When I think of aromatic breads, divine pastries and scrumptious cakes, French recipes and masters of the trade definitely come to mind. Truly synonymous with all things deliciously baked, it’s no wonder I celebrate this year’s Epiphany with ‘galette des rois.’ Loosely translated to ‘king cake,’ this regional favourite is made and enjoyed to commemorate the arrival of the Wise Men.
More pleasing for foodies, ‘pithiviers’ generally refers to a filled puff pastry pie that can be either sweet or savoury. For the making of this particular ‘galette,’ I decide to encase two sheets of puff pastry with almond frangipane. Just like Martha Stewart, I follow her frangipane recipe and baking instructions ‘to a T.’ Keeping things real-ly honest, however, I forgo the making of ‘pâte feuilleté’ from scratch and stand by a very good purchase of pre-made ‘quality’ frozen puff pastry. Great news is: “You can too!” Still buttery, flaky and rich, store-bought puffy pastry is my kind of “good thing!”
Recipe, now simplified, I expedite the process slightly further by spreading refrigerated ─ not frozen ─ frangipane filling onto one of two cut rounds ─ 9 inches in diameter ─ of puff pastry. Being sure not to spread the almond filling right to the edge of the pastry dough, I continue by brushing egg wash along the circumference of the first disc, then cover it with the second cut sheet, and finally seal the two. Adhering to the remaining steps, I remove the chilled encased ‘pithiviers’ from the icebox and prepare the final stages. For its completion, here’s what to do: brush the domed exterior with the remainder of egg-wash, score the top with a pattern of choice, and finally bake the ‘galette’ into a preheated oven for the specified time.
Time-elapsed and house-filled with the scent of victoriously baked sweetness, here’s the end result: it looks, smells, and tastes nothing like “store-bought!” Golden on the outside and delicately perfumed with a creamy nutty interior, this take on almond ‘pithiviers’ is indicative of ‘kingly’ flavour and desired light crispy texture. Also saving time and exceeding expectation, celebrations are clearly in order with this share-worthy pastry ─unequivocally, a piece of cake!
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