The Art of French Pastry

The Art of French Pastry

Book - 2013
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"The definitive book on classic French pastry recipes from an award-winning pastry chef, star of the documentary Kings of Pastry, and cofounder of the renowned French Pastry School in Chicago. What does it take to make a flawless éclairair? A delicate yet buttery croissant? To perfectly pipe dozens of macarons? All the answers are here in this comprehensive, easy-to-use, wonderfully written and gorgeously illustrated book of French pastry fundamentals. With a wealth of information on ingredients (how they react in various combinations, how different environments affect those reactions), equipment, and techniques, you will be able to start with the basics and learn how to make everything from pâte à choux to pastry cream, from brioche to Black Forest Cake, from Vacherin to Croquembouche. Laced with charming, witty memories and anecdotes from a lifetime in pastry, Chef Pfeiffer will have you fully appreciating the hundreds of years of tradition that shaped these 75 recipes into the classics that we know, love, and--with the help of this wonderfully engaging and endlessly edifying book--can now prepare and serve to our friends and families over and over again. The Art of French Pastry is a master class from a master teacher"-- Provided by publisher
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2013
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780307959355
Characteristics: xxxi, 395 pages : color illustrations ; 25 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Apr 01, 2018

This book is a combination instruction and recipe book. It is in league with “French Patisserie” by Ferrandi School of Culinary Arts, available at the library. IMO “Patisserie” is the best instruction / recipe book on French pastry and Pfeiffer’s book comes second.

I copied his nut roasting time chart to my computer. Very handy.

Recipes are both helpful and a bit annoying. He has a “before you begin” list of tools and other things to have ready. And it’s nice that he lists ingredient amounts in both cups and metric. But the recipe instructions only refer to the metric. So I was constantly having to turn back to the ingredients page to see how much to use in recipes where an item is used in different sections (like butter in both cake and frosting). Since the book is in English, his largest market is the US so putting US measurement references - or both - in the instruction section would make more sense to me.

Pfeiffer includes only a few cake recipes, but the book “Extraordinary Cakes” by Karen Krasne covers that topic beautifully! This book is available at the library.

Pfeiffer has very helpful tips for proper doneness for most recipes. My favorite side comment: “Underbaked puff pastry is a sacrilege.”

ksoles Mar 15, 2014

Part instruction manual, part personal history and part science lesson, "The Art of French Pastry" puts intricate confections within the reach of the experienced home baker. In his opening chapter, Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer lays out foundation recipes upon which he bases the rest of the creations in his book. He instructs readers on how to work with yeast, a piping bag, sugar, eggs, meringue, chocolate and fruit; then, he launches into five more chapters of stunning, meticulous recipes for eclairs, tarts, cookies, cakes and Alsatian specialties.

But even before Chapter One, Pfeiffer pleads home pastry cooks to throw away their measuring spoons and cups and weigh all ingredients on a digital scale. He displays equal passion for quality ingredients, extolling the virtues of European butter over lower fat American butter. For puff pastry, he recommends King Arthur all-purpose flour with a midrange level of gluten. Only whole milk (preferably organic) will suffice and any unseasonal fruit will ruin the finished product. Picky? Yes. But precision, Pfeiffer argues, results in perfection.

Every recipe begins with an estimate of yield and time commitment along with a section called “Before You Begin,” which lists equipment requirements. Each recipe also has a table of ingredients listed in order of use in addition to notes, tips, and both a reminder to weigh the ingredients and to read everything twice before you begin. And the chef proves correct: once broken down into steps, a four page recipe requiring two days of effort becomes logical, efficient and possible.

Geared towards neither the faint of heart nor the inexperienced, "The Art of French Pastry" provides beautifully organized, systematically written, and well-photographed recipes for those willing to commit. Jacquy Pfeiffer has truly mastered the art of teaching French pastry and his book offers readers the opportunity to become his students.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at MARINet

To Top