Rustic Fruit Desserts

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-06-01
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Pr

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An early fall cobbler with blackberries bubbling in their juice beneath a golden cream biscuit. A crunchy oatmeal crisp made with mid-summer's sweet nectarines and raspberries. Or a comforting pear bread pudding made with brioche to soften a harsh winter's day. In RUSTIC FRUIT DESSERTS, James Beard Award-winning chef Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson, owner of Baker and Spice, share their repertoire of classic fruit desserts, including crumbles, crisps, Betty's, buckles, and pies that showcases the freshest in-season fruit available. Simple, scrumptious, and always a cherished favourite, these heritage desserts are (thankfully) experiencing a long-due revival.

Author Biography

CORY SCHREIBER is the founder of Wildwood Restaurant and winner of the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Pacific Northwest. Schreiber now works with the Oregon Department of Agriculture as the Farm-to-School Food Coordinator and writes, consults, and teaches cooking classes in Portland, Oregon.

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, JULIE RICHARDSON grew up enjoying the flavors that defined the changing seasons of her Vermont childhood. Her lively small-batch bakery, Baker & Spice, evolved from her involvement in the Portland and Hillsdale farmers’ markets. She lives in Portland, Oregon.


Cory’s Perspective

I first met Julie Richardson at the Portland Farmers Market in 1998. Back then, she sold handcrafted baked goods at a small booth called Baker & Spice. A farmers market was the natural place for Julie to sell her pastries and pies, as she made them with seasonal, locally grown fruit. Her rustic desserts were deliciously irresistible, and I became far too familiar with almost all of them.

Given the devoted Baker & Spice following that lined up in droves every Saturday morning, rain or shine, (this is Portland, after all) to eat a breakfast pastry or buy a dessert to go, Baker & Spice eventually outgrew its farmers market booth. It now has a home as a retail bakery in the Hillsdale community of southwest Portland. Even though Baker & Spice is no longer at the farmers market, Julie’s seasonal approach is still a mainstay of her baking. The bakery is committed to local foods and seasonal products, and its repertoire of classic fruit desserts, from pies and pandowdies to cobblers and crumbles, changes throughout the year to reflect the freshest fruits available.

In the Pacific Northwest, we are lucky to have a wide variety of seasonal fruits grown by small-scale farmers. This creates an abundance of delicious choices that can be baked into a vast selection of fruit desserts--much like the ones that keep customers queued up at Baker & Spice. No wonder Julie and her family have made Oregon their home! Julie grew up in rural Vermont, where orchards and berry fields were part of the summer landscape of her childhood. Turning fruit into dessert came naturally to her long before she engaged in professional baking.

This book combines Julie’s knowledge of baking and my knowledge of Pacific Northwest fruits. I have cooked professionally for more than three decades, and at least half of my career has involved cooking in the Pacific Northwest. My most formative food memories are from Oregon, and I share Julie’s passion for the quality of our fruit. I conjure up the seasons by thinking about various fruit desserts I have enjoyed: for autumn, it is a cobbler with blackberries bubbling in their juices beneath a golden cream biscuit; in the dead of winter, a comforting pear bread pudding made with brioche and lots of vanilla; for spring, a tart rhubarb compote over a scoop of vanilla ice cream; and for summer, a crunchy oatmeal crisp bursting with midsummer’s sweet nectarines and raspberries.

Deciding what dessert to make on any given day is a wonderful process. You will find the dessert recipes in this book quite versatile, allowing you to take advantage of fruit at the peak of its season. Your decision of what to make could be based on the fruit you see at a local fruit stand or whatever fruit you have available in your kitchen. The ingredients in your pantry may also help dictate what form your dessert takes. And do not forget to consider how much time you have to prepare your dessert, so you can enjoy the process and not feel rushed.

Although I am familiar with the many varieties of fruit that grow in the Pacific Northwest, memorizing the differences between all the playfully named fruit desserts is beyond me. The desserts in this book fall into a number of categories, most of which are described below. Various regions of the United States have slightly different versions of these desserts, so my apologies if what I call a cobbler is what you call a slump, or vice versa.

A pie is a dessert with a filling (in this case, fruit) with a bottom crust and an optional top crust. Pies with both a bottom and a top crust are often referred to as a “double crust.” Hand pies are a signature item at Baker & Spice; these individual pocket pies have pie filling in a flaky crust that is folded over and crimped shut.

Close relatives of the pie include the tart and the galette. A tart is a pie without a top crust;

Excerpted from Rustic Fruit Desserts: Crumbles, Buckles, Cobblers, Pandowdies, and More by Cory Schreiber, Julie Richardson
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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