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The Comfort of Apples: Modern Recipes for an Old-fashioned Favorite    by Philip Rubin & Lauren Rubin order for
Comfort of Apples
by Philip Rubin
Order:  USA  Can
Lyons Press, 2010 (2010)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Everyone loves the smell of apple pies bubbling in the oven. Or apple crisps turning just the right shade of brown. But apples are not just for pies or crisps. Philip and Lauren Rubin prove this with The Comfort of Apples. This cookbook abounds with wonderful sounding - and I have no doubt wonderful tasting - recipes using this adaptable fruit. The photos are beautiful and get the gastric juices flowing.

Whatever you do, don't skip the short introduction. It's important to know the flavor of the apple you are to work with – sweet, sweet-tart or tart. Picking the right flavor to complement your dish will determine whether you have a winner or not. The chart on the opposite page lists some of the thousands of varieties of apples as well as their flavors.

Methods of cooking with apples are discussed as well as the equipment suggested. I always thought I knew how to cut an apple and how to remove the core. Not so. Try the Rubin way. Much easier. The recipes start with Apple Pancakes. I grew up with shirred eggs (think baked) but I sure wish my mom had used this recipe for Baked Eggs with Crispy Sausage.

Cider is used occasionally in the recipes. I must admit, I have not cooked often with cider but vow to now try recipes like Cider-Glazed Nuts or Clam Cassoulet. Apple butter also makes an appearance in a Grilled Cheese and Sprouts Sandwich.

Soup time is fast approaching. And I love good soups. Doesn't everyone? How about Butternut Squash and Apple Soup? Bring it on. It also uses walnut halves and goat cheese. Doesn't that sound like just the ticket after being at the orchard to pick your own apples, when the air has a nip to it?

Fish and apples? Sure. There's Salmon Burger with Apple Corn Slaw as well as Seared Tuna with Parsley and Apple–Caper Relish. Both winners – just have to be. The Cider Aioli and the Apple-Chive Dipping Sauce also intrigue.

The two authors have the experience in the restaurant field that led them to producing their first cookbook. We are the richer for this. What a great Christmas gift The Comfort of Apples would make for that cook in your family. But be sure to pick up a copy for yourself. This one would be hard to give away.

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