THREE KINGS' CAKE --- GALETTE DES ROIS
You will need a 10” (or thereabouts) spring form pan. Make the crème patissiere first and let it cool before you roll out the pastry and fill the galette.
(to be technical, once you add the almonds & extract, this becomes a crème frangipane. You can use it without almonds to fill cream puffs or to put between the layers of a Boston Cream pie, in a regular old banana cream pie, etc. as well.)
For a 10” galette:
2 cups of milk = 2/3 cup dry milk, 1/2 cup cold water, 1 1/2 cups boiling water
3 or 4 egg yolks and 1 whole egg
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
3 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
1 cup blanched, finely ground almonds (grind in small blender container until coarse meal)
1 dark dried bean or unblanched almond kernel
Small amounts of milk and sugar
This may be made stovetop, but is much easier in the microwave. Stovetop directions on request.
Separate 3 or 4 eggs and freeze the whites for another use (Pavlova takes 5 egg whites)
In a microwaveable bowl, combine the sugar with the egg yolks, whisking vigorously until well mixed. Add the 1/4 cup flour and the whole egg and whisk until light and creamy. Add the dry milk powder and 1/2 cup cold water and whisk until the dry milk is mixed in and then gradually add the boiling water. When well mixed, microwave at one minute intervals, whisking each time, until cream has thickened and come to a boil. Remove from heat, stir well until smooth and dot the top with the 3 tablespoons of butter, which will melt and spread and keep a skin from forming. Allow to cool. If you are in a hurry, put the bowl into cold water in a sink, changing the water as it gets warm. When it is cool, stir in the ground almonds and extract and the dark bean or almond.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Using 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 Tablespoon of sugar and 1/2 cup cold butter, prepare a pie crust, using as much cold water as necessary (between 1/3 & 1/2 cup, approx) to make a workable crust, handling as little as possible.
Divide the ball into 2 parts, approximately 2/3 to form the lower crust and 1/3 for the top. On a floured surface, roll out the smaller ball and use the bottom of the springform pan as a template to cut out the top for the galette. Set aside. Roll the bigger ball large enough to cover the springform pan interior and come up the sides enough so you can get it to stay up along the edge temporarily. You will probably have to crimp some of the edges over the top of the pan or pat it hard enough along the sides so it adheres a bit. Pour in the cooled crème patissiere (if it were hot, things would start to sort of collapse around it!) and then gently fold the edges of the crust down over the filling. Pat milk over the crust edges and gently center the reserved circle of top crust and lay it over the crust and filling and pat down. Pat a little milk over the top of the galette and sprinkle evenly with a small amount of sugar. Cut decorative slits in the upper crust.
Since springform pans tend to leak melted butter, set the galette pan on a cookie sheet with sides or cover the bottom with aluminum foil, so any leakage will be caught. Bake at 350 degrees until golden. Cool before serving, though it is not necessary to chill it. Traditionally served with champagne. Left overs should be refrigerated.