The Great American Dessert Cookbook

Andrea Chesman, Author, Fran Raboff, With Crossing Press $12.95 (198p) ISBN 978-0-89594-437-5
This sturdy collection of basic American treats is the cookbook you would create if you catalogued your favorite aunts' scribbled recipes and clippings from those ``ladies' magazines'' of old--and beyond. Standard favorites from the past three centuries are included, from Indian pudding to key lime pie to the once-ubiquitous pineapple-upside-down cake. Although ingredient proportions have been adapted for the modern kitchen (the traditional ``one-pound-butter, one-pound-flour, one-pound-sugar, one-pound-eggs'' pound cake has been modified for today's flour and sugar), recipes stick close to their usually simple origins. Language, too, remains simple: a rice pudding is placed in a ``water bath,'' not a bain marie . Thoughtfully placed reproductions of old advertisements, snippets from 19th-century cookbooks and information on all-American gambits like the Vermont Maple Festival add to the volume's revivifying air of historical innocence. For anyone not lucky enough to possess a half-century-old family cookbook, this is a worthy substitute. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
Genre: Nonfiction
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