JULIA CHILD ✔ said the Cassoulet was, “the apotheosis of baked beans.” The cassole is the traditional vessel for cooking both large and individual cassoulets. Aficionados know the traditional fired clay cassole is the sine qua non of any Cassoulet which will be well received in discerning company.
GLAZE ➤ This traditional Japanese Kakai / Persimmon glaze displays an intense rust red tonal range which varies as it flows over the contours of the baking form. The subtle variegated tones from tiny iron oxide crystals develop as I gradually cool the kiln. This glaze is lead free, food safe and in-use tested.
★ Oxidation fired @ cone ▲10 (1250℃) over vitreous cork colored stoneware. The base is clearly stamped with my Maine Kiln Works – Gouldsboro, Maine signature logo. Smooth inside and out for easy cleaning.
SIZE ➤ This Cassole (for baking Cassoulet) measures 14 inch diameter x 4½ inches high and is sized to hold 5 quarts with head room to spare. The image with apple will indicate scale. This sturdy beauty weighing 9 pounds bakes a traditionally sized cassoulet large enough (with supporting menu items) to serve 8 to 10 people.
★ To enhance the extended baking cycle of cassoulets—this Cassole baker has been made double thick to act as a heat sink which helps develop the broad crusty top essential for this dish.
HAND ➤ All of the pieces I list are entirely my own hand work: from designing the form, mixing the clay & glaze, forming my stoneware & porcelain and glazing and firing the finished work. I do everything involved but process the raw materials.
VALUE ➤ My work is not inexpensive because I have no economies of scale. Compared to industrial manufacturing ceramic handcraft is laughably inefficient. Perhaps it’s foolish to make something one step at time or perhaps that’s the only way to create unique qualities?
PHOTOS ➤ The photographed piece is an example of the actual one I will pack and ship to you. Since each is hand formed and individually glazed the piece shipped will have unique variation in color & size from the example photos.
INSPIRATION ➤ The original motivation for making a smaller individually sized CASSOLE sprang from the fertile mind and culinary habits of THE JUDGE—Thomas Henry Nickerson—who provided the following inimitable QUOTES regarding this traditional dish.
★ “Do you know it is almost impossible to buy cassoles? You’re offered Cassoulet, but no traditional cassoles. In Paris—the Globe d’Or serves sizzling hot cassoulet in individual cassoles as well as cassoles for 4 or 6. Traditional stoneware cassoles provide a proportionately large surface area for crusting, which is de rigueur for a proper cassoulet. My cassoles are in constant, every day use without regard to my annual cassoulet feast. Cassoles are great for cooking and serving gratins, soups, stews, doggy food (nuke to heat it) and other types of baked beans and on and on…”
★★ “Outside a professional French kitchen or bean house, one does not cook cassoulet but once or twice a year. BUT, one does make soups, macaroni & cheese, potato gratins, chowders, meat loaf, salads, etc. The larger cassoles are used constantly for such. While the smaller cassoles are perfect for individual service providing a hefty portion. Chili anyone? Some French cookbooks have whole sections on Cassolettes.”
★★★ “A real cassole is made of fine stoneware, not cheap pottery. The best cassoles in the world are custom made by Dan Weaver at Maine Kiln Works.”