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The Art of French Pastry

4.53  ·  Rating details ·  236 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Winner of  the 2014 James Beard Award for Best Cookbook, Dessert & Baking

What does it take to perfect a flawless éclair? A delicate yet buttery croissant? To pipe dozens of macarons? The answer is: an intimate knowledge of the fundamentals of pastry. In The Art of French Pastry award-winning pastry chef Jacquy Pfeiffer, cofounder of the renowned French Pastry School in Chi
Hardcover, 397 pages
Published December 3rd 2013 by Knopf (first published January 1st 2013)
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Jun 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I checked this out from the library looking for some info on baking. I didn't expect to find something so Incredibly detailed and beautiful. I rarely purchase cookbooks for my own library but this one is already on its way to me. ...more
Amazing piece of work! Very clear, full of useful advice including how to fix things in case you commit common mistakes. A strong leaning to Alsatian classics because that's where Chef Pfeiffer is from.
I'm so impressed by this book, I want to cook every single recipe over and over.
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
This will be my reference forever.
Lakota Grace
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who appreciates good food, scientists, people who can follow directions and like puzzles
I love to read cookbooks. The good ones have yummy photographs, I get to "sample" meals that take days to fix, and best of all, there are no calories involved. So when I picked up The Art of French Pastry I was set for a treat--and I wasn't disappointed.

The author's father was a baker in Alsace, France, and the young man apprenticed to a professional pastry chef, and then emigrated to America where he established a famous bakery school. The cookbook is part memoir, part a precise methodology of
Allison Hammerly
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food
This book is quite possibly my favorite cookbook in my collection. I have increased my baking skills greatly thanks to this book. I now count croissants, eclairs and macarons in my repertoire. Not only is it a delight to read, it is truly like having a pastry teacher right by your side. I want to make every recipe in this book!! If I had more free time, I would have by now, haha. Jacquy Pfeiffer's instructions are incredibly detailed. He describes the look, feel and sometimes even sound of thing ...more
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Not for the faint of heart. True French pastry is time consuming. I have outfitted my kitchen to truly cook, well, everything, but ordering to handle pastry had three LARGE Amazon boxes at my door. If you are serious about learning to cook like this, read the beginning of the book and pay attention to the tools lists and such. After that investment, my regular cooking has been upgraded. Silpats, who knew? The author goes deep into technique like how to hold and angle your pastry bag or why you s ...more
Oct 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: cooking
I quite loved the stories the author shared of his own journey to learn. The book is well done and I enjoyed reviewing the basic recipe building blocks and the full recipes they support. It's definitely not a simple 'let's slap a few things together and it's good' recipe book. The intent is to teach someone what it takes to really get it right. ...more
Danielle Lewis
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
New favorite recipes

I've been loving this book! I haven't made all of the recipes in this book, but, the ones I have made, are absolutely delicious! And has introduced me to French cooking well.
Made for a more accomplished baker than me. Would be great for a passionate learner.
Anna Nesterovich
Nov 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: housekeeping
This boos has been "on trial" for a long time now, but somehow I haven't tried anything yet. Time to get started.
p. 215 - 3 stars - Coconut macaron/Rocher a la noix de coco - I measured out the exact amounts of ingredients, heated it to exactly 75C, and refrigerated overnight. Despite all this, they tasted just the same if I just mixed everything and baked. An over-glorified version of a very simple thing.
Or maybe it's time to let go of this book actually. I don't feel like making anything else
Sep 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is by far the best french pastry book I have come across!
I owned loads of cookbooks and love making dessert for my family and friends.
This book written by Mr. Pfeiffer is for both beginners and experienced bakers.
His recipes are very long, list out every single steps that you need to accomplish the bake and most importantly, he explains in details WHY an ingredient is needed.

I have tried making the puff pastry, croissant and sponge cakes. All of them are very successful and taste superb! I
Laura Mendez
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I had the honor of attending a class taught by the incredible Chef Jacquy, so I got more than what one would usual get from a cookbook. Not only did I get my copy signed, but I also raw interaction with the man behind the book! Aside from being a kind, humorous man, he is very talented and I owe many of my accomplishments to him! Thank you Chef Jacquy!
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Solid, gorgeous, and relatively comprehensive on French desserts (where's the kouign amann?!?!). The Paris Brest is one of the best pastries I've ever made, thanks to the candied hazelnuts mousseline suggested. Worth it for the serious baker. ...more
Jan 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cooking, sweets
This is good. And very helpful. A fresh eclair is a very nice thing.
But Chef Pfeiffer, I was disappointed in your comment about Fondant - to buy it since no one makes it anymore, cause really isn't that what your cookbook is up against? What home baker makes macaron or puff pastry?
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you want to try your hand at French pastries, this is the book! I admit I have not used this book as I am not the cook in my family, but everything my husband and daughter have made is delicious and tastes as good as the local French bakery.
I don't think I will ever make my own puff pastry. ...more
Inge Jansen
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Book works as a personal masterclass. Is amazing. The book to go to if you really want to understand pastry and not just want to have another book with recipes
Jan 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a complete guide to everything you need to know in order to grasp making French pastries in your home. I love the author's anecdotes about his upbringing in a bakery. I highly recommend! ...more
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