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The desserts produced in Alaskan kitchens tend to mirror the cooks: casual, unpretentious, and reliable, but not without the occasional eccentric twist. (What could be more whimsical than Baked Alaska, the flamboyant assemblage of hot meringue and cold ice cream?) Alaskans can be trendy and sophisticated when the occasion arises—I know many amateur chefs who produce admirable genoise, tiramisu, and real puff pastry. But this book celebrates humbler fare: simple, pioneer desserts that can be achieved with little more than a measuring cup, a bowl, and a wooden spoon (although a food processor never hurts), and baked in such varied locales as wilderness cabins and fishing boats. Old-fashioned country desserts like cobbler and upside-down cake ma be undergoing a renaissance in the Lower 48, but Alaskans have been baking and enjoying them all along.