Seasonal Fruit Desserts by Deborah Madison*.
I was so excited when the library finally got this book. I felt like I'd had it on hold forever! My intent was to purchase it if I liked it.
But when I started to look through it, I was disappointed.
Madison is a very good writer and her love of creating tasty and beautiful foods from fresh fruits is obvious. She includes charming essays about fruits such as grapes, melons, or plums.
But those essays are only occasionally followed by a recipe featuring that fruit. An essay about the underappreciated pawpaw is followed by a recipe for dates and pistachio; the prose ode to peaches is nowhere near a peach-inclusive recipe (although it is preceded by Nectarine-plum upside-down cake, sort of swappable).
And though the photographs included are spectacular, there aren't enough. I'd have loved to see a picture of the aforementioned nectarine-plum cake, for example.
My complaints aside, the book is lovely. The pages are glossy, and the binding is almost perfect for a cookbook in that the book opens flat easily. The essays are a wonderful example of food writing, and the recipes are not difficult, and they are excellent.
I would have liked to see the recipes grouped by fruit or type of fruit rather than by type of dessert (Pies & Tarts, Sauces Made from Fruit, Roasted & Sauteed Fruit). It would be so much easier, if I had a plethora of plums, to look up a chapter about plums, rather than going to the index and finding recipes scattered throughout the book.
But I'm probably still going to buy the book.