Don’t forget: the book mentioned below is available at 20% off for tablehopper readers for two weeks following this mention at Green Apple Books—simply use the code “tablehopper” at checkout (either at the store or online) for your discount (if ordering online, just write “tablehopper” in the order comment field—when they process the order, you’ll get your discount).
Summer may not bring the warmest of weather to us here in San Francisco, but thanks to orchards and farms in warmer parts of the Bay Area, summer fruits abound at markets throughout the city. I’m always looking for unique, simple recipes that really highlight the fresh, delicate flavors of some of my favorite summer berries and stone fruits. Well folks, here is my new go-to for fresh, delicious, fruit-filled baking: Deborah Madison’s Seasonal Fruit Desserts.
I must admit, I’m partial to Madison’s cooking style. Her emphasis on fresh, simple ingredients is evident in all she does (she was the founding chef of Greens Restaurant here in SF—a restaurant known for delicious dishes that let the vegetables take center stage), and her classic Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone has long been a staple in my kitchen, and a perennial best-seller at Green Apple.
Not surprisingly, her signature style really shines through in this, her first ode to the sweeter side of produce. Full of simple recipes that don’t require fancy kitchen accoutrements or hard-to-find ingredients, this book makes it easy to create delicate desserts that really are all about the fruit. Plus, Madison includes a ton of extra information about fruit varieties, and where and when to find produce at its best.
Though the recipes are fairly straightforward, they are anything but boring—and Madison even employs some unconventional techniques. The silky tart dough for the blackberry cream tart I made a few weeks ago was more like a batter, and baked up like a cake, but was absolutely delicious, and unlike any tart I’ve made before—a recipe I will be sure to use again.
While berries, stone fruits, and other summer delights certainly have a strong presence in this book, Madison provides fantastic recipes for every season. Winter and autumn produce—like citrus, apples, nuts, and even persimmons (!)—make an appearance in many of the recipes. Plus, an entire section on dairy desserts with gems like a ricotta and goat cheese tart in a nut crust, and a simple yogurt and honey ice cream, make this a well-rounded, accessible dessert cookbook not to be missed.
Convinced? You can find the book here—then, if you can, head over to one of the many farmers’ markets throughout the Bay Area, and make good use of our delicious summer produce while it lasts.
Thanks for reading.