Amy Pennington’s Apples: From Harvest to Table is an apple cookbook, beautifully illustrated with photos by Olivia Brent. These are made-from-scratch recipes, and were written with an eye to using local and fresh, and an awareness of issues like low sugar needs and gluten tolerances, or cooking with (and for) children. What’s especially lovely is that the recipes are written with specific suggestions about what kind of apples to use, and why. Sidebars about the general availability of specific apple varieties in various U.S. regions, on varieties of apples used for specific purposes, like cider apples, or apple suited for cellaring, or even about growing your own dwarf apple tree in a pot, make the book particularly useful.
The recipes (there are fifty in total) are organized in terms of courses; Breakfast and Brunch, Salads, Starters, Sides, Mains, Pies, Crumbles, Cakes, Jams, Relishes and Chutneys. These are recipes for home cooks, rather than chefs, and ingredients are listed using volume measures like teaspoons and cups. There are some lovely variations on the familiar, like making fresh apple sauce on the fly (in about 45 minutes) to serve with latkes, or apple-stuffed French toast, or the surprisingly practical recipe for small apple cider doughnuts. Other recipes are have innovative touches, like an apple-fennel gratin made with fresh cream, or sautéed brussels sprouts with apples, or rose hip apple butter, or baked apples with cinnamon and cardamom. The traditional recipes are here too: apple stuffed roast loin of pork, a Thanksgiving apple pie, apple strudel. Pennington also includes particularly useful instructions for making your own apple juice or cider vinegar.
There’s an appendix listing various resources, for locating apple orchards, and apple growers, and an index that very helpfully includes not only the recipes, but the apple varieties used.
(St. Martin’s Griffin, 2013)