There are many ways to group dessert recipes. You can group them by flavor, by type and even by color – but one of the most appealing ways to group them is by season. This is partly because baking with the seasons allows you to take full advantage of the produce and other ingredients that are at their peak, but it is primarily because we often feel like eating different types of dishes during different seasons. This has a lot to do with the weather, since spices tend to make us feel warm and citrus and berries tend to make us feel refreshed, but it also has to do with the existing traditions that we have around the seasons. Jenny McCoy’s Desserts for Every Season is a lovely book that is organized by season with recipes that will turn you into a seasonal baker even if you weren’t before.
Since there is a focus on seasonal ingredients, many of the recipes emphasize fruits when they are ripe and in-season, but the other flavors and ingredients – from nuts to creme fraiche to chocolate – are all part of what makes these recipes stand apart from other seasonal recipes. The dishes are thoughtful and balanced, with great combinations of flavors. There is a wide variety of recipes throughout the book, from drink recipes and ice creams to yeasted breads and homemade pies. This variety means that you’ll find something new almost every time you open the book, even if you’ve flipped through the pages many times before.
The book has a casual, friendly tone that makes the recipes seem accessible. They’re written clearly and are easy to follow along with, though some of the recipes involve multiple components and might tae a bit longer to put together than some of the others. Every recipe is accessible to bakers of any level, however, as even the more complicated recipes are broken down into steps that both novice and advanced bakers can clearly follow. Just about all of the desserts are illustrated with beautiful, color photos that make them look even better than they sound. You’ll probably find yourself reaching for this book any time you’re looking for a dessert with a little something extra special for a brunch, dinner party or holiday get-together, since it has something for every season, and thus just about every occasion, throughout the year.