Celebrate the luscious fruits of every season with this stunning collection of heirloom-quality recipes for pies, cakes, tarts, ice cream, preserves, and other sweet treats. Summer's wild raspberries become Raspberry Pink Peppercorn Sorbet, ruby red rhubarb is roasted to adorn a pavlova, juicy apricots and berries are baked into galettes with saffron sugar, and winter's bright citrus fruits shine in Blood Orange Donuts and Tangerine Cream Pie. Yossy Arefi’s recipes showcase what's fresh and vibrant any time of year by enhancing the enticing sweetness of fruits with bold flavors like rose and orange flower water inspired by her Iranian heritage, bittersweet chocolate and cacao nibs, and whole-grain flours like rye and spelt. Accompanied by gorgeous, evocative photography, Sweeter off the Vine is a must-have for aspiring bakers and home cooks of all abilities.
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Blackberries grow like weeds in the Pacific Northwest, and when I was a kid, my family picked the blackberries from the bushes behind an elementary school near our house every summer. My parents taught my brother and me to only pick the berries that slid easily from their stems to collect in our little plastic containers, and I’m pretty sure we ate all of the berries that we picked, staining our fingers and faces while leaving the majority of the actual collecting to the adults. When we got home, my mom would make a simple jam in our largest pot, with just blackberries and sugar.
My parents also loved to garden, and when we moved into a house with a yard, my dad built garden beds out of old railroad ties and filled them with fruit and vegetable plants. My mom planted an entire bed full of raspberry canes that looked like dried-up sticks; when they grew up tall and strong, they produced the most gorgeous berries. We picked them by the fistful every July and we turned our harvest into preserves and pies—and snacks, of course. I would stand in the kitchen and help my mom fill pies with mounds of fresh berries, sugar, and a bit of spice; we rarely measured, but the results were always delicious. She would bake up little scraps of pie crust sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar for me to snack on while the pies took what seemed like an eternity to cool on the counter.
The kitchen in our home was always busy and warm, and my dad cooked just as often, mostly savory dishes from his homeland of Iran. He introduced me to the flavors of Middle Eastern cooking that have become so comforting to me as an adult. But maybe more importantly, his cooking taught me how important it is to balance flavors in both sweet and savory food. In Iranian cooking, rich meat stews are tempered with cool, tart yogurt mixed with cucumbers and mint, and all sorts of pickled vegetables. Bitter tea is served with sweet dates and saffron candy.
When I moved to New York from Seattle, I thought I might go to culinary school to hone my home-cooking skills into professional ones, but after graduating college with a mountain of debt, taking on more to go to culinary school seemed like the wrong choice. Instead, I decided to get a job at a restaurant and figure out a way to get myself into the kitchen. I quickly found myself a job as a reservationist for a busy chain of teahouses, where I spent most of my time consoling frustrated customers who couldn’t get the brunch reservation they wanted. It wasn’t exactly the professional restaurant experience I was looking for.
I still baked at home for fun and leisure, and every once in a while I’d bring in the treats I made to share with my coworkers and boss. When a position in the bakery of the restaurant opened up, I convinced my boss that I could handle the kitchen (anything was better than answering the phone all day!) and pick up the skills I needed on the job. He gave me a chance.
That chance turned into many years of apron- and clog-clad early mornings making scones and icing cakes, and of coming home from work smelling sweet and floury. I had burns all over my arms from the broken oven doors that swung closed unexpectedly, but I was strong from lugging around fifty-pound bags of sugar and cases of butter. I learned how to make the best buttery pie crusts and tall, frosting-covered layer cakes. I loved the work. Sometimes I miss those early morning walks across a quiet Central Park to bake hundreds of scones before the city even woke up. There was magic in those hours, and even though I don’t work as a baker anymore, I have returned to baking at home for fun, and I share it all on my blog, Apt. 2B Baking Co., which celebrates seasonal desserts and preserves.
Although my current life in Brooklyn involves a “garden” of a few potted tomato plants and herbs on my fire escape, I make sure to embrace the seasons at my local farmers’ market. I’m always looking for new, interesting dishes to cook and bake, but what I love most is reflecting seasonality through the ingredients I use, all while keeping the idea of balanced flavors in mind. I eagerly anticipate rhubarb in the spring, berries and stone fruit in the summer, apples and squash in the fall, and glorious citrus to brighten up cold East Coast winters. Then I celebrate the seasons’ finest produce by tucking it into pies, cakes, and whatever else I can dream up and I also preserve the season with my own homemade jams. This book is filled with just those types of recipes.
We start in the spring, when everything is fresh and new. Fruit is slow to emerge, but there is plenty to do with strawberries and rhubarb. The bright flavors of spring’s first green herbs are perfect for infusing into ice cream and panna cotta. In the summer, the variety and abundance of fruit can be almost overwhelming; in that section of the book, you will find pages of baked desserts, as well as cooling treats like granitas and sorbets, and jams to save the season. Fall highlights crisp apples and pears topped with oaty crumble and tucked into tarts. Musky Concord grapes will be turned into pie and roasted squash spun into ice cream or folded into nutty cake batter. In the winter, we move to warm, comforting recipes that will keep homes and bellies warm, and sunny citrus recipes that can brighten up the darkest January days.
This collection of recipes was written with peak-season fruit in mind,
but some recipes straddle the seasons as spring turns to summer, summer to fall, and so on. So while this book is organized seasonally, it’s best to think of the year as a continuum. Some years we are lucky and there are fresh figs at the market while the berries are still flourishing and the first grapes of fall are being pulled from their vines. Raspberries hit their peak at the height of summer, but often reappear in fall for a brief moment, perfectly timed to combine with the first tart red cranberries. Apples are plucked from their branches starting in late summer, but storage apples are available year-round. While winter is prime citrus season, when we have the biggest variety of lemons, oranges, and grapefruits, you will still find citrus zest and juice in recipes throughout the book. We are lucky in New York to have beautiful and bountiful farmers’ markets, and I do my best to source my produce from local farmers. I encourage you to keep a close eye on what is available at the markets where you live and do the same.
The recipes in this book range from simple, five-ingredient affairs to more complex and involved baking endeavors like laminated pastry dough and composed tarts. My hope is that you’ll find something that’s just your speed, and that these recipes show the wide range of desserts you can make that highlight fresh, seasonal fruit all year. At the end of the book, you’ll find a section full of basic recipes like oaty crisp topping, buttery pie crusts made with both whole grain and all purpose flours, pastry cream, and homemade vanilla extract and crème fraîche, among others. These recipes serve as the basis of many recipes throughout the book, and once you get the hang of them, I hope you’ll feel free to freestyle some fruit desserts of your own.
Table of ContentsSpring
chamomile honey panna cotta 12 | fresh mint ice cream with cacao nibs 15 | lemon verbena olive oil cake 16
rhubarb and rose galettes 20 | rhubarb semifreddo 24 | roasted rhubarb pavlova 27
| rhubarb and rye upside-down cake 31
the simplest strawberry tart 36 | strawberry ice cream sandwiches with cacao nib poppy seed wafers 39 | pistachio pound cake with strawberries in lavender sugar 43 | strawberry and campari paletas 47
cherry and chocolate turnovers 50
| cherry and rhubarb slab pie 53 | spiked cherry sorbet 55 | cherry and poppy seed yogurt cake 59
apricot and berry galette with saffron sugar 64 | small-batch apricot jam 67 | roasted apricot and buttermilk sherbet 68
Mixed Berries 71
blueberry skillet cobbler with whole wheat biscuits 72 | crème fraîche and blueberry ice cream 75 | currant and gooseberry buckle 76 | blackberry and sage cream puffs 81 | black fruit tart 85
cantaloupe and mint yogurt pops 88
| watermelon granita with chile and lime 91
Stone Fruits 95
nectarine and blackberry pie bars 96 | wine-soaked peaches with lemon verbena 99 | spelt shortcakes with roasted stone fruit 100 | plum pie with hazelnut crumb 104
coconut cream fool with raspberries 108
| chocolate celebration cake with fresh raspberry buttercream 111 | raspberry sorbet with pink peppercorns 116
wine-roasted figs with whipped honeyed ricotta 120 | soft chocolate and fig cake 123
concord grape pie with rye crust 128 | concord grape and plum butter 132
Persimmons and Pomegranates 137
jeweled pavlovas with cranberry curd 138
| persimmon sorbet with ginger and vanilla 142
marie-danielle’s apple tart 146 | caramelized apple fritters 151 | campfire crisp 155
a pear-packed chestnut cake 158 | pear pie with crème fraîche caramel 161
ginger quince upside-down cake 166 | quince and pistachio frangipane tartlets 170
Squash and Pumpkins 173
butternut squash tea cake 174 | caramel-swirled roasted squash ice cream 179 | winter luxury pumpkin pie 180
cranberry bread pudding 186 | cornmeal and ricotta cake with cranberries 189 | cranberry and pear pandowdy 190
chocolate sesame tart with grapefruit 194
| blood orange old-fashioned donuts 197
| quick marmalade with blood oranges and meyer lemons 201 | tangerine cream pie 205
| grapefruit and meyer lemon bundt cake 208
| preserved lemon ice cream 212 | rangpur lime bars with saffron 215 | gingery lime posset 216 | citrus almond thumbprints with summer jam 219
sticky toffee pudding with cranberries 222
| browned-butter date blondies 225
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I thoroughly enjoyed this book for many reasons. This was a beautiful cookbook that has AMAZING pictures of the foods! All of them looked amazing and I really wanted to eat everything! The recipes were very fancy and elegant, yet they were easy to pull off. This was one of the "healthier" dessert cookbooks, yet the recipes and recipe combinations really worked well. I think the two recipes that REALLY stood out to me were the Blood Orange Doughnuts (I have never heard of anything like that before), and the "Chocolate Celebration Cake With Fresh Raspberry Buttercream". The picture looked so nice and pink which made it look so appetizing, yet the recipe was so simple and seemed delicious to eat! Honestly, this book is great! One thing that I also loved is how there were sections of the book which had the recipes divided into what fruits were in for the season. Strawberries in the summer, squash in the fall/winter, etc. Each time that you got to a different type of fruit or vegetable staring in the dish, the author would put in some personal experiences with the fruits and what they liked about them. I would recommend this cookbook to anyone in need of some simple, fruity, somewhat healthy desserts. Happy Reading! FTC Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Blogging For Books as part of their Book Review Blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Title: Sweeter off the Vine - Fruit Desserts For Every Season Author: Yossy Arefi Published: 3-22-16 Publisher: Ten Speed Press Pages: 256 Genre: Cookbooks, Food & Wine Sub Genre: Fruit; Desserts ISBN: 9781607748588 ASIN: B010K2B8SU Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley My Rating: 5 Stars . I eat fruit for almost every meal. I grew up in Florida and fruit comes in a great variety of available fruits year round. We often went out to pick berries, blackberries, gooseberries, mulberries and blueberries and strawberries that grew wild around the Glades. Add to that Oranges, Peaches, Pears, Apples, Lemons and Limes, Melons not to mention Cumquats, Bananas, Cherries and you get the idea. I have many dessert cookbooks, but none of the others specialize in fruits except those that have jam and jelly recipes. Sweeter off the Vine - Fruit Desserts For Every Season is perfect for me and my household who like myself love fruit. If you have never tried the combination of cranberries and pears you definitely need to try the pear & cranberry pandowdy. Wine-roasted figs with whipped honeyed ricotta. Then there is the Cranberry Bread Pudding and the Black Tart. All of the recipes sounded delicious but these are some of my favorites that I have actually made. Next to salads, fruits are my favorite food. Sometimes I get luck and can combine the two and have the perfect meal. But I favor desserts as well and Yossy Arefi has provided me with an outstanding Cookbook to inspire me. There are also substitutions offered if a certain fruit is not available, allergy restrictions or taste preferences. The time has come to embrace our love of fruit and indulge in the many easy to understand and reproduce recipes offered in Sweeter off the Vine - Fruit Desserts For Every Season. In my book this is a definite 5 out of 5 stars and will hold a place of honor among my cookbooks.