Annie Rigg is a freelance food stylist and a
prolific cookbook author. Her latest endeavor, Summer Berries & Autumn Fruits: 120
Sensational, Sweet & Savory Recipes appears to be the most
beautiful of her collection, in my humble opinion. I have a few of
Rigg's previous titles and this one seems to be a larger body of
work and the selection of recipes are more varied. It may very well
be that I need to pull out her titles and refresh my memory.
This title is a page turner - as I was reading it I found myself
looking forward to the next recipe or beautiful photograph. Each
page has a dish more fabulous than the last. The whole combination
of sweet and savory with regard to berries and fruit dishes is
appealing to me. I've always been a fan of brightening up a main
course with citrus or adding fruit to bring another flavor to a
Recipes are organized by variety of fruit utilized starting with
Citrus; Berries & Soft Fruit; Stone; Tropical; and Orchard,
which is almost seasonal in nature. Selections vary from the usual
suspects of cakes, cookies and pies but also include curds,
marmalades, jams, bitters, salads and savory dishes.
From the first recipe, Bergamot and Mandarin Mini Financiers, I
was taken with the different flavors she employs as well as the
gorgeous photography by Tara Fisher. By the third recipe, Chocolate
Orange Delice, which looks like it could be in the window of a
French pastry shop, I knew this book was a keeper.
Orange Scented Churros with Caramel Orange Chocolate Sauce,
Portuguese Lemon Tarts, and Lemon and Almond Roulade with Red
Currants and Raspberries are a few of the dessert variety of
recipes. Examples of savory recipes are: Lamb Kofte with Cherries,
Turkish Pide with Lamb and Pomegrante Seeds and Green Papaya Salad
with Crispy Fried Beef are standouts.
Ruby Grapefruit Curd, Seville Orange Marmalade with Whiskey and
Ginger (a personal favorite of the author), and Pickled Redcurrants
are tasty ways to preserve nature's bounty and enjoy a favorite
flavor out of season. Rigg's recipes spark inspiration and I look
forward to playing with more flavor combinations in my cooking.
I tested two recipes in this title - the Portuguese Lemon Tarts
and the Lemon and Poppy Seed Madeleines. Portuguese Tarts have been
on my culinary bucket list to make for quite a while and I welcomed
the opportunity to mark that task as completed.
The dough for the Portuguese Lemon Tarts is very similar to puff
pastry and while it takes a few hours of hands-off chill time - it
was easy. I've made rough puff pastry before but this was my first
attempt at a laminated dough. This is not a humble brag - this is
an out and out full fledged brag: I made puff pastry and it was
fabulous. Over the last few years, I have conquered pie and pastry
crust and I never thought I would make homemade puff pastry but
thanks to Annie Rigg - I can check that off my list as well.
The lemon custard for the Portuguese Lemon Tarts was a breeze. I
wish the author would have specified an estimated time for
thickening the custard. In my case it was about 15 minutes, but for
someone who hasn't made custard before an approximation would be
helpful. One other little thing that gave me pause is when water is
used in a recipe, it isn't listed under the ingredients. I like to
double check and prep in advance to have everything ready. If you
are like me, read the recipe in total before proceeding. Not a
major fault and I do know some authors don't list water as an
ingredient but in a baking book it is helpful. My tarts were
outstanding but those gorgeous little brown spots typical of a
Portuguese tart never appeared and after 16 minutes (the recipe
calls for 12 minutes) I was afraid I was going to burn my pastry. I
tried putting them under the broiler for one minute and even
sprinkling a little sugar with a brulee torch, but no. Regardless
of that missing element - this pastry was perfect in every way and
the custard was tangy and not overly sweet. I made only 12 tarts
and will use the leftover custard to make a pie this week. The
second log of pastry will be used to make a beef wellington type
dish with leftover pot roast.
As a fan of lemon and poppy seed as a
combination, the madeleines were another easy choice. Since moving
to Colorado, I have made madeleines twice and while they were
delicious they were off in texture. Madeleines will be made
frequently in my home now that I have a recipe that works well and
now that I know I can fill them with all sorts of
All in all, Summer Berries & Autumn Fruits earns a spot on
my shelves and deserves a spot on yours as well.
Photos for test recipes by Jenny
Hartin. Jenny is an enthusiastic home cook who lives in Colorado,
owns the website The Cookbook Junkies and runs the Facebook
group also called The Cookbook Junkies. The Facebook group
is a closed group of 30,000 cookbook fans - new members are
Lemon and Poppy Seed Madeleines
This is a multi-cultural bake if ever there was one, with a nod
to France from whence the buttery madeleine originated, a wink to
the US and Eastern Europe for the addition of poppy seeds, and a
cheeky grin to Great Britain for the nifty use of lemon curd.
Madeleine pans can vary in size and shape, so the number of cakes
that you'll get from this recipe will vary according to whatever
pan you're using. They are best eaten on the day of making.
Makes about 20
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1⅓ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon poppy seeds, plus extra for scattering
3 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
a pinch of sea salt
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
12-15 teaspoons lemon curd (see page 33 for homemade)
For the lemon glaze
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar, plus extra if needed
Melt the butter and use a little to grease the inside of the
madeleine pans, ensuring that you get it into every groove and
corner. Dust with a little flour, tapping out the excess, then pop
in the fridge while you prepare the batter.
Sift the flour and baking powder together in a bowl, stir in the
poppy seeds, and set aside.
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or
using a hand-held mixer), beat the eggs, sugar, and salt for about
5 minutes (longer if using a hand-held mixer) until thick, pale,
and doubled in volume. Add the zest and mix to combine.
Using a large metal spoon and a figure-eight action, fold in the
sifted dry ingredients. Carefully pour the melted butter around the
edges of the bowl and fold in. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and
chill for 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Drop a rounded teaspoon of batter into the middle of each
madeleine indentation and gently spread to fill, leaving a little
dip in the middle.
Spoon a scant teaspoonful of lemon curd into the dip and cover
with a little more batter. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for
about 12 minutes until well-risen and golden.
Meanwhile, prepare the glaze: Whisk together the lemon juice and
confectioners' sugar until smooth. You want the glaze to be thick
enough to just coat the back of a spoon, so add more sugar or a
drop of water to adjust the consistency if necessary. Turn the
madeleines onto a wire rack, let cool for a couple of minutes, and
then brush with a little glaze and finish with a light scattering
of poppy seeds.
Portuguese Lemon Tarts
My pastel de nata, or custard tarts, aren't quite classic, as
they are laced with lemon, but hopefully they are simpler to make.
The pastry dough, which is similar to puff, takes a bit of forward
planning and needs to be started the day before you plan to bake.
Nothing, in my opinion, compares to homemade, but if you're short
on time, then store-bought all-butter puff pastry would make an
acceptable substitute. They are best eaten on the day of
Makes 20 to 24
For the dough
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
a good pinch of sea salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
For the filling
1 1/2 cups whole milk
juice of 2 lemons
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 level tablespoons cornstarch
6 large egg yolks
Two 12-hole muffin pans or similar-sized individual pie pans
Start by making the dough: Pour the flour into a mixing bowl,
add the salt and 3/4 cup cold water, and mix until you have an
almost smooth dough. Lightly dust the work surface with flour,
remove the dough from the bowl, and knead very briefly until
smooth. Pat into a square, cover with an upturned bowl, and let
rest for 15 minutes.
Lightly dust the work surface with flour again and roll the
dough into a neat rectangle three times as long as it is wide
(about 18 x 6 inches) and with one of the shorter sides nearest to
you. Mentally divide the rectangle of dough into thirds-each third
a rough square shape-and spread 9 tablespoons of the butter evenly
over the middle third. Fold the bottom third up to cover the butter
and the top third down to make a neat square shape. Turn the dough
90 degrees clockwise so that the open flap side is now on the left.
Roll into a rectangle again and fold the bottom third up into the
middle and the top third down again. Carefully wrap with plastic
wrap and chill for 1 hour.
Lightly dust the work surface with flour and again roll out the
dough into a rectangle (about 18 x 6 inches). Fold and roll the
dough as before, then chill again for 1 hour.
Lightly dust the work surface once again and roll out the dough
into a neat rectangle about 16 x 20 inches. Spread the remaining
butter over the surface, being careful not to tear the dough.
Starting at the edge closest to you, roll the dough into a tight
spiral log, trim the ends, and cut the log in half to make handling
easier. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and chill for about 4 hours
or overnight until firm.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring the milk, ⅔ cup cold water, and
the lemon juice slowly to just below boiling point. In a bowl,
whisk the lemon zest with the sugar, cornstarch, and egg yolks.
Pour in half the milk mixture, whisk until smooth, then return to
the pan and cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until it has
thickened and no longer tastes of cornstarch. Remove from the heat,
pour into a clean bowl, and cover the surface with plastic wrap to
prevent a skin from forming. Let cool, then chill until needed.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Lightly dust the work surface with
flour and cut the dough logs into 1/2-inch thick slices. Roll out
each one to a thin disc about 4 inches across. Press the dough into
the pans so that it comes up the sides. Don't worry about trimming
off the edges. Scoop a rounded teaspoonful of the custard into each
hole. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 25 minutes
until the filling is tinged with brown and the dough is crisp and
Leave in the pans for 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire
rack until cold.
Summer Berries & Autumn Fruits by Annie Rigg (c) 2016
Kyle Books, and the photographs (c) Tara Fisher.