Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Comfort of Apples: Modern Recipes for an Old American Favorite Review

About the book:

Nearly 100 surprising and savory recipes for a favorite fruit

The idea for The Comfort of Apples came to chefs Philip and Lauren Rubin when, after an afternoon spent picking apples at a local orchard, they looked at each other and wondered, "What do we do with them?" With the abundance of apples filling farmer's markets, supermarket produce sections, and orchards every fall, it is a rare soul who doesn't wind up with a veritable bounty of apple varieties filling their larder for at least several months out of the year. And yet many cooks don't realize that apples have infinite cooking applications beyond sauces, crisps, and pies. As this beautifully illustrated book shows, they can be julienned raw in a salad; poached whole in wine; used in the form of cider as a deglazing or braising liquid; fermented into warm drinks; or juiced and turned into sorbet. The list goes on.

Excited by the many uses for the humble apple, the authors here share nearly one hundred original recipes that will take the home cook beyond the basics -- recipes for breakfast, appetizers, entrees, and desserts. In addition, they suggest the best apples for certain recipes, including many unconventional varieties that are showing up at greenmarkets and farm stands across North America. Some of the mouthwatering recipes include Poached Eggs and Apple Butter; Crostini with Clams, Bacon, and Apples; Oysters with Apple and Lime Granite; Crisp Pork Belly with Lentils and Applesauce; Gnocchi with Cauliflower, Peas, and Apples; and Applesauce Spice Cake with Penuche Icing.

About the Authors:

Philip and Lauren Rubin, graduates of the institute of Culinary Education in New York City, own 2 Peas & A Pot, a Manhattan catering company. They previously worked in several restaurants, including Cafe Luxembourg, Union Pacific, and Tribeca Grill. Lauren has also worked as a personal chef and recipe tester at Good Housekeeping. They have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, and were the subjects of a full-length feature in BizBash, the premier trade magazine for even planners. They live in New York City with their son, Henry.

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My Thoughts:

The Comfort of Apples is so much more than a cookbook. If there is something that you need or would like to know about Apples, it is in this book. There is an Apple tasting chart, personal stories, history, an equipment list with descriptions, canning and cutting instructions and some brilliant recipes.
When I think of Apples I think of Apple Pie, Applesauce, Apple butter, Caramel Apples, Apple Peanut Butter sandwiches (really good!) and Apple Walnut Salads. This book made me think of Apples in a new light. There is so much more that you can do with them! This cookbook has the following recipe chapters:

*Snacks, Sandwiches, and Salads
*Meat and Polutry
*Sauce and Condiments

My first thought was, What? Fish and Pasta? I had to flip immediately to those pages. The recipes I found not only made sense, but they sound wonderful! Sometimes the apples play a supporting role and sometimes they are the star of the dish. These recipes use not only Apples, but Apple Cider, Apple Juice and eve Apple Jacks. You can definitely tell that these recipes were thought up by chiefs. My only complaint is that there are no pictures of the recipes. I really feel that pictures are an important part of a cookbook and they always make me want to try the recipes.

I have not yet made anything from this cookbook because I didn’t want to buy apples right before I went on vacation and risk having to throw them away. I do plan on trying a few of the recipes after I get home (like The Best Twice-Baked Potatoes) and I will let you know how they come out.

Buy It:

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