One of life’s great pleasures is biting into a perfect apple, a juicy peach, or a sweet-tart plum. Transforming those tender stone fruits, sour lemons, meaty, fragrant pumpkins, or a few cups of ripe berries into a pie or galette, or a delectable cake, is yet another way to enjoy the fruits of America’s extraordinary growers. Over the thirty years we have been creating recipes for our magazine Martha Stewart Living, we have developed, baked, and photographed hundreds of desserts that focus on fruit as a main ingredient. These recipes are consistently readers’ favorites and have been well used by them for many different occasions. We hope you will adore this collection, arranged by season, and add many of the recipes to your personal repertoire.
I have been baking for a long time. In fact, baking is what I most enjoy when preparing food. I like measuring, I like chemistry, I like the mechanics of stand mixers and food processors and use them when I can. I love watching a cake rise in the oven and a piecrust brown to just the perfect golden shade. The addition of fruits like berries and citrus to batters and fillings contributes even more excitement—and that is what this book is all about!
As a child, we grew certain things in our suburban garden—apples, peaches, and lots of berries, even rhubarb. Mom would use every last scrap of each in the myriad pies and desserts we were treated to each day. Our baker neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Maus (they had retired from their own bakery), taught me many baking tricks and tips about mixing, folding, and cutting that few books at the time revealed. Childhood was indeed the best introduction for a home cook like me, who was curious and willing to take the time to make from scratch.
On summer trips to the Jersey shore, we stopped the car at farm stands to purchase quarts of blueberries—in my mind, the best in the nation—or pecks of white peaches for ice cream or tarts. On family outings to Long Island, we bought ripe strawberries in June and pie pumpkins in the fall. At that time, we did not have the farmers’ markets that are now in almost every county but had to look in many places for great fruits to incorporate into our baking.
This book is your guide, your primer, your inspiration for utilizing all the amazing fruits that are at your fingertips, and I hope you and your families will savor every bite.Martha Stewart
Copyright © 2021 by Editors of Martha Stewart Living. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.