This Galette des Rois recipe is traditionally prepared in Northern France to celebrate Epiphany on 6th January. Two circles of flaky, buttery puff pastry enclose a layer of frangipane cream topped with slices of apple. Traditionally a broad bean 'la fève' is hidden inside the galette and the person who finds it becomes a king for the day but also has to buy or make the following year's galette. In the late 19th century the broad bean was replaced by porcelain figurines depicting the three wise men and other scenes from the Nativity and they are still very popular today.
Treat yourself to this Galette des Rois recipe as a last seasonal treat to take the edge off the New Year. Or enjoy it fresh from the oven with vanilla ice cream in the run up to Christmas. We've made the frangipane cream from a base of pastry cream mixed with pure almond paste. The frangipane is just sweet enough to balance the tart apples without making the dessert overly sweet. The beauty of this Galette des Rois recipe comes in the unique pastry decoration - using a small knife let your festive spirit go wild scoring stars, Christmas trees or any manner of Christmas pattern on the surface of the galette.
For the frangipane cream Serves: 8
For the apples
- 250g green cooking apples
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- A knob of butter
Assembling and baking
For the frangipane cream
- Bring the milk and roughly ½ of the caster sugar to the boil in a pan.
- Meanwhile mix together the remaining caster sugar and the corn flour in a bowl using a whisk.
- Add the egg yolk to the sugar-cornflour mixture, and mix to combine.
- When the milk has come to the boil pour around 2 tablespoons of it over the egg mixture, whisking constantly.
- Pour the egg mixture in with the rest of the milk and return to the hob over a low flame, whisking constantly.
- When the mixture begins to thicken remove from the heat whilst continuing to stir constantly.
- Add the butter, almond paste and vanilla paste and mix until the butter has melted and the pastes have been combined.
- Pour into a flat dish covered in cling film. Cover with another layer of cling film and place in the freezer for 15 minutes to rapidly drop the temperature of the cream. Then transfer to the fridge until ready to use.
For the apples
- Peel and core the apples. Cut them into slices about 1cm thick.
- Heat the knob of butter in a pan. Cook the apple slices in the butter to soften them a little – they should still be firm as they will be cooked again in the oven.
- Off the heat place the apple slices on absorbent paper to remove any excess liquid. Then, in a bowl, sprinkle them with the caster sugar so they are all evenly coated.
Assembling and baking
- Preheat the oven to 210°C for a fan oven.
- Take the puff pastry circles out of the fridge and place on a silicone pastry mat. One circle will form the base and the other, the top.
- Use a patisserie brush to brush the edge of the base circle with beaten egg, to a thickness of 1 inch all the way round.
- Spoon the frangipane cream into a circle in the middle of the pastry base to within 2 inches of the edge of the pastry.
- Place the apple slices on top of the cream, arranged in a spiral.
- Now place the other pastry circle on top and press down lightly at the edges where you brushed the pastry with egg. Alternatively, if the pastry has become too sticky to handle easily, place it in the freezer for 10 minutes until you can pick up the second pastry circle without stretching it.
- Brush the top with egg. Using the blunt side of a small knife press down at intervals around the perimeter of the pastry to seal the two circles of pastry together.
- Use the sharp edge of the knife to score a pattern of your choosing on the top of the pastry. Be careful not to puncture the pastry as this will cause the filling to bubble out during cooking.
- Rest the galette for 15 minutes in the fridge. Then bake it for 10 minutes at 210°C before dropping the temperature to 180°C for a further 25-35 minutes until the pastry is nicely brown but not burnt.
- Serve warm with a drizzle of double cream or a spoonful of vanilla ice cream.