Richard Sax has it right: the most accomplished pastry-chef creations don't provide the direct pleasures of good-old homemade desserts. Sax's Classic Home Desserts, first published in 1994, more than makes the point. A classic itself, the book offers more than 350 clear, accessible recipes for the world's home desserts--everything from cobblers and crisps to puddings, pies, and sauces to ice creams, simple pastries, and cakes of all kinds--while providing tips for success, a truly useful glossary of baking equipment, plus 48 color photos depicting the confections in their simple glory. It's hard to imagine a cook--would-be, amateur, or professional--who wouldn't want this comprehensive collection.
In chapters covering every conceivable homemade dessert type, which, besides those listed above, includes sweet pancakes and dumplings, cookies, creams, fools, jellies, tarts, and more, Sax offers a repertoire that's both old-fashioned, and, where desirable, innovative. (But discreetly so: he likes to add a little fresh ginger to his plum crisp, for example.) The recipe titles tell all: Southern-Style Peach and Raspberry Cobbler, Peanut Butter Pie with Fudge Topping, The World's Best Lemon Tart, Double Chocolate Pudding, and Split-Level Lime Chiffon Pie are representative American offerings. Old World specialties include Sephardic Walnut Cake with Honey-Lemon Syrup, Ricotta Strudel from Trieste, and Custardy Prune Pudding or Far Breton, one of Brittany's best-loved sweets, among others. A full repertoire of cookies, from New Mexican Anise Christmas Cookies to 1950s Pecan Puffs, makes the book a great holiday baking resource. With information on techniques, historical and anecdotal notes, and reprints of old recipes, the book is a trove of good information as well as great dessert-making direction. --Arthur Boehm
From Publishers Weekly
More than a decade in the making, according to Sax (Old-Fashioned Desserts), this vast and user-friendly international compendium of desserts will seem congenial territory to the many home cooks whose culinary passion has always been that final course. Sax eschews such special-occasion masterpieces as wedding cakes and complicated pastries, to survey four broad types of desserts: warm fruit desserts and smooth, thickened dishes, like mousses and fools; custards and starch-thickened puddings; baked goods (about half the book), from cookies to cakes, pies and tarts; and frozen desserts and sauces. Beginning with thorough coverage of cookware and ingredients, including sources, tips on techniques and a table of equivalents, Sax plunges right into the fruit recipes. They, like all others, come with a bit of history, suggestions about variations and substitutions and sidebars of chatty quotes from noted chefs, excerpts from fiction and historical documents or reproductions of early recipes. Sax offers a highly usable collection sure to brighten the task of family cooks and bring smiles to those who sit at their tables. Photos not seen by PW.
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Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.