Dappled: Baking Recipes for Fruit Lovers by Nicole Rucker

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Strawberry-coconut cookies

    • hillsboroks on May 18, 2020

      I have made these cookies twice with very different results but amazing flavor both times. The first time I accidentally left out the egg when it rolled behind a canister while I was setting up my mise en place. And because I was using a Cook's Illustrated technique where you rub the lemon zest into the sugar to maximize the lemon flavor I did not notice the egg part as I was rushing through the directions. I had freeze dried strawberries for that batch that I chopped up a bit and the resulting cookies were very shortbread-like. The second time I got the egg added and used dried strawberries that were like tough raisins that I also chopped up some. Both times I realized the cookies were not spreading at all after the first 5 minutes in the oven so I used a large flat-bottomed glass to flatten them a bit. I think this might have been an instruction that was omitted. The second batch was softer but I realized I liked the freeze dried berries best for their flavor and texture.

  • Sour lemon cakes

    • Jenny on July 02, 2019

      These darling cakes pack a punch and were super easy to make, yet very impressive. For this first time, I used jarred lemon curd but I look forward to making them again with the olive oil lemon curd from the book. Highly recommend this recipe!

  • Raspberry scones

    • tarae1204 on February 27, 2021

      Kind of a “leap of faith” recipe to try for the first time as the dough is made in a way similar to pie crust and I used my hands for all the mixing. I found the volume to weight measurements for flour and sugar to be slightly inconsistent, so I went with weight for flour and volume for sugar (which meant less flour and more sugar). Rucker says any frozen fruit can be used; I used frozen blueberries. They were unpleasant to mix in with my hands and added a lot of water to the dough although they were still frozen, not at all thawed. Baking instructions were accurate for me using convection. I got 12 not 16 scones. My favorite parts were the edges which were crispy and buttery. I thought the filling was a tad under-baked. Will repeat with dried fruit and baking the full amount plus a couple more minutes.

  • Spiced apple wedding cake

    • tarae1204 on January 07, 2021

      Glorious cake! I loved the flavor of apples and ginger that came through the most. Decorated with candied pecans. Loved this cake.

    • joanne_w on August 24, 2019

      The beautiful picture of the spiced apple wedding cake is what led to me buying this book. When I made it, it turned out really well. This cake has strong flavour of spices and ginger, but the recipe description tells you that in advance. The spices are nice but make it a very adult flavored cake. It rose evenly, tasted good and had very nice texture & not complicated to make

  • Flourless chocolate and pear spoon cake

    • tarae1204 on October 27, 2020

      My spoon cake emerged very undercooked despite 1 hr bake and 20 additional min in oven. We ate the cake from the edges. I used natural cocoa instead of the called-for Dutch which I now think was a real mistake in terms of flavor as the cake was too rich and bitter for me. I used a rectangular 2 qt ceramic dish rather than the oval 2 qt dish specified - would that have made a difference? What concerned me the most about this recipe is that it didn’t seem to follow the basic steps for a flourless cake using whipped eggs whites to rise. First I made a rather thick chocolate, cocoa and cream mix, ganache like (water instead of cream might have reduced acidic properties of cocoa). Then I whipped egg whites while adding sugar which produced a glossy meringue. Regular eggs were beaten with sugar, then these components (egg batter, meringue, ganache) were all incorporated together as per instructions but overall didn’t feel right. Pears were dry but nice flavor/texture combo with cake.

  • Apple brown betty

    • tarae1204 on November 09, 2020

      Wonderful!!! Really delicious aroma and flavor from the toasty rich bread and apples baking for an hour. The dessert uses two cups of sugar (1 cup white, 1 cup brown), and less would be fine. It also calls for three tablespoons rose water which sounds very interesting and possibly too much. I didn’t have any so I substituted with three tablespoons Calvados. Tips: cut cubes to .75-1.0” but not bigger, and really rub sugar-butter mix into the toasted cubes to enhance caramelization.

  • Peach and ricotta biscuit cobbler

    • tarae1204 on October 27, 2020

      This recipe calls for way, way too much sugar for the quantity of peaches. You might only need a third of the amount called for.

  • Sour apple pie

    • tarae1204 on October 27, 2020

      Great flavor! I liked mixing precooked apples with fresh ones. Will make again.

  • Blackberry frozen yogurt

    • tarae1204 on October 27, 2020

      Tangy and thick frozen yogurt. Quite good.

  • Fermented bananas

    • tarae1204 on October 27, 2020

      Twice I’ve tried to make this in my summer Southern CA kitchen and the result has molded before fermentation occurred. Disappointing.

  • Raspberry halva brownies

    • Smokeydoke on June 08, 2020

      This dessert is a decadent showstopper, best served at a fancy occasion. I recommend using a 9x13 pan. Photo included

  • Sweet corn and raspberry muffins

    • Smokeydoke on June 08, 2020

      It's an ingenious recipe that makes use of leftover corn cobs. It made much more batter than one 12 cup muffin pan, so I made a little cake too. I preferred the cake.

    • anya_sf on July 17, 2020

      The muffin batter was pretty thin. I prepared it the night before and stirred in frozen raspberries in the morning before baking. The batter completely filled the muffin cups and I worried they would overflow, but they didn't rise much. I do recommend using paper liners since there are a lot of berries. The muffins had great corn flavor and were relatively light in texture.

  • Apricot bostock

    • anya_sf on May 18, 2020

      Super delicious, like eating apricot frangipane tart for breakfast. Nicole's brioche slices must be very large to fit 8 pieces of apricot; mine only fit 4, so I was able to make 6 bostock slices with half the recipe. I wasn't sure whether to place the apricot pieces cut side up or down, so I did half of each and both worked.

  • Multi-grain porridge and pear pancakes

    • anya_sf on April 28, 2020

      I made the porridge a day ahead; I had to add extra water during cooking so it didn't stick to the bottom. My pears weren't fully ripe, but they worked fine in the recipe. I cut each pear into 12 slices, so many slices were a little thinner than 1/2". I cooked 2 at a time in my 9.5" and 10" cast iron skillets. I wasn't sure how to remove them from the pans - at first I tried a spatula, but the pancake broke apart - flipping them over onto plates worked best. These pancakes were huge, tasty, and super filling. Only my teenage son could eat a whole one.

  • Dutch baby with sautéed apple compote

    • anya_sf on April 17, 2020

      The Dutch baby was done in 18 minutes. It was good, but more dense and eggy than some versions. The apple topping was tasty and did not need extra lemon (I imagine it depends on the tartness of your apples), but we did enjoy it with extra maple syrup.

  • Plum and yogurt soufflé cake

    • anya_sf on May 04, 2020

      I made 1/2 recipe in a 7" springform pan, using mostly full-fat Greek yogurt, but supplementing with some regular nonfat yogurt. Instead of plums, I topped the cake with 6 oz blackberries. I used store-bought granola. After 40 minutes, the cake had barely browned, so I baked it another 5 minutes. We really enjoyed this for breakfast - it felt both healthy and a bit indulgent, as the cake was rather like a very light, not-too-sweet cheesecake.

    • anya_sf on May 04, 2020

      Can substitute store-bought granola for the recipe in the book, in which case you don't need rye flakes, ground cinnamon, grapeseed oil, black sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, dark maple syrup, raw almonds, raw pepitas.

  • Almond and berry cobbler

    • anya_sf on May 20, 2020

      I made this to use up 1/2 recipe almond cream, making 3 large individual ramekins with a mixture of blueberries and raspberries. The amount of sugar seemed like way too much; I reduced it by 1/3, but the cobbler was still overly sweet. The individual cobblers looked done after 35 minutes, but the almond topping had sunk into the fruit and hadn't browned, so I broiled them briefly. This was a nice idea and I'd try it again with half the sugar, except my son did not like the grainy texture of the almond cream in the cobbler.

  • Magic banana pudding cake

    • anya_sf on February 27, 2021

      I made 1/2 recipe using a ripe banana (fermented banana just sounds gross) and reducing the sugar to 100 g (instead of 125). Baked in a 6" springform wrapped in foil as I didn't trust it not to leak, which it did a little. Baking time was the same, although it may have overbaked as there only appeared to be 2 layers: cakey top, set pudding underneath. Unlike most pudding cakes, there was no runny sauce layer, but since the cake gets unmolded, perhaps this is expected, although I'm not sure what the 3rd layer was supposed to be. The cake was plenty sweet with prominent banana flavor, good with unsweetened whipped cream. I didn't love the texture - the pudding layer was rather dense and gummy; the top was lighter and nicer. Overall I liked it OK, but probably won't make it again.

  • Provençal-style cheesecake

    • anya_sf on July 05, 2020

      I made 1/2 recipe in a 7" springform pan. Perhaps my water bath wasn't hot enough, but the cheesecake took 15 extra minutes to set and never got brown on the edges. We ate it chilled. With the large proportion of sour cream, the texture was less dense than traditional cheesecake; I think I prefer traditional, but this version was awfully good. I loved the almond crust, and the flavor of the roasted strawberry topping was phenomenal.

  • Backyard citrus upside-down cake

    • Mtetpon on March 14, 2020

      The cake is perfect light not too sweet and pairs perfect with lemons. I used a mandolin to cut lemons. I baked for only 45 minutes and it baked perfectly.

  • Fruit crisp or crumble but not cobbler

    • Jviney on July 19, 2020

      This was a really nice flexible recipe for making a crisp. I was cooking for someone who is GF and refined sugar-free, and this totally worked. Two pounds of Georgia peaches, honey, and some almond extract. I left sweetener out of the crumble topping and the richness of the fat (butter, in my case) totally worked.

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Reviews about this book

  • Eat Your Books by Jenny Hartin

    One of my best books of 2019 without a doubt. A superior collection of baking recipes from the pastry chef behind Fiona and other LA hotspots.

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 0735218013
  • ISBN 13 9780735218017
  • Published Jul 02 2019
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 256
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Avery

Publishers Text

Fresh fruit-based desserts from beloved Los Angeles pastry chef and restaurateur Nicole Rucker.

Nicole Rucker is responsible for some of the most raved-about and Instagrammed pastries and baked goods in Los Angeles, first as the Pastry Chef at the hotspots Gjelina Take Away and Gjusta, then through her pie company Rucker's Pie and restaurant Fiona. In her debut cookbook, Rucker shares her obsession and her recipes with readers to help them achieve the same kind of magical alchemy she's perfected in fruit desserts.

To Rucker, fruit is every bit as decadent as chocolate cake and in this unique guide to crafting desserts, she offers up an enthusiastic ode to baking with seasonal ingredients, from summertime peaches to winter citrus. As much a storyteller as she is a baker, Rucker warmly relays her lifelong passion for fruit with charm and humor. With imaginative adaptations of classic dishes like Peach and Ricotta Biscuit Cobbler and Huckleberry Blondies, Rucker's recipes are for the wide-eyed fruit lover and farmers' market trawler in all of us.