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Recipe for :

Pithiviers - Galette des Rois

This recipe has been reproduced with the kind permission of Pierre Beghin. Pierre runs hands-on cookery classes in Islington - la cuisine de Pierre. Each class features a complete lunch or dinner menu with three seasonal recipes that can easily be prepared by those new to cooking. A chance to learn the art of entertaining "à la française"

"When I was about five or six, I had to stand on a chair to peek inside the pots and pans to see what my mother was cooking. A few years later, I used to invite friends around to make crêpes on Wednesdays . . ."

"Pierre Beghin - patient, unflappable and a marvellous cook"
Mary Gold - The Times
"I left feeling like I was halfway to becoming a domestic goddess and much more confident about my cooking abilities".
Diana Milne - Islington Gazette
"In a few hours, Pierre managed to convince me that cooking a meal from scratch is tastier and more enjoyable than reaching for a ready meal - it really is a great way to unwind".
Caroline Jones - Top Santé, Health & Beauty

"The Pithiviers can also be called Galette des Rois - Three King's Cake. This gateau is so-called because it is traditionally enjoyed on Epiphany, the day when the three wise men arrived in Bethlehem after Jesus's birth is celebrated. It is only called Galette des Rois in January when there is a 'fève' inside. If you get the feve in your portion, you are the King (or Queen) for the day".


340g puff pastry
1 egg, beaten with 1/2 tsp salt and 3 tbsp cold water
icing sugar

For the almond filling:
125g / 4 1/2 oz butter, softened
125g / 4 1/2 oz sugar
1 egg 1 egg yolk
125g / 4 1/2 oz whole blanched almonds, skinned and ground
15g / 1/2oz plain flour
2 tbsps rum


  • Refrigerate the puff pastry.
  • Preheat the oven to 220°C / 425°F / Gas mark 7
  • Make the almond filling: cream the butter in a bowl, add the sugar and beat thoroughly. Beat in the egg and the egg yolk, then stir in the ground almonds, flour and rum.
  • Roll out half the puff pastry to a circle about 27cm / 11 inches in diameter. Using a pan lid as a guide, cut out a 25cm / 10 inch circle from this with a sharp knife, angling the knife slightly. Roll out the remaining pastry slightly thicker than for the first round and cut out another 25cm / 10 inch circle. Set the thinner circle on a baking sheet, mound the filling in the centre, leaving a 2.5cm / 1 inch border, and brush the border with beaten egg. Set the second circle on top and press the edges together firmly.
  • Scallop the edge of the gateau by pulling it in at intervals with the back of a knife. Brush the gateau with beaten egg, and, working from the centre, score the top in curves like the petals of a flower. Do not cut through to the filling. Refrigerate the gateau for 15 - 20 minutes.
  • Bake the gateau in the oven for 30 - 35 minutes, or until firm, puffed and brown.
  • Serve warm

Serves 6

Pierre Beghin