From My Château Kitchen by Anne Willan

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  • Eat Your Books

    2001 James Beard Award Nominee

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Ratafia ice cream

    • ashallen on July 03, 2021

      Recipe suggests using muscat wine or sweet port as a substitute for ratafia - I used ruby port and also substituted 2 tsp vanilla extract for vanilla bean. Nice flavors that are great with dark chocolate cake. Since I enjoy spiking my holiday eggnog with port, I also liked this though the cold temperatures definitely dull the port flavors. Recipe headnotes describe this as "pleasantly boozy" - when my husband tried it, he laughed and said "It's hot ice cream!" With all the alcohol, this behaved a bit differently from other ice creams - didn't fluff up much during churning, yielding less than a quart, stayed pretty soft even once fully frozen, and melted more quickly when served. Wasn't sweet enough for me before churning - I ended up doubling the sugar. Note that this recipe doesn't provide detailed instructions on how to make an ice cream custard (just gives ingredient quantities), but there are instructions under "Dried Fig and Marc Ice Cream" on p. 131.

  • Françoise's caramel rice pudding

    • ashallen on November 27, 2019

      This is a very nice oven-baked rice pudding with a caramel sauce that cooks with the pudding. You flip the pudding upside down onto a serving plate and the caramel sauce runs down over everything - like a flan! The pudding unmolded well and was firm enough to cut in wedges like a cake - very pretty. Texture was good - not overly heavy/dense. Nice flavor as-is and would take easily to flavor variations. I did not make the orange sauce, but it would've been good, I'm sure, given that the pudding's fairly gently flavored.

  • Fresh mincemeat pies

    • ashallen on December 22, 2020

      These are excellent little pies that blend classic "winter" flavors - orange, spice, raisin, brandy - with freshness from apples and grapes. Not sticky-sweet. Crust was crisp, tender, and lightly flaky. Filling doesn't ooze out when you cut into them. I was a bit skeptical of the grapes in the filling, but they added a really nice, fresh juiciness. Recipe says to leave raisins and almonds whole and slice grapes in half. I wanted a finer-textured filling and chopped everything smaller - worked well. Most ethereal warm from the oven (of course!). Leftovers reheated well in microwave the next day, however - crust stayed crisp. Dough was easy to work with in my cool (63F) kitchen relative to other doughs. Recipe doesn't provide guidance on how thick to roll dough - a scant 1/8-inch thickness and re-rolling scraps a couple of times worked well. I also froze some of the unbaked pies in their tins and then baked them direct from the freezer - worked great with a bit of extra oven time.

  • Brandy hard sauce

    • ashallen on December 24, 2020

      A fine, basic hard sauce recipe. Unlike a lot of hard sauce recipes, it uses granulated sugar versus powdered so there was a bit of crunch in my final sauce.

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  • ISBN 10 0609602268
  • ISBN 13 9780609602263
  • Published Mar 14 2000
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 304
  • Language English
  • Edition illustrated edition
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Random House USA Inc
  • Imprint Crown Publications

Publishers Text

The kitchen of the title is in a 17th-century chateau called Le Fey, high on a hill in Burgundy. From this vantage point, Anne Willan -- long known as an authority on French regional cuisine, on food history, and on classic French cooking -- has written a personal book, elegantly interweaving chapters on her life in the chateau with journeys out into the surrounding landscape. She examines the work of the people of Chateau du Fey and its surrounding quarters: the gardeners, farmers, vintners, and restaurateurs who live and breathe French cuisine, and who contribute to the character and flavors of the Burgundian table.

Foremost in the cast of characters in Anne Willan From My Chateau Kitchen is M. Milbert, gardien and gardener, who will pick no vegetable before its time. But there is also Claude the water man, who looks after pipes and plumbing for both village and chateau, and who figures prominently in the group of local hunters who follow the age-old rules of la chasse. We are introduced to M. Simon, the blacksmith with a network of cellars under a nearby cathedral, where he makes ratafia. And M. Haumonte teaches traditional bread and croissant making using the chateau's wood-fired oven. There is the lady from Morvan who makes 500 varieties of jam, the beekeeper, and the father and son with the traveling cider press. Anne Willan takes us through the countryside, to markets in Sens, to the makers of mustard and spice bread in Dijon, to Villeneuve-sur-Yonne, where Leslie Caron presides over an establishment serving Burgundian fare, and to Joigny, where Lorain father and son reign in 3-star splendor.

Anne has chosen to share recipes for the dishes she cooks and eats at home, including such classics as Leek Quiche, Oeufs en Meurette, and Jambon Chablisien. There are also recipes that cope with the garden's staggering bounty, such as Spiced Red Currant Jelly and Gratin of Summer Vegetables in Herb Pesto. Other recipes are brought by the chefs who cook at the La Varenne school -- including Snail and Mushroom Ravioli with Parsley Sauce and Dried Fig and Marc Ice Cream.

In almost 300 color photographs and with more than 160 recipes, Anne Willan renders an intimate appreciation of both the food and the culture of Burgundy. As this beautiful and personal book proves, Anne Willan has succeeded marvelously in her chosen (and enviable) task of exploring, understanding, and teaching the art of French cuisine as it manifests itself in one of France's most food-oriented provinces. Which just happens to be her back -- and front -- yard.

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