Summer fruit cookbooks

I have a soft spot in my heart for fruit trees, but the feeling is not mutual.  Over the years, we’ve tried to plant at least a dozen fruit trees on the property.  Three have survived–two apples and a pear.  The apples blossom gorgeously, but out of sync, and as they must cross-pollinate to bear, they bear scantily if at all.  The pear is self-pollinating and magnificent, but every year some four-footed, feral thief makes away with all its heavy hanging fruit just before they come to ripeness.

plum gorgeous

Nevertheless, I love tree fruit, and books about tree fruit, of which 2011 promises to yield at least two.   Plum Gorgeous: Recipes and Memories from the Orchard is a book for the hammock.  It’s what you get when the author, who’s a chef and artist, also happens to be granddaughter to the owners of the famous Nepenthe restaurant in Big Sur.  The photographs are lush and evocative, the recipes upscale-rustic and interspersed with literary reveries.

apple lovers

Falling a bit later in the growing season and due to publish in September is a book that could have been written just for me: The Apple Lover’s Cookbook, by Amy Traverso (disclaimer: I’ve worked with Amy off and on, during her tenure at Yankee Magazine).  Amy’s book catalogues apples in all their glorious, heirloomed variety.  But it’s also a joyous tour of apple cookery, from its savory, pork-friendly incarnations to its infinite, sweetly baked conclusions.

Many fruit books are memoirs rather than cookbooks–fruit just seems to have a native poetry about it that makes people want to sit down and write.  Do you have a favorite fruit book, current or past?  Do tell!

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