Autumn in the Orchard

Kristina’s Bookshelf


Apple: Recipes from the Orchard
By James Rich
(Hardie Grant Books, 2019)

It’s that time of year when shiny red, yellow, and green apples turn up at markets all over town. Author James Rich has written a perfect and perfectly timely cookbook filled with 90 of his best-loved recipes for cooking with this earnest, hardy fruit. Rich’s father is a master cider maker and the family has grown apples and produced cider for generations.

The cookbook, filled with beautiful photos of his family orchard, finished dishes, and outdoor feasts, includes delicious offerings perfect for these early fall days. I particularly enjoyed slow-roasted pork belly and pickled apple; a tangy goat cheese, apple, and honey tart; a chicken, cider, and cheddar crumble; and a cocktail with cider and thyme. The Rose de Pommes Tart, with apple shavings coiled like rosettes and set in a vanilla custard, is delightful.

Recipes use whole apples as well as cider, apple juice, cider brandy, and cider vinegar for added depth. Rich helpfully includes descriptions of different apple types and how best to combine them with other ingredients for the most flavorful results. Rich is British and a few apple varieties may be unfamiliar to American readers, but most, like Fuji, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and others will be well-known to local cooks.

Edible East Bay’s book editor Kristina Sepetys is eager to share her ideas and book recommendations with our readers.