In the book Julie & Julia by Julie Powell, the author sets out to make all the recipes in Julia Child’s 1961 masterpiece, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Her goal is not only to make every recipe in the cookbook, all 524 of them, she will do this in the span of 1 year. Julie Powell documented this year of culinary successes and disastrous results in her blog, the Julie/Julia Project and ultimately, the book. Her blog had a loyal following and her book became a best seller. Hollywood came calling next.
In the movie, Amy Adams plays the part of Julie and Meryl Streep channels Julia Child. The movie was charming and cleverly written, showing Julie in her quest to master MtAoFC (Julie’s designation for Mastering the Art of French Cooking) and Julia Child’s time spent in France learning the art of cooking. At the end of the movie, the last recipe Julie makes is Pâté de Canard en Croûte, a boned stuffed duck baked in a pastry crust. This is certainly not a dish to attempt for the faint of heart. However, did the film makers make a mistake? In the movie, Amy Adams wraps the duck in the pastry crust to bake in the oven. But unless my eyes were deceiving me, she did not brown the duck before wrapping it in the pastry. Browning the duck first would help render some of the remaining duck fat and seal the bird, helping to keep the juices inside. Without browning the duck and wrapping it in the pastry crust raw, would she not end up with a soggy mess instead of a perfect Pâté de Canard en Croûte?