Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving Day.

Don't fuss at me.
I know it's two days after Thanksgiving
 and I'm just getting around to posting.
 I've been busy.
Today, Rosie is assembling Julia Child's Gateau de Crepes.
This is my favorite thing I make for Thanksgiving.
 My family, except for Mr. Hawthorne,
 really doesn't appreciate the work
it takes to bring this baby to the table.
 It's a labor of love for me, but it's intensive.
Give it 3 days to make.
The first day, make the crepes.
 The second day, prepare the veggies - carrots, broccoli, and mushrooms.
The third day, make the custard, grate the cheese, assemble, and bake.
 Piece of gateau.
I'm on Day 3 already.
The custard:
6 eggs
 1 cup heavy cream
 8 oz cream cheese, softened
 salt and pepper
 nutmeg
Beat the cream cheese and add in eggs,
one at a time, beating after each addition.
Humor me.
You know how I like my egg pictures.
Beat in the heavy cream.
Salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste.
Everything is ready to assemble.
 Swiss cheese, grated.
 Crepes.
Prepared broccoli, carrots, and mushroom duxelles.
 Custard mixture.
For instructions on making the crepes and preparing the vegetables,
 please go to my earlier post.
Crepes have a good side and a bad side.
The good side is the first side you cooked.
This is the good side.
Butter your baking dish and line bottom with buttered wax paper.
Place the first crepe good side down.
Space four crepes around the sides, good sides out.
 Cover with a second layer of 4 more overlapped crepes.
I grated the whole block of Swiss cheese - about 3 cups.
Spread 1/4 of the Swiss cheese in the bottom of the dish.
Cover with the carrots ...
... pressing them well in place.
Top with 1/3 of the remaining cheese.
Ladle in enough custard to cover.
Arrange a crepe over top of the carrot layer.

Spread the mushrooms over this crepe. Press lightly into place and ...
... pour custard to cover.
Arrange another crepe over the mushrooms.
Spread 1/2 the remaining cheese over this crepe, then the broccoli, and ...
... the last of the cheese.
Pour in the rest of the custard.
Fold the first layer of overhanging crepes up over the filling and ...
... cover with a crepe.
Bring in the last overhanging crepes and ...
... cover with a crepe. Place a round of buttered wax paper over the dish and cover with a sheet of foil. This needs to bake immediately in case the custard leaks against the sides and bottom of the dish, sticking the crepes to it and making a mess when you try to unmold. Bake in a 350 degree oven. In about one hour, when the gateau starts to rise, turn oven up to 400 degrees and bake another 45 minutes. The gateau will eventually rise an inch or more. It's done when the internal temperature is 160 degrees. Remove from oven and let rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes, allowing the custard to set and settle. Unmold the gateau after its wait. Do not let the gateau sit in its baking dish in a hot turned-off oven. The cooking liquids will leak and glue the crepes to the dish.
I've done this dish so many times, I know when it's ready.
After 1 hour and 45 minutes, I took my gateau out of the oven, let it sit for 15 minutes, then I unmolded it. Oh crap. Something is very, very wrong here. The color isn't right. The rise really wasn't there. Then I looked at it and after a few minutes, it had started to make a bulge around the middle. I felt it and it was still liquid in the center. I was getting ready to panic. I checked the oven and somehow the oven had gotten turned off. Instead of a 400 degree oven, it was down to 250. My gateau hadn't cooked, nor had the turkey. I immediately put the gateau back in the dish, turned on my convection/microwave oven to 400 and cooked the gateau for another hour. This time I actually checked the internal temperature and it was at 160 degrees. I still didn't know if this was going to work. It's looking good. It's risen. After a 15-minute wait, I unmolded my gateau. This is more like it.
Whew! It worked.

So what if my layers are a little wavy?
The taste is still all there.
 Lesson learned:
 Use your internal thermometer and occasionally check your oven.

4 comments:

Sage Trifle said...

I remember being quite impressed with the dish when you posted it last year. I still am. It is quite lovely and I'm sure it tastes absolutely scrumptious. Congratulations!

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Thanks, Rocquie. It really is a delicious dish. I wish more people would actually try making this. It's certainly not hard. Just labor intensive. But it's worth every bit.

MrsVJW said...

Do you serve it as part of the main meal, or as an app or something? I've always wanted to try making that (since you've posted about it) but for holiday parties, we're always on the go to someone else's house.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Mrs. VJW, I serve it as part of the main meal. And we're still eating it. It only gets better.