Review first appeared on fefferbooks.com.
I have to admit to being duped, a little, by The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook. Some of you may have seen my Facebook post, excitedly exclaiming about getting to review a cookbook full of recipes from the early 19th century. Um…whoops? All I can say is, even proficient readers miss things in their excitement sometimes because, HELLO, the info is RIGHT THERE in the synopsis:…what began as a way to reconnect with their own style of modern country living soon exploded into a wildly successful brand, Beekman 1802, named after their historic home.
Oh. To quote Liz Lemon, “Uh, doi!”
That said, the book is beautiful: filled with fabulous food photography and tasty-sounding desserts (Chocolate Rocky Road Potstickers? Sweet Green Tomato Hand Pies?), all organized by season, so that the home cook can look up a dessert that will work perfectly with whatever produce is fresh (or, in the case of Winter, what we love to eat when it’s cold outside–AKA chocolate.). It’s a great concept, and the book is beautiful.
I confess to being a little disappointed by the layout of the book: the recipes are nicely written, but these days, it’s fairly surprising not to have a photo of each recipe alongside the text. Several are skipped altogether, and I thought that was a shame. A lot of the plates are shots of the Beekman Boys on the farm–nice, pastoral shots, to be sure, but not really that relevant to the cooking, itself.
As for the recipes, as much as I adore baking, I have yet to try one. I bought peaches, thinking I’d make the Peach Cobbler, then found in the end, I wanted Ina Garten’s, instead. Many of the recipes have a universal quality: i.e., they’re universally appealing, and for that reason, you may find you already have a version of each you prefer. Then again, maybe not, and this compilation is quite nice.
3 stars.Note: I received this book as an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.