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The Pastry Queen [Hardcover]

Rebecca Rather , Alison Oresman
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 19.58 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Oct 2004
The Best Little From-Scratch Bakery in Texas
The pastry case in Rebecca Rather's bakery in Fredericksburg is packed with ultra-buttery scones, luscious cakes, cookies the size of saucers, brownies as big as bricks, and fruit pies that look as though they came straight out of Grandma's oven. Since the day Rebecca and her Rather Sweet Bakery and Café came to town, life in this Hill Country hamlet has been even sweeter and the townsfolk now know why she is the Pastry Queen. Everything she makes is a lot like her: down-home yet grand, and familiar yet one-of-a-kind.
A native Texan, Rather makes the most of her Lone Star state's varied traditions, whether looking to the kitchens of Texas's Mexican and German immigrants or to the cowboy culture of her own forebears. Best of all, her recipes aren't fussy—one of her best-selling cakes stirs together in a single saucepan. Add in a cupful of Texas attitude and her made-from-scratch-with-love philosophy, and you've got an irresistible taste of American baking.
What's best at Rather Sweet? Rebecca's customers all have their favorites (and she is happy to cater to their cravings), but here's just a taste of the perennial best sellers:
•  Apple-Smoked Bacon and Cheddar Scones
•  Texas Big Hairs Lemon-Lime Tarts (the only big hair Rebecca has ever had!)
•  Fourth of July Fried Pies
•  Peach Queen Cake with Dulce de Leche Frosting
•  Turbo-Charged Brownies with Praline Topping
•  All-Sold-Out Chicken Pot Pies
•  Kolaches (pillowy yeasted buns with sweet or savory fillings)
•  PB&J Cookies
With over 125 surefire tested recipes and 100 photographs that richly capture small-town life in the Hill Country, The Pastry Queen offers a Texas-size serving of the royal splendor of Rebecca's baked goods—courtesy of the rather sweet gal behind the case.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (1 Oct 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580085628
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580085625
  • Product Dimensions: 26.2 x 21.1 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 838,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars She is truly a pastry queen 29 May 2006
I bought this book looking for a true sense of an American bakery and it does not disappoint. The recipes are truly delicious with most if not all of the ingredients easy to find. The photographs are out of this world and give you a taste of what her bakery must actually be like. Well worth the money as i have found recipes that i would have never before stumbled upon. The only snag is you need to you american measuring cups but they are only a couple of pounds and well worth it as they make all recipes easier because you can use them for wet and dry produce. And her pastry recipe really is out of this world!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Queen indeed 9 May 2009
By Anna
Buy this book. Seriously, just buy it right now.
The bacon and cheese scones will make you sob with joy, the rum cake is worthy of a round of applause - the flavour is so addictive (although I had way too much batter for the size of pan, so would probably reduce it by a quarter), the sold-out chicken pot pies are stunning; the pastry is an absolute dream to handle.
The sugar saucers? Oh yeah baby.
Go on! Pop it in your basket!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational Cookbook 16 Jun 2006
By Anon
I love this book. It inspires me to bake and that can't be a bad thing! Rebecca Rather is not a cheffy writer, rather she is like a friend along to help you whilst cooking, almost in the same vein as Nigella Lawson. The book is beautfully laid out with pictures of many of the recipes. Nothing is perfect which is how it is made at home. One gripe only and that is that the quantities produced are often vast. Halving is usually OK with most of them though. Highly recommended!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.9 out of 5 stars  92 reviews
60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Fantastic Recipes Fit For a King (Queen) 19 Nov 2004
By Dan K. McCoy - Published on
This book is incredible. Since it has arrived, I have made three recipes and they all have been awesome. The recipes are easy to read and understand, and are organized so that no steps are omitted. I especially appreciate notations indicating that mistakes can be made in this step and what to do if it occurs. The Triple Threat Chocolate Chip Cookies are the best I've ever made or tasted. And the Omelette Kolache recipe is worth the price of the book if you ever have to make breakfast for a buffet. Overall if you are new to pastry and want a word class book with fairly simple and uncomplicated recipes - this is it. What Rather's recipes miss from traditional pastry books that resemble art work, she makes up in wholesome goodness and taste that will make this a kitchen page turner. Great job!
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Good Baking/Cooking from Texas Hills 3 Dec 2004
By rodboomboom - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Texan lady makes good with her passion for baking and doing other good cooking Texas style. Such passion becomes infectious evidently from the following she has developed for your bakery and recipes.

This passion continues to ooze out in this delightful cookbook from TenSpeed Press. I've come to realize and trust that if TenSpeed published it, it will have great photos on nice layout with exceptional and exciting food.

This volume continues in that fine train. Rebecca is really into it, and continues to refine and develop new exciting recipes, some her take on old favorites such as King Ranch Casserole and Big Hair Lemon-Lime Meringue Tarts.

This over 150 recipe offering has mostly baked goods, but as her bakery began offering lunch and dinner fare, they are included here as well: Caesar Salad Pizza; All Sold-Out Chicken Pot Pies; Savory Crab and Shrimp Casserole; Nuevo Texas Waldorf Salad.

Savor the baked delights here for us: Triple Threat Chocolate Chip Cookies (three types chocolate);Chef Mark's Southern Comfort Apple Pie; Buttermilk Pecan Pie; Frangelico-Hazelnut Fruit Tart.

There is so much fun Tex-Mex-Germanfood done beautifully for us home cooks to try. The recipes don't call for wild, hard-to-find ingredients nor are any of the techniques that complicated or intimidating. Just wonderful food with clear instructions and suggestions.

Fine, worthy addition to one's collection.
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rebecca Rather is the bomb! 4 Dec 2005
By Gardener Girl - Published on
Having eaten at Rather Sweet many times over the years, I was excited to get this book last year so that I could showcase some of Rebecca's wonderful desserts at dinner parties.

While I was sad to see that some of my favorites were not in the book (she makes the best egg salad I've ever had, and the wonderfully fluffy focaccia on which she serves her sandwiches is out of this world), there are so many wonderful recipes that it really doesn't matter.

I made the White-on-White Buttermilk Cake with Jack Daniel's Buttercream for my husband's birthday. I've never been a fan of white cake, but this one is divine. One suggestion I would make is to decrease the amount of butter in the buttercream -- it seemed to be a bit over the top.

The Tuxedo Cake is incredible. The rich, dark chocolate cake is a wonderful compliment to the simple whipped cream frosting. Not to mention, the cake is beautiful -- it stands at about 10 inches tall when made with the three layers.

Thanks to the other reviewers for pointing out the recipes they've tried and loved -- there are so many wonderful recipes that it's helpful to have a little push on which one to try next.

While I haven't tried the recipes for the Triple Threat Chocolate cookies, any of the muffins, or the Texas Pecan Pie Bars, I've had them in the bakery, and they are all wonderful. My mom was a huge fan of the pecan pie bars, and Rebecca astutely uses brown sugar (as did my grandmother) instead of corn syrup which adds extra flavor and allows the bars to set up nicely.

My all-time favorite item is the Mexican Chocolate Fudge-Pecan Cake. In the bakery, she makes them in individual bundt shapes, and they have just the right amount of cinnamon mixed in with the chocolate cake batter to impart that delightful flavor of the hot chocolate one would drink in Mexico.

Kudos to Rebecca -- her bakery, restaurant, and cookbook provide perfect examples of the simple, yet wonderful desserts made in the south and in Texas.
37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In case of housefire, make this one of first things you grab! 19 Sep 2005
By Susan G. Dunlap - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've collected cookbooks for years -- serious cookbooks. As in, IACP Cookbook Award winners. And many of these cookbooks I have loved, but none as much as I love "The Pastry Queen: Royally Good Recipes from the Texas Hill Country's Rather Sweet Bakery and Cafe' ".

Cookbooks tend to become a favorite based on their teaching the why behind tools, ingredients and techniques, as well as a "heads and shoulders above the rest" recipe or two.

_Every_ recipe in this cookbook, however, is above and beyond others I've collected. They range in difficulty, but levels of mastery are perfect when a cook is going from familiarity, to proficiency, to mastery. A cook can navigate through all these stages and stick with the same cookbook.

Guests just rave over the recipes, too. There's a balance between those requiring more exotic ingredients (defined as those that I don't already have in stock, such as apple-smoked bacon) to those always kept on hand.

Heaven forbid a housefire, but after my children and my pets, I'd grab this cookbook.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BUY THIS BOOK!!! 18 April 2005
By Jane Palmer - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I rarely offer my review, but I am so impressed with this book, I had to share my thoughts. This is one great cookbook. The recipes are doable, and very delicious. We had a dinner party for 12 last evening, and made 3 recipes from the book and they were a hit. The rocket rolls are light, tasty, maybe the best yeast rolls I've ever made! The corn muffins were very good. And the balsamic vinegar salad dressing recipe is worth the price of the book all by itself!

I will recommend this book to anyone who likes to follow well written recipes, and then enjoy a wonderful result!
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