Galettes des Rois


January 6, The Feast of Epiphany or Little Christmas, is a holy festival honoring the wise men coming to the infant Jesus.

This is one of the most popular eating traditions in France that takes place in January every year. A "fève" - a small porcelein figurine - is hidden in the galette before baking.

The youngest child present sits under the table, and as the galette is sliced and served, the child chooses to whom the slice will go.

The lucky guest who gets the fève is crowned king/queen and chooses a queen/king among the other guests. This takes place all over France in every family, between friends and work colleagues.

Recipe: Galette des Rois

(Serves 8)

1 1/4 lb frozen puff pastry
2 eggs
7 oz almond paste

Leave the puff pastry at room temperature for about 2 hours until defrosted but still cold.

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Line a baking sheet or pizza pan with baking parchment or grease the pan and lightly sift flour on it. Shake off any excess flour. Roll each sheet of pastry into a circle about 12 inches across.

Place one circle on the prepared pan.

Mix the egg with the almond paste until smooth and spread the mixture evenly on the prepared circle of pastry, leaving a border 1 1/2 inches wide all around. If you have a small figurine, insert it into the almond mixture.

Place the second circle of pastry on top and press it down tightly around the rim.

Beat lightly the remaining egg and brush it on the top of the cake. With a long-bladed knife, press lightly but firmly through the egg glaze marking a crisscross pattern.

Bake for 20–25 minutes until golden and puffed. Do not check for doneness for at least 15 minutes, as the pastry may collapse. Serve slightly warm or cold.

Traditionally the galette is topped with a cardboard crown, which is given to the person who gets the fève.


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