The tradition wants that on the Epiphany – January 6th – we cut the Galette des Rois.
The biblical meaning is when the three wise men (rois mages): Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar learn the existence of the God the son being a human named Jesus Christ and come to see him.
Nowadays, not only we cut the Galette des Rois on January 6th, but we tend to do it until the end of January.
If you go to France around that time and enter a Bakery, next to the baguettes there will be a variety of Galettes for you to chose from.
The basis of the recipe is: a pate feuilletee, sugar, butter, almond and one egg!
The most common are “Dry” or “with Frangipane.”
Aside from celebrating a holiday, people and kids in particular love to have a Galette for dessert as there is a little game around it.
This is how you play:
You cut the Galette des Rois in slices, as you would do with a regular cake. The difference being that in the Galette des Rois, there is a little porcelain charm inserted directly into the pie.
Most of the time, people delegate the cutting part of the Galette as a majority tend to cut on the charm allowing everybody to know in which slice the charm is. The game is then ruined… or, you subtly put it back in place in the middle of the slice, and turn the plate several times in order to confuse the location of the charm!
Then, the youngest person of the group is required to go under the table.
He or she will tell the cutter or server which slice goes to whom.
Once everybody is served, the Galette can be eaten… The game is to figure out who got the charm, avoiding on choking or breaking a tooth with it!
He or she is then proclaimed as King or Queen, allowing them to pick their significant other and wear the beautiful crown (usually in paper with glitter) that you got when you bought the Galette.
The Galette is best served warm…
Tip: Turn your oven on 400F degrees (200C)- Let your oven warm up, then turn the heat off and put your Galette in for 5 minutes.
For the Best Galette des Rois Frangipane
In New York: Go to PAYARD on 116 West Houston, New York City