Peaches, pears, papaya: Pépin praises the sweet fruit
Sweet Simplicity: Jacques Pépin's Fruit Desserts,
August 9, 1999
By Wendy Wolfenbarger
(CNN) -- "Sweet Simplicity," by master chef and prolific cookbook author Jacques Pépin, is an all-seasonal tribute to the luscious qualities of fruit.
The hefty collection of cool treats and warming, gooey desserts takes each fruit and makes it an inspiration for a generous handful of recipes. There are eight recipes for pears alone, from "Pears au Gratin" to "Pears in Espresso."
Dishes are rich, but streamlined and simple for the home cook, with few requiring more than 10 ingredients. The first recipe in the book, "Sweet Apple Flake Confection," has just two.
Fruit is often left in a natural state or at least natural shape. In "Apples Grandma," Golden Delicious apples are cored and delicately placed whole in the center of bread slices and covered with a sweet apricot and pine nut topping.
Pépin offers more than the standard apples and oranges. He honors the underused fig, mango and nectarine in recipes that often pair the fruits with simple, complementing sauces.
The healthy side of fruit is emphasized, from facts on the antioxidant benefits of blueberries to a full rundown of calorie and nutrient amounts for each recipe.While desserts are fruity and often sticky-sweet, they are very much for grown-up tastes -- in "Grapefruit and Kiwi Ambrosia," Ruby Red segments and slices bask in a pool of Grand Marnier liqueur and sauternes, a sweet white wine.
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