The Apple Cookbook by Olwen Woodier

The Apple Cookbook is everything I look for in this type of book: beautifully presented, with background information on the subject, plenty of photographs of the recipes, breadth of recipes from easy to difficult, and a layout that ensures the recipes are easy to recreate/follow. In other words, this is a keeper!

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Contents:  Chapter 1: Introduction to apples; Chapter 2: Apple breakfasts and breads; Chapter 3: Apple drinks and snacks; Chapter 4: Apple salads and sides; Chapter 5: Apples make the meal; Chapter 6: Apple deserts; Chapter 7: Preserving the apple harvest; Chapter 8: Meet the apples: apple varieties.

The presentation of this book is quite lovely: different font sizes and colors along with page after page of photographs make this cookbook colorful and inviting. I always look forward to cookbooks with images – I need to know what the final product should look like and how it should be presented.

The recipes themselves are also nicely laid out. A call out box has the ingredients, each listed in italics and in a soft red. Steps are listed in numerical short paragraphs in green and black.  A short introduction gives more information on the recipe and a large patterned green box has the recipe title and yield.  Each recipe gets its own page – making them exceedingly easy to follow and not crowded.

The diversity of the recipes is impressive – I didn’t see any that felt like ‘filler’ or stuck in there to bulk up to the 125 count. Nor are there many duplicates (e.g., there are only two types of applesauce recipes). In some recipes the apple is a main ingredient and in others, it may provide natural sweetening or zip. Some surprised me but were quite good; e.g., apple meatloaf and sausage and apple omelets were a hit with the family.

Additional information beyond the recipes include background of the apple – cultivation and history, spread, and economics. Canning/preserving, heirloom, organic, storage, and preparation are discussed. There is even a chart on what apple types are best for what purpose: salads, cooking, pies, etc. Various cooking techniques – from microwave cooking to baking are also presented. An appendix with experimental orchard info, apple councils, metric charts, and index are also available in the back.

In all, I was highly impressed and couldn’t wait to start cooking the recipes. It’s a beautiful book that is a joy to browse as well as use. Incredibly informative as well.  Reviewed from an advance reader copy.

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