pats, and work it into the flour mixture until it's unevenly crumbly, with larger bits of butter remaining intact.
- Stir in the sour cream. The dough will be craggy but cohesive.
- Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and bring it together, if necessary, with a few quick kneads.
- Pat the dough into a rough square. Roll it into a rough 8" x 10" rectangle. Make sure the underside is sufficiently dusted with flour that you can move it around easily.
- Starting with one of the shorter (8") ends, fold the dough in thirds like a business letter. Flip it over (so the open flap is on the bottom), and turn it 90°.
- Roll the dough into an 8" x 10" rectangle again. Fold it in thirds again.
- Wrap the dough in plastic, and place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes (or overnight).
- When you're ready to proceed, start preheating the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment.
- Divide the pastry in half. Roll one half into a 10" square.
- Using a 10"-round template (e.g., a dinner plate), cut a 10" circle. Set the circle onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Filling: Beat the almond paste, butter, sugar, and salt until thoroughly combined.
- Add the egg yolks and vanilla, and beat until well incorporated.
- Mix in the flours.
- Roll the other piece of pastry into an 11" square. Cut an 11" circle.
- To assemble the galette: Spread the filling over the smaller circle, leaving a 1" rim around the edge of the pastry.
- Glaze: Mix the egg yolk and water together. Brush some glaze over the uncovered edge of the pastry.
- Center the larger round of dough over the filled bottom crust, and smooth it over the filling. Using a fork, press and crimp the edge of the galette to seal.
- Decorate the galette by using the back of a knife to trace a pattern on the surface; you'll just barely cut into the surface without cutting all the way through.
- Poke a vent hole in the center, and four additional small slits at other random spots, hiding the slits in the pattern you've drawn.
- Bake the almond galette for 30 to 35 minutes, or until it's golden. Don't be afraid to let it become deeply browned; this slight caramelization gives the butter in the crust wonderful flavor.
- Remove the galette from the oven, and cool it slightly right on the baking sheet.
- Serve galette warm or at room temperature.
- Store any leftovers at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.