Featuring 524 delicious recipes and over 100 instructive illustrations to guide readers every step of the way, Mastering the Art of French Cooking offers something for everyone, from seasoned experts to beginners who love good food and long to reproduce the savory delights of French cuisine.
Julia Child, Simone Beck, and Louisette Bertholle break down the classic foods of France into a logical sequence of themes and variations rather than presenting an endless and diffuse catalogue of dishes—from historic Gallic masterpieces to the seemingly artless perfection of a dish of spring-green peas. Throughout, the focus is on key recipes that form the backbone of French cookery and lend themselves to an infinite number of elaborations—bound to increase anyone’s culinary repertoire.
“Julia has slowly but surely altered our way of thinking about food. She has taken the fear out of the term ‘haute cuisine.’ She has increased gastronomic awareness a thousandfold by stressing the importance of good foundation and technique, and she has elevated our consciousness to the refined pleasures of dining." —Thomas Keller, The French Laundry
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About the Author
Date of Birth:August 5, 1912
Date of Death:August 12, 2004
Place of Birth:Pasadena, California
Place of Death:Santa Barbara, California
Education:B.A., Smith College, 1934; Le Cordon Bleu, 1950
Read an Excerpt
For 6 to 8 people
The clafouti (also spelled with a final "s" in both singular and plural) which is traditional in the Limousin during the cherry season is peasant cooking for family meals, and about as simple a dessert to make as you can imagine: a pancake batter poured over fruit in a fireproof dish, then baked in the oven. It looks like a tart, and is usually eaten warm.
(If you have no electric blender, work the eggs into the flour with a wooden spoon, gradually beat in the liquids, then strain the batter through a fine sieve.)
3 cups pitted black cherries
1 1/4 cups milk
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
Powdered sugar in a shaker
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Use fresh, black, sweet cherries in season. Otherwise use drained, canned, pitted Bing cherries, or frozen sweet cherries, thawed and drained.
Place the milk, 1/3 cup sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, salt, and flour in your blender jar in the order in which they are listed. Cover and blend at top speed for 1 minute.
Pour a 1/4-inch layer of batter in a 7- to 8-cup buttered, fireproof baking dish or pyrex pie plate about 1 1/2 inches deep. Set over moderate heat for a minute or two until a film of batter has set in the bottom of the dish. Remove from the heat. Spread the cherries over the batter and sprinkle on the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar. Pour on the rest of the batter and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.
Place in middle position of preheated oven and bake for about an hour. The clafouti is done when it has puffed and browned, and a needle or knife plunged into its center comes out clean. Sprinkle top of clafouti with powdered sugar just before bringing it to the table. (The clafouti need not be served hot, but should still be warm. It will sink down slightly as it cools.)
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"Has it really been 40 years since Julia Child rescued Americans from dreary casseroles? This reissue, clad in a handsome red jacket, is what a cookbook should be: packed with sumptuous recipes, detailed instructions, and precise line drawings. Some of the instructions look daunting, but as Child herself says in the introduction, 'If you can read, you can cook.'"
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