From the Queen of Gems, a recipe for Galette des Rois

The galette des rois, a traditional French pastry served during the Epiphany (The Feast of the Three Kings).  A tiny ceramic toy (big enough not to swallow!) is baked into the galette.  In the old days, a dried fava bean was used, so to this day the favor is still called la feve.  The galette is cut into as many slices as people in the party, and everyone picks 1 piece of galette.  The one who discovers the toy is made the 'King (or Queen) of the day' and wears a paper crown. He or she then picks a Queen/King by putting the toy in another's glass.  Tradition says that the next party should be at the king's expense. 

Cook time: 45 minutes

  • For the pastry: 1 or 2 packages (17.3-ounce) store-bought puff pastry sheets.  If frozen, thaw in refrigerator.
  • Frangipane cream for the filling, enough for 2 galettes:
    • 1 cup soft butter
    • 1 cup ground blanched almonds
    • 4 tablespoons flour
    • 3 eggs
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon almond extract
    • 1 pinch salt
    • Powdered sugar, for dusting
    • Egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. With an electric beater, mix all the ingredients for the frangipane cream, until blended. On a slightly floured cold surface, cut 2 circles the size of dinner plates out of the puff pastry. Put one of them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush one inch around the edge of the circle with egg wash (beaten egg yolk). Spread half of the frangipane cream on the center and place the second circle on top matching the edges of the circles. Press all around the edges to glue them together. Press softly in the center to evenly spread the filling. If making 2 galettes, use remaining cream and follow the same method for preparation. 

Decorate the galette with a fork, press edges together all around -- no pricking. With the point of a knife, make any kind of design, being careful not to go all the way through the puff pastry. Brush the surface with egg wash, without getting any on the sides. 

Bake the galette in the center of a preheated 450-degree oven for 15 minutes, then at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. In the last 5 minutes, sprinkle with powdered sugar and bake until golden brown. Serve warm with a gold paper crown on top. 

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