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All American Desserts: 400 Star-Spangled, Razzle-Dazzle Recipes for America's Best Loved Desserts Hardcover – September 12, 2003

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fertig (Prairie Home Cooking) claims that she has taken American recipes (defined as American, or Americanized recipes developed by Americans and made with American ingredients) and improved upon them-just a smidge. Fertig's Carrot Cake is tricolor and calls for yellow squash, green zucchini and carrots. Her recipes for crumbles or fruit crisps always include a squeeze of lemon juice to accent the flavors. Divided into sections that focus, in order, on fruit preserves and desserts, cookies, cake, pie, custards and puddings, ice cream, candy and beverages, the book is unarguably comprehensive. What's more, it's a convenient resource to have on hand. The recipes are modified classics, and Fertig has included some surprising ones, including Green Tomato and Apple Mincemeat, and Sweet Potato Pone with Kentucky Bourbon Pouring Custard. But among the most successful are the tried-and-true cornerstones of American dessert cuisine: Wisconsin Cheddar-Custard Apple Pie and Classic Angel Food Cake with Minted Berries. For the cook whose shelves are rife with books on contemporary cuisine, this book-think of it as an enhanced Betty Crocker recipe cookbook-is well worth adding to the shelf.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"Thsi book is jam-packed with American heritage recipes, each one more delicious-sounding than the next!" --Gale Gand, executive pastry chef at Tru and host of the Food Network's Sweet Dreams

"Seductive and compulsively readable . . . Fertig has compiled an exhaustive and valuable collection of American recipes and the lore behind them that will as likely and up on your bedside table as your kitchen counter." --Regan Daley, author of In the Sweet Kitchen

"A significant addition to the sweet subject of desserts, Judith Fertig's American Desserts does not miss a step as it marches along detailing just about any dessert worth preparing and pleasurably consuming." --Marcel Desaulniers, author of Death by Chocolate

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Common Press; First Edition edition (September 12, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155832190X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558321908
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 1.7 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,457,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on July 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
In the last few years, we have been treated to a sweet explosion of books on `American' desserts from special subject books on chocolate and cookies to general books like the present volume covering the entire dessert table. In fact, 2003 has brought us two such volumes, this title by Judith M. Fertig and a very similar title by TV Network pastry personality Wayne Harley Brachman. I will conclude with a comparison of these two books.
Ms. Fertig takes her queue on the meaning of `American food' from Julia Child, who said anything cooked in America by Americans with American ingredients is `American'. With all respect to Ms. Julia, this definition is great to roll off the tongue to dismiss a query, but it excludes practically nothing. The title of the book `All American Desserts' suggests a more highly selective criteria for including recipes, but I suspect the title is simply a means to do some flag waving over our apple pies. The book is loaded with classic European dishes such as crème broulee, tiramisu, agua fresca, Swedish Torte, and Biscotti. The simple truth is that the book covers anything that is made and enjoyed in America, and this is a good thing.
It is probably also fair to say the book does not cover everything made and enjoyed in America, as that would require a book at least three times the 504 pages devoted to recipes. There is no rhubarb pie for example, but for that we have Brachman's book.
Unlike every other `American' baking book I have seen, Ms.
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Format: Paperback
After cutting back on dessert for health reasons, this book has inspired me to make dessert more often. The desserts I've made from this book turned out great. Of course, you can get classic American recipes from many sources, but after presenting the simple versions, the author often includes a few versions with more "razzle-dazzle." There is a wide variety of desserts represented, so anyone should be able to find something to suit their palate, from light to rich, gelatin to pastry, and anything in between. The historical and descriptive anecdotes about ingredients and desserts are interesting and inspiring. You can tell that the author really enjoys dessert. The reason I didn't give this book 5 stars is that the organization could be better.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Recieved in great shape even tho former library book. Lots of nice recipes & so far excellant tasting & great for berries. Even my husband liked the berry dish but had way too much sugar in it so cut back over half on the sugar to let the natural sweetness of the berries to come thru & turned out great. Didn't last long at all...
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Format: Paperback
I saved $17.95 on this book at a discount chain; -- but it would have been worth every penny of the $18.95 price! I was in a hurry, and didn't spend much time browsing the recipes, and since I have several baking and dessert books, I almost put it down; but, ". . . for a dollar . . ."
To my surprise, ALL AMERICAN DESSERTS is now my first "go to" book. It seems to be one of those books where one may make something for an event, and not have to try out the recipes first.

Tonight, my husband will get a treat in the "Blueberry Batter Pudding", and my mother-in-law's birthday cake will be the "Red Rose Cake with Whipped Frosting". On Thanksgiving, guests' favorite dessert has been an apple cake by far, usually accompanied by a squash or pumpkin pie. This past Thanksgiving, I made the cake accompanied by the "James Beard's Pumpkin Pie with Candied Ginger". People raved about it! One friend said that it was his favorite of any dessert I have made. So, this year and for subsequent years, I plan on making it exclusively, along with the apple cake, rather than trying out new pie recipes. And I didn't even use fresh pumpkin, but the canned puree!

Needless to say, several delicious desserts from this book have been served to friends. If the reader decides to purchase, s/he will find memorable sweets of his or her own, at which to marvel!
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