When the holiday season is over in the US and trees have been dismounted and packed in the attic or discarded along the sidewalk, the festivities are not yet over in France. Or for some French people I know who live in the States.
Okay, our decorations and seasonal china are stored away, our lights are down, and our tree is partially down, too.
But for one sweet day it still feels like Christmas in my French American kitchen.
Today is Ephiphany, celebrated twelve days after Christmas. In a number of countries the day marks the end of the season while for others it is the pre-Lenten celebrations of Mardi Gras/Carnival. I already wrote about this celebration and its meaning, here, here and also here. In case you want to refresh your memory!
In France the celebration lasts for more than a day. I know…
Some people always find great excuses to eat more dessert. Why did I move away already?
In fact, many French bakeries and pastry shops display their galettes des rois or kings’ cakes around Christmas time and will sell them until the end of January.
I’ve always celebrated here in the States. With various levels of success, I must admit.
For several years now I’ve stuck to one recipe. Since it comes from a children’s magazine, it’s super easy and solid. But one of my goals for 2017 (not resolution, remember) is to try as many new desserts as possible.
Better start now, right?
So for my 2017 galette des rois I thought I would add a handful of crushed pistachios to the almonds to make the paste. Pistachios are a big part of my life now, so this small tweak would be my French American signature.
I got the idea as I read David Lebovitz’s yummy blog. He is American but lives in Paris. I know…
But when I searched my pantry, no pistachios. I got some in my stocking, so someone must have raided the pantry during the holidays. So I stuck to my old recipe.
No pistachios but…
I found the little porcelain token in my slice. We call it fève in French, from the old tradition to fold a bean in the pastry dough. This makes me queen until tomorrow morning. And my husband king, by default.
La Galette des Rois has also been one of my kids’ favorite French desserts. The cake used to be too small for their appetite.
Now of course, the cake is too big for one meal.
But the leftovers will still feel like Christmas… tomorrow morning.