Monday, August 31, 2009

Julia Child's Pears . . .

. . . or should I say, les poires de Julia. Poires au Gratin, to be exactement.

Like every food lover in America, I went to see the Julie/Julia movie last week. And like everyone else, I love love loved it. Amy Adams. Meryl Streep. Food galore. What's not to love?

"I'd really like to make that boeuf bourguignon," said my mom after the movie. Ooooh, oooooh, a Julia dinner party! I could hardly contain myself.

Mom set a date, invited a few friends along with her always hungry daughter, and to make a long story short, we had a splendid evening. Authentic Julia recipes included a curly endive salad with a garlicky hot vinaigrette, the aforementioned boeuf, and my contribution, the Pears Baked with Macaroons, a dessert which could be served hot, warm, or cold.

Bad blogger, I forgot to get pictures of the actual event. But I did get shots of the pear dish. So here, for all of you who are dying to make a dish that's very tasty, filled with butter, and way more time consuming than most dishes made here at the castle, are the steps involved in making Julia Child's Poires au Gratin.

First you toast your macaroons. Julia doesn't mention this until step four, but they take an hour to toast. Trust me. You want to start them now.
What, you have no macaroons sitting around, waiting to be toasted? Run out to the grocery and buy a package of these. Shhhhh. Tell no one.

Butter your casserole dish. Yikes, Julia, that's a lot of butter.

Next you're going to prepare the fruit and wine sauce. You must force your jam through a sieve. Your jam will not like being forced through a sieve.
Then you will mix it with a bit of dry white wine. Is Pinot Grigio a dry wine? I have no idea. But it is white. And we had some. Bingo.

Make sure you have pg. 583 marked in your Mastering the Art of French Cooking book, along with pg. 630, because you will be flipping back and forth.

Now you're finally ready for Julia's step two (of five steps). Peeling and slicing the pears. Step one, preheating the oven, will still be undone, as your macaroons are still toasting (step four-a).

Your pears, now sliced, will be placed in your baking dish.

Your sliced pears, in your baking dish, will now be covered with your jam sauce.

Your sliced pears in your baking dish, covered with your jam sauce, are now topped with your toasted macaroons that have been pulverized in the blender (back to pg. 583).

Your sliced pears, in your baking dish, covered with your jam sauce and topped with your toasted macaroons that have been pulverized in the blender (pg. 583), are now topped with butter. Lots and lots more butter.
Then you bake it, and eat it, and have to admit that it really was awfully, awfully good.
Would I make Julia's Poires au Gratin again? Not without cutting out much of the butter, toasting, pulverizing, and sieving. I'm just cranky that way.
And now I'm curious. Have you tried any of Julia's recipes? What did you think? Would you make them again?

And if you have any pear recipes, please share.
NOTE: Want more recipes? Check out Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays over at Blessed with Grace.

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Blogger Carpool Queen said...

Lynn - tears are rolling down my face - I think this is your funniest post yet.

I tried to check out Julia's cookbook from the library today - No dice. Everything was gone. I'm going to have to request my own copy for my birthday, and you can be very sure that I will make this pear recipe and laugh the whole way through (and toast the macaroons ahead of hour? REALLY????)

BTW, the gratin looks lovely. And buttery.

August 31, 2009 at 7:04 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

I've just gotta go see that movie! I've heard so much good about it. :) What fun that you and your mommy got to have a dinner party! Isn't it neato having a mom to share your love of cooking with? This dish looks scrumdillyicious. Yes, that's a word. Maybe not a "legal" one. But it's a word. Just ask me. LOL!
PS - You are SO funny. I just love reading your posts. :)
Have a wonderful day, I mean Lynn. :)

September 1, 2009 at 2:12 AM  
Blogger stephchows said...

oh wow!! It sounds fantastic, although with all that butter I feel my arteries hardening haha! And what a bounty of fruit!!! You should make some pear jam for sure :)

September 1, 2009 at 6:13 AM  
Blogger Samantha said...

I love to make fresh fruit jams, you should definitely make some pear jam.
This recipe sounds so good !!

September 1, 2009 at 9:32 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

YUMMY!!! is the only think I have to say about this recipe. THANKS!!! Geri

September 1, 2009 at 10:41 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Julie and Julia! LOVED IT! Meryl Streep was awesome. The food? Oh my gosh. Yum!! Stanley Tucci?? Oh my gosh. Yum!! :-)

I love pears. I would love to have a pear tree, but, alas, it would never grow here. Instead, I will haul myself over to Sprouts and get me some California pears so I can make this. It looks delicious!! Thanks for sharing.

September 1, 2009 at 12:08 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

Thanks for visiting my blog! Your post made my day...very funny and delicious looking too! I haven't seen the movie yet...but it's on the list for sure.

I definitely be visiting again.

Have a great day.

September 1, 2009 at 12:19 PM  
Anonymous Faith said...

I loved the book, but I have yet to see the movie...maybe this weekend! This recipe sounds great, and a Julia-inspired dinner party sounds fantastic!

September 1, 2009 at 4:13 PM  
Blogger Lisa@BlessedwithGrace said...

That looks wonderful... and unlike most food lovers.. .I have yet to see the movie!! I want to. Just haven't been able to wrangle time away from the 2 yr old to do it. And unlike some people, I won't take a small child to an adult movie!! Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for sharing your pear cooking adventure with us!

September 1, 2009 at 7:41 PM  
Blogger Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

This was too funny....It sounds so good....Love your blog....
Hope you will stop by and visit my new Christmas blog.

The button on my regular blog will take you right to it....

September 1, 2009 at 10:29 PM  
Blogger teresa said...

oh how fun! i have never tried any of julia's recipes, and for shame, i haven't even seen the movie! the pears look magnificent though!

September 2, 2009 at 6:01 AM  
Blogger The Queen of Clearance said...

That looks...beyond amazing! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm going to follow you! I love your blog!

September 2, 2009 at 9:02 AM  
Blogger Heather S-G said...

Awesome!! I totally want to have a Julia dinner party...sounds like an awesome time :) Your pear dish looks delicious!

September 2, 2009 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger Katherine Roberts Aucoin said...

You are just too funy and your Julia Child Pears came out beautifully. I'd love to be a guest at your mother's dinner party!!!

September 3, 2009 at 10:56 AM  
Blogger Katy ~ said...

This looks SCRUMPTIOUS!!

September 3, 2009 at 1:00 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

sounds like a great idea to have a julia party. very cute. Love the pears!

September 3, 2009 at 5:18 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bakes said...

I think I'll put Julia's book on my Christmas list. This sounds fabulous!

September 3, 2009 at 5:40 PM  
Blogger Ingrid_3Bs said...

LOL, I like the additional commentary during your recipe instructions!

I'm the same way I forget to take photos all the time

September 3, 2009 at 5:50 PM  
Blogger Marta said...

Oh how I love to pick my own fruit! I just adore the experience, it make me feel so much more connected to the food. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I love both actresses, so I'm sure it'll be great!

September 7, 2009 at 5:46 PM  
Blogger Libby@CookingWithLibby said... sweet that your mother threw a dinner party in honor of Julia :) I LOVED the movie also and have been seriously thinking about purchasing her cookbook as well. This dish looks amazing!

September 8, 2009 at 6:44 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Oh, this post made me laugh. And I told my family about it when we watched a Julia rerun this weekend, and then we all laughed. My favorite line? "Butter your casserole dish. Yikes, Julia, that's a lot of butter." Ha! I've been following your blog through my Google Reader (thanks to Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer, maybe??) for a while now, and I thank you for all the inspiration! I'm gonna be trying those stir-fried cukes soon...

September 9, 2009 at 8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved the movie, too. The next day I got my book out and made the boeuf bourguignon. Very good, although I didn't use as much wine as the recipe calls for. Next time, I will add more carrots. The carrots tasted better the the beef!! It took some time, but I think if I were to make it more, it would go faster and easier.

I will have to try the pears soon. That looks good.


September 9, 2009 at 5:27 PM  
Blogger Chats the Comfy Cook said...

What a yummy dish. Thanks for posting this. I have little imagination with pears.

September 11, 2009 at 3:11 PM  
Blogger Sabrina Pate said...

Thanks for visiting the blog and commenting on my book reviews... You sound like a lady right up my alley! The Julia Party sounds so fun!!! I will have to think about it!

September 26, 2009 at 5:45 PM  

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