Galette des Rois with Pistachio Frangipane

January 3, 2017

galette des rois pistachio

It is my third time making this traditional French pastry to kick off the new year. You can see my first version and read a bit more about the pastry here.

I changed things up a bit with the filling. Almond frangipane can be pretty strong and, in the past, I’ve balanced it out by incorporating chocolate pastry cream. Note, not all recipes call for frangipane (almond cream + pastry cream). Many call for just the former. However, I like the richness from the pastry cream. So this year, I re-worked the Bouchon Bakery Cookbook’s recipe and made a pistachio frangipane. I highly recommend buying pistachios without shells, unless you enjoy shelling and rubbing off the skins. It took me 1 episode of Dinner at Tiffani’s on the Food Network to get through them all. As much as I enjoy clearing another episode off my TiVo queue, I’d prefer not to have the extra step.

Lastly, the quantities were scaled down from larger batch recipes from the book in order to fit this exact pastry. I hate waste! I kept everything in grams, for the most part, as I felt that was the easiest way to break it down. The recipe may look quite long but I wanted to be thorough, so I added additional tips and tricks that helped while working through the recipe. I highly recommend reading through at least once to get a sense of the different steps and also checking out my how-to video to see how it it is assembled. Enjoy!

Galette des Rois with Pistachio Frangipane
Adapted from Bouchon Bakery Cookbook
Makes a 9″ galette


2 sheets of store-bought puff pastry (I recommend Dofour)


Pastry Cream:
16g egg yolk (1 large yolk)
15g granulated sugar
12g all-purpose flour
90g whole milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
5g unsalted butter, room temperature

Pistachio Cream:
55g raw pistachios, shelled, unsalted
6g all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
55g powdered sugar
55g unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon lemon zest
33g eggs

2 tablespoons jam, apricot, raspberry or strawberry would pair nicely

Egg Wash:
1 egg + 1 tablespoon milk or cream, beaten until combined.

Simple Syrup:
50g each granulated sugar + water, heated until sugar is dissolved


For the puff pastry:

Let the puff pastry dough thaw, according to the package instructions. Make sure it is still cold before you work with it, so if too warm, place into the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes until chilled.

Lightly dust your work surface and one sheet of puff pastry with flour. Roll out until 1/4″ thick. Using a 9″ cake pan as your guide, cut the dough into a 9″ round. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry. Transfer the rounds to a sheet pan and chill in the refrigerator until cold. Meanwhile, work on the pistachio frangipane.

For the filling:

Pastry cream:

The quantities are very small because I broke it down from the original recipe that yields 3 cups. While I could have used the extra for many things,  I prefer to work as closely to the portions I need.

Set up an ice bath. Place a medium bowl over a bowl of ice water and set a fine-mesh strainer over the bowl.

Place the egg yolk and sugar in a small bowl. Whisk until thick and pale yellow in color, about 1-2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the flour and mix until combined. Slowly pour in the milk, mixing as you go, until fully incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a small saucepan, set over medium-low heat. Whisk constantly until the cream comes to a simmer, rotating the whisk around the bottom and along the edges to keep the cream from scorching. This is especially important when the quantity is so small. Once you see bubbles, whisk a bit more vigorously, about 2-3 minutes, until the pastry cream has thickened. Remove from heat.

Pour the pastry cream through the strainer into the bowl, pressing gently with a rubber spatula, to push the cream through. Add the butter and vanilla. Whisk to incorporate thoroughly. Set aside and proceed with the pistachio cream.

Pistachio cream:

Combine the pistachios, powdered sugar, flour and salt in the small bowl of the food processor. The powdered sugar will prevent the mixture from turning into a paste. Pulse until finely ground. The resulting mixture may not be as fine as flour, but I don’t mind the texture and once it bakes, it isn’t noticeable.

Place the butter in a small bowl. Add the pistachio mixture in 2 additions and whisk until the dry ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Add lemon zest and eggs. Whisk until combined.

Pistachio frangipane:

Add the pistachio cream to the pastry cream and whisk together until well incorporated. The mixture should be smooth. There may be small pistachio bits if they were not finely ground in the beginning, but that is okay.

Spoon the frangipane into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2″ round tip and set aside.

If you wish to assemble later, place the frangipane in a covered container with plastic wrap against the surface to prevent a skin from forming. It will keep for up to 4 days. If the frangipane has stiffened in the refrigerator, place in a stand mixer and mix to get it to a creamy consistency.

For galette assembly:

See how-to video here.

Place a half sheet size of parchment paper on a work surface. I like to build the galette on the parchment, then transfer to a half sheet pan. It’s a bit easier than trying to move the filled pastry.

Place one puff pastry round on the parchment paper. Brush the border with egg wash, careful not to let it drip over the edge, which can prevent the puff pastry from rising properly. Spread the jam evenly, leaving a 1″ border of puff pastry dough. Then, on top, starting in the center of the dough, pipe a spiral of frangipane outward, again leaving the 1″ border of dough. Pipe a second spiral of frangipane on top, beginning in the center and stopping 1/2″ short of the edges of the bottom spiral.

If your second round of puff pastry is a bit too firm, let it sit out for a few minutes. Then carefully lay the round on top, letting the sides gently drape over the frangipane. Rub your palm in a circular motion over the top of the dough to work any air bubbles toward the outside. With your fingertips, press the edges of the dough, sealing the top and bottom, leaving a small section of the dough unsealed, then gently move your fingertips over the top of the dough to move any air bubbles towards the opening. Press around the bottom of the mound of filling to give it definition. Then, seal the final section of the border.

Using the back of a paring knife, score 1/4″- deep diagonal slits every 1/2 inch around the edges of the dough. Brush the surface of the galette with egg wash. Again, careful not to let the egg wash drip over the edge. Freeze for 5-10 minutes, or refrigerate for about 20 minutes, until cold. Brush the galette again with egg wash. Then score the top. Start in the middle and draw arcs, spacing them 1/2 – 1″apart all the way around the dough. Using the tip of the knife, poke a hole in the center of the cake to allow for steam to escape while baking. Carefully transfer the galette on the parchment to a half sheet pan. Freeze the galette for 5-10 minutes or refrigerate for 20 min until cold and firm.

For baking:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Remove the galette from the freezer/refrigerator and bake for 30 minutes. Rotate the pan if the galette starts to rise more on one area than the other. If this happens, very gently press down on it, without crushing the pastry on top. Bake for 30 more minutes. If at this point, it is not the desired golden brown color, lower the oven temperature to 325 F and bake for an additional 1o-15 minutes. The Bouchon Bakery Cookbook says 50 minutes but I think that is a bit much.

Set the sheet pan on a cooling rack and while still warm, brush the top with the simple syrup. Return to the oven for about 2 minutes to set the syrup. Then remove and cool completely on the rack.

The galette is best the day it is baked. If you wish to prep ahead, you can freeze it after creating the design on top. Notes on that process from the Chocolate & Zucchini blog here.

Bake it with me! Tag your pics of this recipe with #pastrywithjenn on Instagram so I can see them.

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