A Cook in the Orchard

by Nigel Slater and Jonathan Lovekin


Hardcover, 591 pages, Random House Inc, List Price: $40 | purchase

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A Cook in the Orchard
Nigel Slater and Jonathan Lovekin

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Book Summary

The popular British food writer behind the vegetable guide Tender now explores the wonderful world of fruit, in a book that includes such recipes as Apricot and Pistachio Crumble, Baked Rhubarb With Blueberries and Crisp Pork Belly with Sweet Peach Salsa.

Read an excerpt of this book

NPR stories about Ripe

Critics' Lists: Summer 2012

Plant Eater's Paradise: 2012's Best Summer Cookbooks

This time, it's all about the fruit. Slater's ode to vegetables, Tender, won my heart a couple of years ago with its visions of greenery worthy of Mr. McGregor's garden. This one does the same for the sweet offspring of tree and bush (with some nuts thrown in for good measure). These are savory recipes (roast leg of pork with spiced rhubarb), as well as simple, rustic sweets of stewed fruits and simple pastry (e.g.,

Note: Book excerpts are provided by the publisher and may contain language some find offensive.

Recipe: 'Strawberry tarts'

strawberry tarts
Jonathan Lovekin

makes 6

for the crust

butter – 7 tablespoons

superfine sugar – 2 tablespoons

shelled pistachios – 3 1/2 ounces, about 2/3 cup, finely ground

an egg yolk

all-purpose flour – 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon

for the filling

heavy cream – 1 cup

vanilla extract

strawberries – about 8 small berries per tartlet

a little confectioners" sugar or melted dark chocolate

You will need six tartlet pans with removable bottoms, about 3 inches in diameter.

Cream the butter and sugar until pale and smooth. Add the ground pistachios, mix in the egg yolk and then the flour. Add a little water if necessary to make a firm but rollable dough.

On a floured board, roll the dough into a short, fat sausage the circumference of the tartlet pans. Wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for a good twenty minutes. Preheat the oven to 400F.

Cut the pastry into thin disks and place them in the tartlet shells, pushing them gently into the corners. Use wax paper to line each pastry shell, fill with pie weights, then bake for fifteen minutes or so, until the tartlet shells are a pale biscuit color. Remove the paper and pie weights and return to the oven for five minutes to dry them out. Let them cool a little before removing from the tartlet shells.

Gently whip the cream until it will just about hold its shape, adding 
the tiniest drop of vanilla extract as you go. It should be billowy and voluptuous rather than stiff. Divide between the tartlet shells. Add the strawberries, together with a dusting of confectioners" sugar or a drizzle of melted dark chocolate.

From Ripe: A Cook in the Orchard by Nigel Slater. Copyright 2010, 2012 by Nigel Slater. Excerpted by permission of Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.

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