Summer Berries & Autumn Fruits
By Annie Rigg
Kyle Books, £19.99
A delicious frolic through the seasons, this book lists recipes according to the type of fruit - from citrus to berries to "stone" to tropical - and offers a paragraph of explanation for each recipe, at times nostalgic, at times historical, but always warm and wise.
We can feel Rigg's personality with every page, as she offers serving suggestions, tips for making the dish as successful as possible - "I assure you, it's simply a matter of plaiting the dough"; hurried confidences - "the first time I made this, I greedily ate almost the entire pineapple" - and nostalgic memories: "this will forever remind me of lazy summer lunches with my mother".
Although not super-simple, the recipes are still manageable for chefs or caterers seeking a quick burst of fruit on a menu. There's nothing here that a competent chef couldn't handle in spades.
Despite this simplicity, however, menu planners may find the book mildly frustrating given that the recipes aren't arranged by course. The photos go some way to help, but with lobster salad nestling alongside fig chutney and gooseberry posset, it could easily become confusing for anyone looking for a great main course and finding nothing but lemon madeleines.
And yet, this variety is also one of the book's major strengths. From relaxed salads to moreish canapés to impressive desserts, and even thirst-quenching cocktails, every recipe reveals another dimension. With everything from warming winter butternut soup with pears and chestnuts, to simple-yet-satisfying plum sorbet, Rigg has created a genuinely lovely snapshot into a world in which fruit is boundless.
By Hannah Thompson
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