We can't help but get excited as we start to see fresh fruit in our local farmers' markets. Rhubarb...strawberries...and soon, more! We'll happily serve summer's abundance in a fruit salad, but if you're looking to craft something a bit more ambitious, you'll want some recipes for inspiration. These 5 cookbooks are treasure troves of fruit-filled desserts, from classic pies and tarts to more unusual options.
Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich
"This entire book is filled with lovely desserts, but I especially love the chapter dedicated to fruit. The recipes really respect the flavor of the fruit—they're not too muddled by sugar or other ingredients. The rustic plum tart is just what you want in a summer sweet: simple, delicious, and easy to tailor to whatever fruit is most ripe. The lemon bars are nice and tart and even the dried fruit and nut cake has depth of flavor and real fruitiness. Plus she got me to bust out my ice cream machine, which is no easy feat."—Carrie Vasios, Sweets Editor
Seasonal Fruit Desserts: From Orchard, Farm, and Market by Deborah Madison
"If you love the idea of keeping it seasonal when it comes to dessert, but get stumped beyond your basic strawberry shortcake or blueberry pie, Seasonal Fruit Desserts by Deborah Madison is for you. The recipes are reverent to what fruit tastes best at any given time of year, and the simple recipes let the seasonal stars shine. Some standout recipes? Hazelnut-stuffed peaches, winter squash cake with dates, and strawberries in red wine syrup. A perfect companion to the CSA or just to challenge your seasonal repertoire."— Jessie Oleson, Cakespy Columnist
Sunday Suppers at Lucques by Suzanne Goin
"This is one of my all-time favorite cookbooks for pastry, which is remarkable, since the author is a savory chef by trade. The book stresses simplicity in its recipes, and is arranged as a series of three-course meals to cook by seasonal availability, which is really the best possible philosophy when it comes to cooking fruit-based desserts. Goin draws heavily from the wisdom of her pastry chef pals for the recipes, which gives them nice background stories in addition to being deliciously legit."— Lauren Weisenthal, Sweet Technique and Pie Columnist
Luscious Lemon Desserts by Lori Longbotham
"Lemon: it's for more than just meringue pie and bar cookies on a shortbread crust. If you love tart and sweet desserts, Luscious Lemon Desserts by Lori Longbotham is pretty much a vital volume. Challenge your taste buds with a lemon curd and strawberry tart, or pucker up and dig in to some lemon ricotta gelato. This book is a wonderful mix of classics and outside-of-the-box lemon concoctions, and contains plenty of simple and easy recipes as well as recipes for more complicated, showstopping desserts."— Jessie Oleson, Cakespy Columnist
Plum Gorgeous: Recipes and Memories from the Orchard by Romney Steele
"Plum Gorgeous is the summer baking book for me. It's a celebration of the fruits of the orchard with recipes both sweet and savory. But it's author Romney Steele's sweets that have me stocking up on stone fruits and berries all season long, and happily baking away in the kitchen The book's namesake dessert, a Plum Gorgeous Almond Tart is perfect with almond cream and little plum halves nested into a buttery, golden crust. And Honey-Lime Peaches with Creme Fraiche Clouds is just as dreamy as it sounds, tasting pretty much like the most gorgeous summer day on a plate." — Caroline Russock, Sweet Technique and Pie Columnist
Name Your Favorites!
Do you have a favorite cookbook for dessert inspiration? When you have piles of peaches and plums, where do you turn?