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The most complete cookbook for enjoying and cooking with apples.The Apple Lover's Cookbook celebrates the beauty of apples in all their delicious variety, taking you from the orchard to the kitchen with recipes both sweet (like Apple-Stuffed Biscuit Buns and Blue Ribbon Deep-Dish Apple Pie) and savory (like Cider-Brined Turkey and Apple Squash Gratin). It offers a full-color guide to fifty-nine apple varieties, with descriptions of their flavor, history, and, most important, how to use them in the kitchen. Amy ...
The most complete cookbook for enjoying and cooking with apples.The Apple Lover's Cookbook celebrates the beauty of apples in all their delicious variety, taking you from the orchard to the kitchen with recipes both sweet (like Apple-Stuffed Biscuit Buns and Blue Ribbon Deep-Dish Apple Pie) and savory (like Cider-Brined Turkey and Apple Squash Gratin). It offers a full-color guide to fifty-nine apple varieties, with descriptions of their flavor, history, and, most important, how to use them in the kitchen. Amy Traverso also takes you around the country to meet farmers, cider makers, and apple enthusiasts.
The one hundred recipes run the spectrum from cozy crisps and cobblers to adventurous fare like Cider-Braised Brisket or Apple-Gingersnap Ice Cream. In addition, Amy organizes apple varieties into cooking categories so that it's easy to choose the right fruit for any recipe. You'll know to use tart Northern Spy in your pies and Fuji in delicate cakes. The Apple Lover's Cookbook is the ultimate apple companion.
Winner of the 2012 IACP Award in the American Category
Tired of apple pies in which the fruit loses its shape and turns into mushy sauce? Amy Traverso's The Apple Lover's Cookbook offers solutions. But what earns it a place on your shelf are not her 100 recipes for old standbys such as Apple Crisp and German Pancake, few of which are likely to replace your favorites; rather, it is the alphabetized, alluringly photographed, in- depth guide to 59 apple varieties that precedes them.
Much as some recent cookie books have taken to classifying recipes by texture (chewy, cakey, crumbly, etc.), Traverso classifies each apple variety as belonging to one of four categories: Firm-Tart, Firm-Sweet, Tender-Tart, and Tender-Sweet, with suggestions for best use. Her recipes, in turn, call for apples in a specific texture category, helpfully listed on a "cheat sheet" that also flags slow-to-oxidize varieties for salads. (I do wish this chart were printed on the end-pages for easier reference.)
So, for that perfect apple pie, use a mix of firm-tart and firm-sweet varieties. But don't stop at pies and tarts. I used firm-sweet Pink Ladies and Honeycrisps, and, lacking tender-sweets, some tender- tart Macouns and Cortlands to test two apple cakes — the easy, moist Apple Brownies and the slightly more complicated Apple- Studded Brown Butter Streusel Coffee Cake, both of which were deemed Eve-worthy on the temptation scale.
Traverso has a notable fondness for salt, which she adds to many recipes via salted butter as well as by the teaspoonful. Savory options include a Parsnip-Apple Puree and an Apple and Chestnut- Stuffed Pork Loin with Cider Sauce. My favorite recipes, however, are the do-ahead breakfast dishes, including a healthy Baked Apple Oatmeal Pudding — a sort of bread pudding made with rolled oats, eggs, milk, dried fruit, and diced firm-sweet apples. Although a bit dry on reheating, this tasted virtuous but also delicious — though not Red Delicious, which Traverso disdains as a "Mush-Sweet" variety without "a single good use for it."
Heller McAlpin is a New York–based critic who reviews books for NPR.org, The Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Christian Science Monitor, and other publications.
Reviewer: Heller McAlpin
Posted October 1, 2011
Lots of great information in this book; pictures and descriptions of apples and suggestions on what apple to use in your recipe. The book is broken up into chapters for soups, entrees, desserts, cooking tips, and an apple primer including catgegories of what apples are sweet, tart, firm or tender. Some of the recipes feature beautiful color pictures, but not all. I am anxious to try these recipes. If you love baking or cooking with apples this book is for you.
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Posted March 4, 2012
Overall I like this book. However it's not really a cookbook as named in the title. You will find recipes in the book and I like a number of the ones I made, but this book is really more about education. This book is is part history, part entertaining read, and about 1/3 cookbook. The author covers an introduction to the history of the apple and the incredible genetic diversity. The next time you eat or cut open an offer, consider that each seed is a completely unique item. Each sed would produce completely different apples if grown to that stage--and the resulting fruit may have little or no resemblance to the parent tree. This is an example of the wide-ranging genetics of the apple.
Another aspect of the book that is useful relates to cyclopedic style presentation of types of apples. It starts with a table that contains most varieties of apples and how best to use them. With expanding access to more than the usual types of apples the list is helpful.
A number of the recipes also stood out. While apple recipes are common, it's always interesting to find new ones such as a savory tart with a different, satisfying take on crust flavors. My favorite recipe, however, was the Swedish Apple Pie. You don't even need a crust to make this great dessert. If, however, you're looking for an exhaustive cookbook on apple dishes, this book doesn't qualify. It's actually a well-rounded presentation. The content shines, the recipes are satisfying, and at the very least this book is worth a trip to library. For those who have access to lots of apples or simply enjoying increasing their understanding of favorite foods, read on! For fans of the television shows "Foodology" or Food Science you will find this book a satisfying book.
Posted November 16, 2011