Posts Tagged ‘epiphanie’

Galette des rois with almonds and apple sauce

6 January 2022

Was it acceptable to eat a galette des rois on Tuesday 4th January 2022?

My former self never thought of galette before the 6th, which is the official date of Epiphany. For Christians, it is the 12th day of Christmas on which Jesus was presented to the magi (wise men, or ‘kings’). For us heathens, Epiphany is the excuse for galette. I was always scrupulously attached to the date, but this year, things are different. Enticed by my father who mentioned they were having a galette on Sunday (last Sunday), I decided to shatter conventions and invite friends over for an end-of-the-holidays, delayed-return-to-school, afternoon galette goûter on Tuesday. In France it is acceptable to eat galette anytime in January, is it not?!

Not so simple. My friends immediately accepted, though they were, I learned, a little confused by the invitation. Galette on the 4th? Was this acceptable? We did the research. As it turns out, like a number of countries in which Epiphany is not a bank holiday, France, since the Concordat of 1801, benefits from an official exception awarded by the Catholic church to celebrate Epiphany on the Sunday (i.e. nonworking day) that falls between the 2nd and the 8th of January. It has therefore been acceptable, this year, to eat galette since Sunday 2nd January — Phew!

In any case, it is advised to continue buying, baking, eating, and sharing galettes until the end of the month.

You can find more galette stories and traditions here and here.

After the classic version with almond filling, and a venerable one with poached pears, I have cracked the almond and apple sauce recipe attempted last year. Here it is!

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Galette des rois with almonds and apple sauce
For a galette about 30 cm (12″) in diameter
I make a very tart unsweetened apple sauce, as anything else would be too sweet.

2 sheets puff pastry (best, pure-butter, store-bought kind, or self-made)
75g (1/3 cup) unsalted butter
At least 6 very tart apples (Russet are great)
100g (1 cup) whole almonds (for this galette I like whole almonds with the peel that are home ground, but for ease almond flour would work too)
75 g (1/3 cup) sugar
25g candied orange or citrus peel, or zest from 1/2 orange or lemon
Pinch salt
1 egg
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 tsp rum

1 egg yolk and 2 Tbsps milk for the eggwash
1 fève (dried fava bean or small porcelain figurine)

Take the puff pastry out of the freezer, if applicable.
Let the butter soften in a warm spot (not too hot, it shouldn’t melt!) until it becomes easy to beat with a spoon.

Meanwhile make the applesauce. Cut, core, and peel the apples in quarters. Cut each quarter in half crosswise. Place the prepared apples in a saucepan, with a milimeter of water at the bottom to help it not stick. Cook the apples over medium heat for about 15 minutes, until all the chunks are soft. Take off the heat and set aside.

Place the almonds in a food processor and pulse grind until fine. Add the sugar and, if using, the finely cut candied fruit or the zest, and process a few minutes longer.

In a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy.

Add the almond/sugar mix to the butter and mix well before beating the egg thoroughly into the batter. Stir in the salt, almond extract, and rum. Refrigerate if possible (Anywhere from half an hour and up to 24h until ready to use.)

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry into two circles of the same size (about 30 cm or 12″). Use a tarte dish or other to trim the circles into neat edges.

Place one circle of dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread the almond cream on the dough, leaving an edge of about 1 cm (1/2 inch) along the circumference. Place the fève randomly onto the cream. Spread a layer of apple sauce on top of the almond cream. (There may be some left over, all the better!)

Make an egg wash by beating 1 egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of milk lightly with a fork. Brush the egg wash along the circumference of the dough. Carefully place the second round of dough on top and press along the edge thoroughly to seal. (Reserve the rest of the egg wash in the fridge.)

Place the assembled galette in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes (or overnight).

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F (180°C) and remove the galette from the refrigerator. With a sharp knife, etch a design onto the galette, then brush generously with the rest of the egg wash.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until the galette is golden brown.

Serve warm (lightly reheated if necessary). The person who finds the fève is queen, or king, for the day!

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