by Sybil PrattJuly, 2003
A fruitful endeavor
Now that we live in a global village, fruits have lost some of their seasonality; strawberries turn up in January, melons materialize in March, grapes are always available, and most supermarkets offer an array of the exotic. Yet, summer and early fall still seem to be the best time for succulent, tree-ripened, vine-ripened fruit and the perfect time to pick up David Lebovitz's Ripe for Dessert: 100 Outstanding Desserts with Fruit Inside, Outside and Alongside and pick out some scrumptious recipes that celebrate this season's bounty and year-round favorites. A former pastry chef at the famed Chez Panisse, Mr. Lebovitz admits that he's passionate about fruit, and the fruits of his passion his well-designed, well-introduced, carefully detailed recipes lift desserts to a new level. Fruit stars in the ultra-simple and the super-sophisticated, in unconventional alliances and comforting classics. You'll find rosy-hued peaches simply submerged in red wine, poached in a white wine syrup or topped with an easy, but elegant Amaretti Crisp. A tangy, lemony gratin is a fine frame for juicy blackberries. Butterscotch Pudding with Coffee-Caramelized Bananas is a comforting wow, while Dark Chocolate SoufflÅ½ with Orange Sorbet ups the ante on divine indulgence. And don't let late summer pass without trying the unusually delicious Tomato Jam with Rosemary Cookies.