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Ripe for Dessert: 100 Outstanding Desserts with Fruit--Inside, Outside, Alongside Hardcover – June 3, 2003

4.4 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

More substantial dessert fare shows up in David Lebovitz's Ripe for Dessert . This volume from Alice Waters' pastry chef at Chez Panisse shows dedication to using the finest available seasonal fruits. The many variations on poached pears highlight the fruit's versatility whether poached in white wine, honey, or Marsala. Instead of everyday profiteroles, Lebovitz stuffs anise-orange ice cream into puffs before crowning them with chocolate syrup. Crepes overflow with Grand Marnier butter and then get a topping of butterscotch sauce. For the kids, Lebovitz cleverly offers Jellied Tangerine Juice in lieu of ordinary boxed gelatin. Lebovitz also uses dried fruits, his butterless date-nut torte the most unusual of his creations. Dedicated dessert cooks will be tempted to try every one of Lebovitz's inspired recipes. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

David Lebovitz was pastry cook at Chez Panisse for twelve years with a few brief forays into the outside world, including a stint as pastry chef at Bruce Cost's Monsoon, a critical favorite. He lives in San Francisco, California.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks; 1st edition (June 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0066212464
  • ISBN-13: 978-0066212463
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on January 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
David Lebovitz' new title `Ripe for Dessert' is a word play on his subject of fruits in dessert. The teacher and former pastry chef with Paul Bartoli and Alice Waters at Chez Panisse has done a book composed exclusively of dessert recipes, which include fruit in some fashion.
The chapters divide the recipes into a slightly quirky seven different types of fruit, where type is not determined by botany but by a combination of season (apples, pears, quinces), terroir (tropical), and preservation (dried). The seven chapters are:
Apples, Pears, Quince, and Rhubarb
Tropical Fruits
Citrus Fruits
Dried Fruits
Figs, Grapes, Melon, and Pomegranates
Stone Fruits
The most striking thing about the collection of recipes is that there seems to be not a single classic fruit recipe such as simple Apple Pie or Strawberry Shortcake or Peach Melba or Peach Cobbler. Almost every recipe is original with the author or based on a suggestion made to the author. Many are certainly based on classics, but each and every one has some modification. For example:
Apple Crisp becomes Gravenstein Apple and Blackberry Crisp
Tarte Tatin becomes Apple and Quince Tarte Tatin
Rhubarb Pie becomes Rhubarb Tart with Almond Nougatine
Key Lime Pie becomes Lime Marshmallow Pie
Linzertorte become Peanut Butter and Jelly Linzertorte
Peach Crisp becomes Peach and Amaretti Crisp
There is definitely a place on many bookshelves for this kind of book. But it is important to know that this is what the book is all about before buying it. The author is so fastidious as a baker that he does not use generic pastry crusts. Rather, the crusts are customized to the job at hand.
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By A Customer on May 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I am a big fan of David Lebovitz's "Room For Dessert", but was skeptical to try "Ripe for Dessert" because I am not a huge fan of fruit desserts. this book, however, proved me wrong. The recipes are delicious. My favorite was the Lime Marshmellow Pie (although I did use whip cream and storebought graham crackers). A lot of the recipes have fruit on the side and would be delicious without the fruit. I have enjoyed the Chocolate Bread toasted with cream cheese. This is a great book for someone who loves baking and pastry and is looking to get creative. I wouldn't recommend it to a beginner because the techniques are not well explained if you don't understand them already.
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Format: Hardcover
When I ordered this book I was very excited about it. I love fruit, and using it in cooking for me is always fun. When I use fruit in savory dishes I do it to be innovative and for something "new," but when I use fruit it dessert, it's for elegance, and style.

This book did not dissapoint. There are recipes for almost every fruit imaginable, most available in any grocery store, along with some beautiful photos of some of the finished and plated desserts.

The book starts with the authors, Mr. David Lebovitz, acknowledgments, and continues with a foward by Ms. Deborah Madison. This is the first book of Mr. Lebovitz's I've owned, and seeing how great this one is, must now get his other, Room for Dessert.

Then there is an introduction from Mr. Lebovitz, including some tips, techniques, and a section on different types of fruits.

There are then seven chapters, seperated by fruit catergory, full of recipes.

Apples, Pears, Quince, and Rhubarb - Included are fourteen recipes, mostly for apples and pears. The quince and rhubarb being included in this chapter, since they don't really fit anywhere else. There are six recipes for apples, one being a tempting spiced apple charlotte with cider sabayon. There is one recipe for quince; quince marmalade with manchego cheese. Then six recipes for pears, including; stilton shortcakes with honey-poached pears and cornmeal shortcakes with spice-baked pears. This is followed by a single recipe for rhubrab; rhubarb tart with almond nougatine.

A chapter for tropical fruit follows with ten recipes. There's a papaya recipe for papaya cake with coconut glaze, then a tropical version of baked Alaska, reightly re-named here, a baked Hawaii.
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Format: Hardcover
Mr. Lebovitz' first dessert cookbook was called ROOM FOR DESSERT. Now he has given us RIPE FOR DESSERT, a collection of 100 recipes with fruit in them. I have tried his Chocolate Cherry Fruitcake (pp. 132-133) and can testify that it is richly wonderful although I don't think it's really a fruit cake with dried cheeries soaked in kirsch as the only fruit involved. (There are almonds and chocolate chips, however.) His Date, Ginger and Candied Pineapple Fruitcake looks doable as well. I must say that I was hard put to find any other recipe I wanted to try. (This was not my experience in cookbook number 1.) It's all subjective on my part-- food always is I suppose-- but I think one can get too many flavors in a dessert if not careful. For example, I cannot imagine baking Prune, Coffe, Chocolate and Amaretto Tiramisu. Additionally, and once again this is just my personal bias, I enjoy baking cakes. There are few cakes included in this collection. Finally you don't four letter word with some classics. Key Lime Pie is one of them. Mr. Lebovitz for his lime pie does a "creamy homemade marshmallow topping and instructs the cook on how to make homemade marshmallow topping as well as homemade graham cracker crust. Does anybody on earth want to know how to make these two items from scratch? And do they have time?
I have a suggestion for the author's next cookbook. He should all it READY FOR DESSERT and include only quick and easy recipes for those of us who are (a) very busy, (b lazy, (c) poor-- some of these recipes would cost bunches--(d) all of the above.
But if you are looking for very exotic recipes with lots of contrasting flavors, this cookbook is for you.
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