…from the California Kitchen
How you doin’? I love using fresh cherries and fancy words. Frangipane is named after 16th century Italian nobleman Marquis Muzio Frangipani, who, while living in Paris, invented a bitter almond-scented fragrance that was used to perfume gloves. French pastry chefs were inspired and invented the recipe, which became a classic.
A galette resembles a type of single crust, free-form pie with a fruit filling and the crust folded partway over the top of the filling. Cherries are named for cherries—did you expect a better story? Here it is, cherries have a filial relationship with almonds—they’re kissing cousins.
What is Frangipane you ask? It is a sweet almond-flavored custard used in a variety of cakes and pastries. It was originally designated as a custard tart flavored by almonds or pistachios; it came later to designate a filling that could be used in a variety of confections and baked goods. It is made of butter, sugar, eggs and ground almonds… some of my very favorite things!
On Epiphany, the French celebrate with a King Cake—a round cake made of frangipane layers into slices to be passed by a child known as le petit roi (the little king) who is usually hiding under the dining table. The cake is decorated with stars, a crown, flowers and a special bean hidden inside the cake. Whoever gets the piece of the frangipane cake with the bean is crowned "king" or "queen" for the following year.
Prep time: 20 minutes to 30 minutes
Bake time: 45 minutes to 50 minutes
Yield: serves 6 to 8 (1 galette)
1/2 batch Cream Cheese Dough (see recipe below), rolled out to a 10-inch round that's about 1/8-inch thick
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup almond flour
2 teaspoons tapioca starch
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for the egg wash
1 pound fresh, sweet cherries, pitted
2 to 3 tablespoons granulated sugar or packed brown sugar, for the cherries
1 large egg (for egg wash)
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon large-crystal sugar for sprinkling
Cream Cheese Dough
Yield: One 9-inch or 10-inch double-crust pie
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon brown rice flour
1/3 cup potato starch
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1-1/2 cups oat flour
1-1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup cream cheese, very cold
1 cup unsalted butter, very cold, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
Cornstarch or tapioca starch, for rolling
ChefSecret: Before starting, make sure you have a cherry pitter which you can easily buy for under $20. I like the OXO Good grips multi-cherry pitter.
Quip of the Day: “I’m not sure which is harder on a relationship—sharing a bathroom with 1 sink or sharing an iPhone charger for an hour.”
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©Perspectives/The Consulting Group, Inc., 2021
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