by Sybil PrattDecember, 1998
Only a Frenchman could find sweet ecstasy in fruit; and perhaps only master chef Roger Verge, who relives the pure sensuality of a plain piece of fruit every time he creates a fruit salad, could give us the seductively simple, wonderfully satisfying fruit fancies collected in Roger Verge's Cooking with Fruit. Garnished with a gallery of glorious color photos by Jean-Pierre Dieterlen, Verge honors the flesh of perfectly-formed fruit by slicing them into a zesty soup, or setting them in sweet white wine jelly. If there are imperfections, voila a compote is born! The ubiquitous fruit tart, from plain ripe apricots baked in a puff pastry to pears nestled in chocolate cream in a chocolate crust, is augmented with custard-like clafoutis, fritters, puddings, mousses, and even a French take on upside-down cake. Jams, jellies, conserves, dandy fruit candy, and some recipes especially designed to bring children into the act add depth to this celebration of Mother Nature's masterpieces.