Pure Dessert: True Flavors, Inspiring Ingredients, and Simple Recipes by Alice MedrichPure Dessert: True Flavors, Inspiring Ingredients, and Simple Recipes by Alice Medrich

Pure Dessert: True Flavors, Inspiring Ingredients, and Simple Recipes

byAlice Medrich

Hardcover | September 5, 2007

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A refreshing change in every respect

When you are working with great ingredients, you want to keep it simple. You don’t want to blur flavor by overcomplicating. This is why Pure Dessert, from the beloved Alice Medrich, offers the simplest of recipes, using the fewest ingredients in the most interesting ways. There are no glazes, fillings, or frostings—just dessert at its purest, most elemental, and most flavorful.

Alice deftly takes us places we haven’t been, using, for example, whole grains, usually reserved for breads, to bring a lovely nutty quality to cookies and strawberry shortcake. Pound cake takes on a new identity with a touch of olive oil and sherry. Unexpected cheeses make divine soufflés. Chestnut flour and walnuts virtually transform meringue. Varietal honeys and raw sugars infuse ice creams and sherbets with delectable new flavor.

Inspired choices of ingredients are at the heart of this collection of entirely new recipes: sesame brittle ice cream, corn-flour tuiles with tangy sea salt and a warming bite of black pepper, honey caramels, strawberries with single-malt sabayon.

To witness Alice’s idea-stream as she describes how she arrived at each combination is to instantly understand why three of her books have won Best Cookbook of the Year. She’s an experimenter, tinkerer, and sleuth, fascinated with trial and error, with the effects of small changes in recipes, exploring combinations tirelessly and making remarkable discoveries. Does cold cream or hot cream do a better job coaxing out the flavor of mint leaves or rose petals? Why is it that dusting a warm brownie with spices gives it an enticing aromatic nose, whereas putting the spice in the batter blurs the chocolate flavor? Do cooked strawberries or raw make for the better sorbet?

Loaded with advice and novel suggestions, with great recipes and eye-catching, full-color photographs that show off these simple, straightforward desserts, Pure Dessert is an education and a revelation. Thank you, Alice!
Alice Medrich is the winner of five James Beard Foundation Awards, most recently Best Baking & Dessert Book of the Year for her tenth cookbook, Flavor Flours (Artisan Books, November 2014). She received her formal training at the prestigious École Lenôtre in France and is widely credited with popularizing chocolate truffles in America....
Title:Pure Dessert: True Flavors, Inspiring Ingredients, and Simple RecipesFormat:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 10.28 × 7.69 × 0.98 inPublished:September 5, 2007Publisher:ArtisanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1579652115

ISBN - 13:9781579652111

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Rated 3 out of 5 by from The recipes were amazing. However, not enough pictures!
Date published: 2017-03-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Feast for the Palette and the Eyes The recipes, writing style and photographs in this book make you want to make every single recipe.
Date published: 2008-01-22

Read from the Book

In pursuit of pleasureFaced with an overly sweet, complicated dessert or one made with mundane ingredients, I sometimes long instead for a bowl of good plain yogurt drizzled with honey and sprinkled with walnuts or pistachios, a piece of bittersweet chocolate, or some ripe figs.I haven't given up dessert, but when I eat it, I want it to taste as good as that bowl of yogurt or piece of chocolate. I want the soul satisfaction and the sensual pleasure of real flavors. The best chefs cook savory food simply, with the best ingredients. That's how I like to eat. Why don't we make more desserts that way?The dessert repertoire needs an infusion of new and better ingredients and new approaches to working with them. High-quality ingredients of all sorts are available now. Fresh, delicate cheeses (cow, goat, and sheep) can redefine cheesecake. Interesting grains should not be reserved for heavy loaves and health food: their toasty, nutty flavors can bring nuance and depth to indulgent buttery cookies, delicate wafers, and moist, tender cakes. Organic yogurts, milks, and creams can transform ice creams and sherbets. Great chocolates and cocoas can elevate simple desserts, as will flavors captured from fresh flowers and herbs, coffee beans, and tea leaves.Pure Dessertis a collection of simple, ingredient-driven recipes for cakes, cookies, tarts, ice creams, and other desserts, made from fresh, artisanal, organic, natural, or otherwise distinguished "real" ingredients. Such ingredients are increasingly abundant in better supermarkets as well as in the obvious places: farmers' markets, cheese shops, gourmet and natural food shops online, and a growing number of urban and suburban gardens.Authentic ingredients are important because they taste good. Simple recipes are essential because they allow us to savor that goodness. The emphasis on flavor means desserts that are often (but not always) less sweet and/or less rich than mainstream desserts. If theyareless sweet and rich, it is primarily in pursuit of pleasure. Incidental health benefits are just bonuses.My pure desserts are simple, relaxed, convenient, and elegant. These accessible, home-kitchen-friendly recipes include tips to ensure success and notes that reveal the method to my madness. Pure desserts are for busy people who love food and care about what they eat, for people who are curious and open to new tastes, and for those who appreciate the details that make the difference between a good dessert and a great one.Pure desserts can stand alone or be mixed and matched for special occasions. Sour Cream Ice Cream, Tropical Lace Cookies, and strawberries is worthy of a dinner party, but each component is delicious on its own. Pure dessert recipes are brief and inviting, and they welcome improvisation.The media proclaim the message: organic, natural, local, "slow, " hand-crafted, and authentic. So what more could we ask for? Here are recipes and techniques that are simple, and as easy for the home cook as the chef. That's the cherry on the top.

Table of Contents



Before You Start 1

The Flavors of Milk 34

The Flavors of Grain, Nuts, and Seeds 56

The Flavors of Fruit 98

The Flavors of Chocolate 134

The Flavors of Honey and Sugar 170

The Flavors of Herbs and Spices, Flowers and Leaves 198

The Flavors of Wine, Beer, and Spirits 230


Editorial Reviews

"Sure to attract the new generation of cooks devoted to elaborate simplicity"--Publishers Weekly