All of us here at Bosch are grateful for tradition and family recipes that can be passed down from generation to generation. However, this holiday season we wanted to step out of the familial recipe box and find some new foods to try out. For that reason, we reached out to four top baking bloggers and asked them to share their favorite non-traditional holiday recipes that have made its place at the dinner table during their family meals.
In this interview we caught up with Charlotte Rutledge, who works as the Recipe Testing and Development Manager for King Arthur Flour. In this position she gets to craft and create some incredible dishes, many of which she shares on their blog. Her unique holiday recipe will definitely take you on a journey.
What’s your favorite non-traditional recipe to whip up during the holiday season?
A galette des rois, or the French version of king cake. Unlike the New Orleans/Mardi Gras king cake, a brioche dough that enrobes a sweet filling of just about any flavor, this traditional French dessert is more pie or tart-like with flakey puffed pastry layers encasing a dense almond cream filling. While American king cake is often eaten during the days leading up to Lent, the galette des rois is traditionally enjoyed around January 6th the Epiphany.
Why is it your favorite?
My mom is French and I have fond memories of learning about the galette des rois tradition from her and her family as well as in school. I think just about every bakery in France makes a galette daily from the end of December into the middle of January. When we would visit family we would usually pick up at least one during our stay and share it as our “goûter,” or afternoon snack with tea or coffee, or in my case, hot chocolate. Traditionally in France, the galette gets baked with a fève (dried bean) in the filling. When it’s served the whole galette is galettes of different sizes, and whoever gets the bean enjoys the honor of being king (or queen) for the day. I loved the element of surprise and excitement while eating my slice just as much as I loved the combination of tender, buttery pastry and moist, rich almond cream.
How did you learn about this recipe?
My dad was a baker/pastry chef, and I think he must have made this for us initially when I was really young. He’s a huge fan of butter, pastry, and almond cream (though who’s not?!), and I inherited his love of baking by watching him masterfully produce pastries when I was old enough to see above the counter.
When was the first time you made this recipe?
When I was 10, I made this with my mom for my 5th grade French class. I brought it into school and the whole class got a slice. My mom had a ribbon full of porcelain fèves that she had gotten in France, so we stuck one of them inside the filling when we baked the galette. The whole class was excited to see who would get to be king/queen and wear the crown.
Do you make this dish each year?
I always have good intentions of making it, but the funny thing about my job is that I’m always working on recipes 2 or 3 seasons ahead of the actual season I’m living. That means I’m making king cakes of all kinds and traditions in June and July. Usually by the time it’s truly the holiday/king cake season, I’ve had my fill, and I’m onto ice cream and berry season. I think as my daughter grows up, I will probably make this yearly so that she can enjoy this delicious and fun piece of her heritage.
What does this recipe entail (including ingredients, time, equipment, etc)?
I developed a recipe for a traditional galette des rois for King Arthur Flour back in 2011. Please see King Arthur’s Almond Galette for details. You can use frozen, store-bought puff pastry, but as is the case with most things, the recipe really shines when you make your own. This recipe will walk you through the laminating process of folds and turns, or if you’re short on time and patience, this recipe is an easy shortcut.
Do you have any specific accounts or fond memories tied to this recipe?
It’s always really fun to walk around Paris and popping into bakeries to discover the unique variations on this classic recipe. Many bakers will experiment with flavor variations in the filling or with the decoration of the finished galette. If only there was enough belly room to taste them all!
Do you have any favorite holiday recipes that have come from your childhood? We’d love for you to share them below!