Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Puff Pastry Tart Filled with Almond Cream

According to Gourmet it is traditional to serve this galette (Galette des Rois) on January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany, 12 days after Christmas In France. Be careful not to bite too hard — you might get the dried bean hidden inside (to symbolize the baby Jesus). Whoever finds the bean in their slice is crowned king or queen for the day.

I think you need to use a little bit more of the almond pasta and the extract, otherwise the taste is too subtle.

You can also add some fruit on top of the paste before cooking, such as pears or strawberries. I like it better with the fruit, but you don't have to have it.

And it makes a great breakfast the next morning:)


1/4 cup pure almond paste (2 oz)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 (17 1/4-oz) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
1 dried bean such as a lima bean (optional)
1/2 tablespoon confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Purée almond paste, granulated sugar, butter, and a pinch of salt in a food processor until smooth. Add 1 egg, vanilla, and almond extract and purée until incorporated. Add flour and pulse until incorporated.

Roll out 1 puff pastry sheet into an 11 1/2-inch square on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin, then brush off excess flour from both sides. Cut out an 11-inch round by tracing around an inverted plate with tip of a paring knife.

Transfer round to a buttered large baking sheet (not dark metal, or pastry may brown too much), discarding trimmings, and chill. Repeat procedure with second pastry sheet, leaving round on floured surface.

Beat remaining egg with a fork and brush some over top of second round. Score round decoratively all over using tip of knife, then make several small slits all the way through pastry, at about 2-inch intervals, to create steam vents.

Brush some of egg in a 1-inch-wide border around edge of chilled pastry round (on baking sheet). Mound almond cream in center of chilled round, spreading slightly, and bury bean in cream. Immediately cover with decorated round and press edges together lightly. Holding a small spoon with side at an angle, press around edge to seal galette decoratively.

Bake galette in lower third of oven until puffed and pale golden, 13 to 15 minutes. Dust galette with confectioners sugar and bake in upper third of oven until edge is deep golden brown and shiny, 12 to 15 minutes more. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly, 5 to 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Makes 8 servings.

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