“And so they left, and on their way they saw the same star they had seen in the east. When they saw it, how happy they were, what joy was theirs! It went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. They went into the house, and when they saw the child with his mother Mary, they knelt down and worshipped him. They brought out their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and presented them to him.”Matthew 2:9-11 GNB
Today marks the last day of the Christmas season – today is Epiphany, or King’s Day. In France it is La Fête des Rois, and they celebrate with a King’s Cake (which is different from the Mardi Gras King Cake) – la galette des rois.
Before packing away our ornaments and decorations, we take this one last day to celebrate the spirit of the Christmas season- the joy of being together and the hope for what will come.
This morning Mon Cœur moved the Magi to the manger of our crèche (nativity), and I went on a hunt for the galette des rois recipe in my French cookbooks. I knew we made a galette last year, and yet I couldn’t find the recipe I used. So off I went into our hodge podge of cookbooks to find one.
Years ago, Daddy purchased a book for me on French cooking…it’s huge, very comprehensive, and explains in detail how to prepare some of the most complicated pastries, desserts, and dishes of the French cuisine. It even came with a DVD!
The recipe book, French Cooking Classic Recipes and Techniques by Vincent Boué and Hubert Delorme provided the perfect, classic recipe for a galette des rois complete with an almond and pastry cream. Sorry to say, I did not try making the puff pastry from scratch – I was being a realist and leaned into Pepperidge Farms for their frozen version which worked just as well for me!
I loved though how each technique was demystified, ingredients were in our standard measurements, and how well (by this un-trained Américaine) the cake turned out.
After dinner, Mon Cœur served the traditional role of doling out slices. No one found the fève yet – so we aren’t sure who is king or queen, yet. This year with Mon Amour digging into the cake too, I made sure our fève was edible and not a choking hazard – we placed a half of a Medjool date in the cake.
Only after getting the kids to bed did I find evidence of making a galette last year- with a recipe from Florence, from My Parisian Kitchen. No wonder no one remembers the cake- last year I used what was in the pantry- apples and applesauce- instead of making the almond cream filling!
We will begin putting away our Christmas for next year, I am getting a little anxious to clean up and declutter. The one thing that doesn’t need to be packed up, and that I will endeavor to last throughout the year is the Spirit of the Season – where friends and family come together, where we spend time making, baking, laughing, and singing throughout the season.