07 August 2010

Weekend Cooking: Review: Fresh Fruit Desserts by Sheryl and Mel London

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I was a bit hesitant to review this cookbook because I think it can be hard to find seeing that it was published in 1990. I've had Sheryl and Mel London's Fresh Fruit Desserts: Classic and Contemporary since it was hot off the presses. This one book has remained my primary fruit dessert book for the last two decades.

The cookbook is full of wonderful variations on crisps and crumbles and brown Bettys. You'll also find pies, tarts, bread puddings, poached fruit, baked fruit, frozen desserts, and sauces to spoon over the top.

If you can find this book or check it out of your library, I highly recommend it. There are not very many photos, but the desserts really don't need them. The directions are straightforward and the ingredients are easy to find at the grocery or farmers market.

Here's a recipe I've made many times. When I've been short of peaches, I've thrown in mango to fill out the baking dish. The headnote to the recipe mentions that you can use frozen peaches if that's all you have, but I've never tried that variation.

Peach Crisp with Almonds and Amaretto

Serves 6

  • 5 ripe peaches, peeled and cut into thick slices (about 3 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon quick-cooking tapioca, ground in a blender or mini food processor
  • 1 tablespoon Amaretto or other almond liqueur
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a 9 by 1½-inch round baking dish.

In a bowl combine the fruit ingredients and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the topping.

In a bowl combine the oats, flour, sugars, and ginger. Add the butter and, using a pastry blender, blend the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the nuts.

Spoon the fruit into the prepared dish, top with the oat-nut mixture, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Beth Fish's notes: I don't bother to peel my peaches. I use old-fashioned oats because that's all I ever have in the house. I've used coarse ground almonds when I don't have slivered or I'm too lazy to cut up whole almonds.

Published by Prentice Hall Press, 1990
ISBN-13: 9780131368965
YTD: 70
Source: Bought (see review policy)
Rating: A
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


Beth 8/7/10, 6:31 AM  

what a perfect recipe for these peaches that are practically falling off the trees they're so ripe right now!

Gnoe 8/7/10, 7:07 AM  

Really GOOD peaches are quite rare in Holland I'm afraid, they never seem to taste like they should - or how I remember them from my childhood holidays in the south of France ;)

[Having trouble siging in with Wordpress ID so using Google]

Molly 8/7/10, 7:21 AM  

I just love finding a cookbook that I can rely on year after year - decade after decade.

Mary 8/7/10, 7:50 AM  

This sounds delicious and peaches are great right now.

Sandy Nawrot 8/7/10, 8:38 AM  

Fruit desserts are my husband's favorite, I just can't make them too often or he accuses me of trying to make him fat! My favorite dish is putting peaches, vanilla and a little brown sugar in a hobo pack and grilling it!

JoAnn 8/7/10, 8:44 AM  

The amaretto/almond combination with peaches sounds like a winner! Hoping my oven is repaired soon so I can start baking again...

Julie P. 8/7/10, 8:53 AM  

I just love peaches, almonds, and amaretto. I'll have to think about making this next time we have company!

bermudaonion 8/7/10, 9:03 AM  

That sounds really good, but usually the fresh fruit doesn't stay around here long enough to be made into dessert.

softdrink 8/7/10, 9:26 AM  

Yum! I love peach cobbler, but this sounds pretty tasty, as well.

caite 8/7/10, 9:41 AM  

love the idea of adding the mango too..

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks 8/7/10, 9:56 AM  

thanks for reminding us that we can tweak the recipe (subbing nuts, not peeling the peaches, etc.). Confidence to tweak can be the difference between trying something new and going without dessert!

Chris 8/7/10, 9:56 AM  

Lots of peaches around right now!

Beachreader 8/7/10, 11:58 AM  

That sounds yummy. Thanks for the recipe.

Margot at Joyfully Retired 8/7/10, 1:46 PM  

I'm so glad you featured this book today. I've been looking for more ways to use the fresh peaches that are ripening now. I love the pairing of peaches and almonds and can imagine that amaretto would also be a great addition. Thanks for the recipe. I'm off to find the book.

Andi 8/7/10, 5:05 PM  

Oh yum! I've grown especially fond of crumbles and cobblers this summer. Blackberry especially. Will be looking for this one at the 'brary.

TexasRed 8/8/10, 12:17 AM  

Great recipe. I've been meaning to try more fruit pies/ crumbles this summer.

Jane in AUSTRALIA 8/8/10, 5:30 AM  

this looks great.
But mine is rather boring, however I live in hope.

looks like the list is growing..
more to learn from

Rikki 8/8/10, 6:59 AM  

I'm not too keen on peaches, but I suppose you could easily substitute them with nectarines, too.
Sounds delicious.

auntie-c 8/8/10, 11:13 AM  

Peaches in any recipe - yum! This one looks particularly good!

Robin McCormack 8/8/10, 1:23 PM  

Sounds good and I even don't like peaches. :0

Belle 8/8/10, 9:32 PM  

This recipe sounds delicious - I really love fruit desserts, and when peaches are in season, it's always so good to have recipes to use up the baskets full that I can't resist buying. Sounds like it's worth it to keep an eye out for this cookbook, too!

Kris 8/12/10, 2:07 PM  

I might make this one soon. I love peach desserts, almonds, and amaretto. I think it's a given I'll like this one!

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