Every good cookbook is based on a good story. Fruitful's tells of Red Jacket Orchards, the sprawling farm founded by Joe Nicholson in the 1960s. His son, Brian, spins the tale of a family seeking to escape the suburbanization of Long Island in search of peace and quiet. They found that respite in 110 acres of farmland in upstate New York. The farm produces fruit in spring, summer, and fall; over the years, it has established itself as an award-winning juice producer and become a fixture at Manhattan's Union Square Greenmarket.
Fruitful is a celebration of all seasons, and the bounty of fruits associated with each one. Chefs who support the orchard have contributed many of the recipes found within, which don't stop at dessert. Inventive takes on fruit can be savory, too—think blueberry and scallop ceviche, grilled peach and prosciutto skewers, or roast chicken with a rhubarb sauce. But, of course, this is Bake the Book, and we're all about sussing out sweetness.
It's generally accepted that fruit is a dessert in itself. Simply biting into a ripe strawberry is its own brand of decadence. So it was important to choose recipes that didn't just add fruit, but rather honored each one's unique flavor and texture, maximizing their contribution to cakes, pies, and tarts. Of course, the majority of recipes in Fruitful already fit this criteria, but our selections are also based on seasonal availability.
Raspberry Madeleines are a spin on the classic sponge cake, with bright berries and lemon zest. These ethereal beauties are best eaten the day they're made, if they even stick around that long. A Wine-Poached Nectarine Tart capitalizes on the firm, juicy bite of a ripe nectarine, softening it in sweet wine. Blackberry Lemon Icebox Pie takes the dark berry to new heights, folding a blackberry purée into dense whipped cream, and spreading it all over a citrus and condensed milk filling. Lastly, black raspberries abound in Vanilla Cream Cheese Cupcakes with Black Raspberry Buttercream, which are offset by simple cream cheese and fragrant vanilla.
The passion of the chefs is matched by the owners of Red Jacket Orchards, who have spent decades nurturing and harvesting every fruit found in these recipes. Celebrate summer, and the beauty of fruit, by baking along with us.
Win A Copy!
Thanks to the generous folks over at Running Press, we are giving away five (5) copies of Fruitful this week. All you have to do is tell us your favorite summer fruit.