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Sweet Simplicity: Jacques Pepins Fruit Desserts Hardcover – June, 1999
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There's no reason to deny yourself the pleasures of dessert when you're cooking with Jacques Pépin, for he's assembled a delicious assortment of fruit desserts in Sweet Simplicity. From summer's Fragrant Melon Soup (with one scant gram of fat per serving) to the winter warmer Grapefruit Gratin, Pépin serves up swift and sweet endings suitable for every season of the year. Organized by type of fruit, the beautifully photographed book offers more than 115 recipes for old favorites such as Nectarine Crisp and Banana Fritters, as well as fanciful new dishes, including Grapes, Oranges, and Currants in Lime Cookie Cones and Pinwheels of Peaches with Strawberry Coulis. Nutritional information accompanies each easy-to-read entry, and as one might expect from Claudine's father and instructor, the directions are clear and informative (heating a lime in a microwave oven yields more juice than just pressing it on the counter before slicing, for example). Nearly all of the desserts in the book are low in fat and light in calories, and even the heartiest, such as Warm Raspberry Gratin with Sour Cream, have only about as much fat as a Snickers bar. To achieve this level of healthfulness in a dessert cookbook, Pépin doesn't rely on silly low-cal substitutes, but instead on the rich, sweet, ripe fruits themselves--and he's careful to note that the ripeness of the fruit usually determines the quality of the dish. --Rebecca A. Staffel
...it contains about 150 recipes organized by type of fruit, and the operating philosophy here is simplicity of technique and flavor. It is not uncommon to see recipes with only two or three steps (an obvious blessing), and, for the most part, the recipes are refreshing both in taste and concept...Pepin has come up with new techniques that are both simple and often dazzling...One tester wrote, "If I had the time, I would systematically make every recipe." -- Cook's Illustrated magazine, July/Aug 1999
Take Pepin's "Sweet Simplicity." These are straightforward recipes for the home cook, with roots in French country cooking...Pepin's recipes enhance the natural goodness of fruit, adding simple touches of preserves for sweetening and almonds for crunch. It's so refreshing to rediscover the quintessential flavors of fruit without the masks of heavy, overdone preparations. An experienced cook might be tempted to gussy up the recipes, but don't mess with the master. Try them as printed first. For instance, there are no eggs in the Cherry Bread Pudding. Could this be a mistake? Nope. The dish set up beautifully...One tester asked for the recipe "right now." This book is also lovely to look at. Each fruit is given its own chapter, with handsome black and white photos complementing the short text describing seasonal availability, varieties and uses. -- Seattle Times, July 21, 1999
The book is well-organized, and each chapter offers information about particular fruits...As for the recipes, there are some fabulous no-bake offerings that would be perfect to make right now: mangoes with cognac, for instance, takes 10 minutes to prepare and couldn't be more elegant...Especially enjoyable is the chapter on uncommon fruits such as guava, papayas and quinces. And health-conscious cooks will welcome the nutrition information provided with each recipe. -- New York Daily News, July 21, 1999
Top customer reviews
Every recipe is like a lesson. So this cookbook is an education in cooking as well. It changed my ways from sweet and heavy desserts to sweet simplicity. A dinner guest should leave the table feeling satisfied, not over stuffed. Great to see the cookbook still available from second hand dealers. Highly recommended.
This is my first book by Pepin, and those same talents shine through. Sections are divided into various fruits, and a one to three page introduction to each section gives information about the history, origin and uses for the fruits (including apples, apricots, bananas, berries, cherries, citrus, grapes, dates, mangoes, melons, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums and mixed fruits) as well as Mr. Pepin's personal anecdotes. There are about 120 recipes and they are generally easy and not too time-consuming. Simple yet elegant. Each recipe contains information about yield, preparation time, and calories, protein, carbs, fat, cholesterol and sodium per serving.
The recipes I have tried have been well-explained and have come out as planned. Most, but not all, dishes are shown in color pictures. The index includes many ingredients so if you want to make something with, for example, red wine, you will easily find the eight recipes which use it.
Roasted and caramelized pears are delicious and the recipe is very adaptable-my favorite. But there are a farmland of fruits en recipe the chef provides for ever palate. GET THIS BOOK!
These are arranged by fruit with several what may be termed "standard recipes" while others are creative and not found in other collections. Being one who is attracted to the latter type, intrigued and delighted with the following: Cheeese, Apple and Nut Melange; Carmelized Apple Timbales; Lemon Bananas in Crisp Shells; Summer Cherry Pudding With Rum Sauce; Crepe Souffles in Grapefruit Sauce; Souffle of Mango with Mango Sauce; Fragrant Melon Soup; Peach and Walnut Tart; Pears Au Gratin; Roasted and Carmelized Pears; Quick Plum and Almond Cake.
I'm with Pepin in his approach to cooking and dining, here specifically that fruit desserts are refreshing and symphonic in bringing the entire meal into harmony. This book will aid in that realized goal.
It has wonderful color photos with many of the recipes, and instructions and advice on fruit buying and prep are worthwhile reading.
Most recent customer reviews
easy recipes. She cooks and I eat its a win win (lol).