A Practical Guide to Cooking with Fruit

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Pub Date 04 Apr 2023 | Archive Date 03 Apr 2023

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First vegetables, then grains, and now, fruit. This is the beautiful follow-up to Abra Berens's Ruffage and Grist, with more than 215 recipes and variations for using fruit in sweet and savory recipes to highlight seasonality and flavor.

Pulp is a hardworking book of recipes that focuses on all the ways fruit can enhance simple, delicious mains—for example, by elevating roasted vegetables, garnishing soup, or adding perfume to a roasted pork or brisket. Unlike Ruffage and Grist, Pulp is about regularly incorporating fruit to add variety and seasonality to main dishes.

Home cooks and bakers alike will rejoice in the alternately sweet and savory recipes such as Roast Chicken over Blueberries, Cornbread + Lemon; Melon, Cucumber + Chickpea Salad; and Rum-Plum Clafoutis. The book also features helpful reference material, a Baker's Toolkit, and more than 100 atmospheric photos, delivered with the can-do attitude and accessibility of the Midwestern United States. This next generous offering from beloved, trusted author Abra Berens is a necessary addition to any kitchen shelf alongside its predecessors and other mainstays like Plenty, Six Seasons, and Small Victories.

THIS IS THE A TO Z OF FRUIT: The content is deep and authoritative, but also wide-ranging, with information and recipes for 15 different, widely accessible fruit varieties: Apples, Apricots, Blueberries, Cherries, Drupelet Berries (blackberries, raspberries, mulberries), Grapes, Ground Cherries (a.k.a. cape gooseberries), Melons, Nectarines + Peaches, Pears, Plums, Quince, Rhubarb, Strawberries, and Tart Round Fruits (cranberries, currants, gooseberries, lingonberries + autumn olive). Pulp features only fruits that grow in the Midwestern United States, so no bananas, passion fruit, or citrus here.

CULINARY REFERENCE BOOK: Like Ruffage and Grist before it, Pulp is a truly useful reference cookbook. Organized by type of fruit, each chapter offers authoritative info and tips that the home cook can use to deepen their knowledge of ingredients and broaden their repertoire of techniques—all in the service of improving their meals. The recipes are simple, generally quick to prepare, and use ingredients that are easy to find and often already in your pantry. Plus, the many variations empower home cooks to flex their creativity and trust themselves in the kitchen.

ONGOING SUCCESS: Ruffage was named a Best Cookbook for Spring 2019 by the New York Times and Bon Appétit, was a 2020 Michigan Notable Book winner, and was nominated for a 2019 James Beard Award. Grist was named a Best Cookbook for Fall 2021 by Eater and received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Here's some strong praise for both books: "Things in my kitchen have changed since Ruffage arrived. This organized, easygoing guide to 29 vegetables offers a few cooking methods for each one, supplemented by several variations." —Kim Severson, New York Times "[Ruffage] is a total classic in the making."—Christina Chaey, associate editor, Bon Appétit "Crammed with exciting ideas that encourage creativity, this lively book will quickly become an essential item in the home cook's library."—Library Journal (starred review) "[In Grist,] Berens encourages readers to start with ingredients they're excited about. . . . Interspersed features highlight working farmers and their areas of specialty, serving to illustrate issues that inform Berens's ethics and worldview." —Booklist "[In Grist,] Berens strolls through each category with representative methods (such as boiled, fried, and sprouted) with an eye toward variety and versatility over 125 recipes."—Chicago Reader

DISTINCTIVE: In a super-chunky package (432 pages!) brimming with photos and accessible, delicious recipes, Pulp is not just a reference cookbook but a beautiful one at that. The three cookbooks are perfect for gifting together as a set to a lucky friend. 

First vegetables, then grains, and now, fruit. This is the beautiful follow-up to Abra Berens's Ruffage and Grist, with more than 215 recipes and variations for using fruit in sweet and savory...

Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9781797207148
PRICE $35.00 (USD)

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Average rating from 25 members

Featured Reviews

Amazing recipe book with chic design and even better recipes concerning fruit. Informative and delicious!

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I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book was around 3.5 stars for me.

This book has beautiful photos and lofty recipes. It is a nice guide to cooking with fruit, but I was surprised how little fruit is used in some of the recipes. There's recipes included for baking and cooking and then information on how to best cook with various fruits. I like the concept of this book, but felt like a lot of the recipes are out of my skillset. I think it's a nice aspiration, but not a recipe book I'd be reaching for during the work week.

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Lots of fun and diverse recipes for a set group of fruits. If you end up with a large abundance of some fruit, this book will teach you how to cook, preserve, or freeze all of it with some unique and intriguing ideas.

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This cookbook is both delightfully down to earth and impossibly froufrou at once. There are some wonderful recipes but where it shines is the recipes for the basics and the simple information on how to pick, store and use fruit.

I was surprised by how few fruits were included. There are apples, cherries, blueberries, quince, apricots, etc but not some that I love like elderberries and none that you can’t find at the author’s Michigan farmer’s market, so no bananas, citrus, mangos, pomegranates, kiwis, etc.

I cook fruits that I forage or grow, so for me that means lots of desserts using apples, elderberries, gooseberries, sour cherries, mulberries, wild grapes, pears, wild plums, strawberries, rhubarb, raspberries and black raspberries (many of these are included in the book). We generally have a bounty at once, so I spend a week at a time baking, canning, drying and being creative with various fruits any week in late summer or early autumn especially. This book isn’t that well suited for me (I highly recommend The Fruit Forager’s Companion if you are like me, but I know hardly anyone is). This book is full of almost exclusively gluten heavy recipes too, which is another reason it’s not for me.

There are some beautiful photos but not many. No nutritional information is provided.

It is definitely a fantastic cookbook. Those in the target audience will love having it in their kitchen.

I read a temporary digital arc of this book via NetGalley.

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This is a must-have cookbook! The recipes look delicious and the photography is divine. This is one I'll return to again and again. Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the advanced copy of the book.

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BEAUTIFUL. I have the other two books in this series, Ruffage and Grist, and the third book, Pulp, does not disappoint. All of the pictures are gorgeous and the recipes are even better. Everything is technical and straightforward at the same time. Berens starts with Part 1, the basic tools and techniques that you will need along with the foundational recipes. Part 2 begins with the most beloved of traditional fruit, the apple, and showcases its beauty through six different methods of processing. She continues on with every popular fruit and some not so well-known (I’ve heard of quince, lingonberry, and autumn olive, but never thought I could turn them into anything palatable lol), turning them into culinary go-tos instead of fringe fruit. Savory recipes are contrasted with sweet and each fruit comes with its own intro on picking the best and storing it properly followed, by a Producer Profile that gives you an insider farm-to-fork view. ABSOLUTELY recommend.

Thank you, NetGalley!

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I accessed a digital review copy of this book from the publisher.
This book is focused on cooking fruit. The first half has the baker's toolkit which covers many of the bases for baking and cooking. The second half is focused on the fruits. Each fruit is divided into raw, roasted, poached, stewed, baked, and preserved with savory and sweet versions for all. Not all of the dishes focus on the fruit, some of them just include the fruit. The dishes are a mix of easy and difficult to prepare. There are photographs of each of the dishes.
I think this is more of an advanced cookbook, so it is better for someone who is more experienced with cooking. It works as a technical book.

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This is a beautiful recipe book that features so many out of the box ideas on how to use fruit. It goes beyond just how to use it but how to pick it and preserve it as well. Absolutely beautiful. A must add to your cookbook collection.

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Abra Berens has now successfully confirmed she is an auto-buy author for me. Pulp is divine.

I think what I appreciate most about Ruffage, Grist, and now Pulp is how each book is categorized by ingredient. This is a cookbook to pick up after enthusiastically coming home with too many apples from the orchard or after the farmer's market's impulse buy of an unfamiliar ingredient, like ground cherries.

Each fruit is followed by multiple preparations: raw, roasted, baked, preserved, stewed, poached, and so on. I adore cookbooks that are sorted in this way. I find it to be so "user friendly" for beginner and more advanced cooks alike. To that point, Part 1 or the "baker's toolkit" allows readers to let a craving or desire to attempt a new technique decide the dish.

Lastly, as a fellow Michigander (now living in Minnesota) I adore the Producer Profile interludes. It isn't common to see thoughtful interviews with farmers and producers in cookbooks but I think it gives a wonderful context and sense of place. (Side note: I worked at a restaurant in Chicago that served both Mawby wine and produce from Mick Klug's farm and can confirm: both are outstanding.)

To the "I don't have a sweet-tooth people" - there are savory recipes like coconut milk shrimp with jalapeno-peach cornbread and a pear, bacon, and onion tart (among others) to utilize fruit without diving headfirst into a sugar bomb. There's something for everyone, truly. Highly recommend!

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The download for this wouldn’t work so I don’t really have an opinion. Hope the download worked better for others.
I do trust Abra Berens to put out bother stellar cookbook though.

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