Cookbooks aren’t always good reading material, but Lori Longbotham’s delightful Luscious Lemon Desserts treads the fine line between function and art to deliver the perfect combination of practicality and entertainment. The photographs by Alison Minsch are elegant in their simplicity and impart to the slim volume the feeling of a coffee table art book. Longbotham’s recipe’s really are luscious, but each recipe also comes complete with an anecdote or description that makes for pleasant casual reading.
If you need to make lemonade with your lemons this book will tell you how. From a quick tutorial on the history of lemons themselves to how to select the perfect fruit at the store, this cookbook is chock full of helpful tips. Intimidated by zesting? Fear not! Curious about the difference between Lemon extract and Lemon Oil? The answers are all here.
Luscious Lemon Desserts is a cookbook that will grow with any cook, no matter their skill level. There are simple recipes for beginners and elaborate time consuming dishes for more seasoned chefs. In one of my favorite sections, Longbotham includes a set of instructions designed to help inexperienced bakers graduate from simple shortbread (cookie like) crusts for tarts to more elaborate pastry style pie crusts. Containing a good 70 recipes there’s something for every occasion, season and time of day! There are detailed instructions for creating lemony Biscotti, muffins, cakes, cookies, tarts, frozen desserts and even a diving looking souffle!
According to the author’s website, this luscious volume was voted cookbook of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle back in 2001. I’m a bit behind the times in discovering it, but that doesn’t make the taste any less sweet (or tart as the case may be.) I’ll definitely be checking out the author’s other offerings Luscious Chocolate Desserts and Luscious Creamy Desserts.