It is always a pleasure to find an old, worn recipe card that looks like it contains a recipe that has been made and enjoyed many times over the years. Those heirloom recipes often stir up memories of spending time with family. Those familiar flavors are exactly what you’ll find in The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook: 100 Delicious Heritage Recipes from the Farm and Garden.
The cookbook is not quite a vintage book, not in the same way that you’ll find a small pamphlet of recipes from an old school or church group on your mother’s bookshelf. The recipes in this book are vintage inspired recipes that have been updated and modernized, brightening their flavor and making them even more delicious. For instance, while you’ll find a recipe for a classic Lemon Meringue Pie, you’ll also find a recipe for Olive Oil Pound Cake that probably isn’t exactly what your grandmother baked. The recipes are organized by season and many feature seasonal ingredients, like fruits and nuts.
The book itself is beautiful, with lovely photographs and a style that really makes you feel the history and tradition that inspired the recipes. The recipes themselves are clearly written and easy to follow, with a little bit of the history that inspired the recipe printed alongside it. All of the recipes are designed to maximize flavor in a way that the original recipes might not have, for instance including lemon zest along with lemon juice to let that citrus flavor really shine in the finished dessert. Start with the season that you’re in and work your way through the rest of the recipes throughout the year. You’ll find some recipes that will be new favorites and some old favorites that are even better than you remembered.