There are many baked good recipes that don’t really need a season and can be made all year round, but when you start to bake with fresh fruit you can’t ignore the seasons, because working with in-season produce is going to turn a good dessert into a great one. The Seasonal Baker: Easy Recipes from My Home Kitchen to Make Year-Round is all about seasonal ingredients and how to work with them to get the best results when you bake. The introduction of the book includes a short guide on how to choose seasonal fruits and vegetables. It describes when things are in season, how to pick out the best products, and describes not only how to prepare them to work with, but how to store or freeze them long term, as well. These are great tips that help with the recipes in this book and can also be a resource that you fall back on to look up tips for working with fruit when you are cooking from other books, as well.
The recipes cover a wide range of topics, from breakfast treats to fruit pies to layer cakes. Many of the recipes focus on fruit, but there are actually a number of recipes where fruit isn’t the star and that gives the book a little more versatility because it also allows you to work with pantry staples, as well as with in-season fruits. The recipes are also very clearly written, with detailed ingredient lists and comprehensive instructions. There are also plenty of tips about baking that offer helpful suggestions as you read through each entry. There are also a number of savory recipes in this book, along with the sweeter stuff. Quiches, pastas, pizzas and other breads can round out a meal before serving dessert and it’s nice that you get a few more options here. It’s also nice because when you’re talking about seasonal ingredients, you can’t really overlook seasonal vegetables and so it is good to see some included.
The book is filled with beautiful photos of most of the dishes. These recipes are all designed for the home kitchen, so they have a slightly rustic and homey look to them that makes them very approachable and not intimidating, even for novice bakers who might not have much experience working with fruit. Experienced bakers will love the variety presented here, and will definitely be inspired by both the pictures and the recipes, even if some of the tips cover more basic baking hints. It’s a fun book to cook from and one that you can easily use all year round.