I liked everything about Plum Gorgeous - the recipes, the photographs, the stories, and the notes.
The recipes are seasonal by the types of fruit that can be found throughout the year and easy to follow. In essence, they go back to basics.
The recipes that I tried from this cookbook are: Wild Strawberry Tartlets (consisting of sweet dough, pastry cream, and wild strawberries (although I did substitute regular strawberries)) and the Apricot Preserves. Both were a hit at home, in the case of the tartlets, any end product that garners second helpings from a person who leans towards savory eating is, for me, a winner.
The preserves are great too. Aside from the great taste that shows more than a hint of the vanilla (probably the most expensive ingredient as a whole bean is used for the recipe) that complements the apricots, what I liked most about the recipe is that it doesn't use pectin in its making. The preserves aren't as firm as the store bought variety and tend more towards a sticky syrup. That, to me, is also part of the appeal.
Inside Plum Gorgeous, Romney "Nani" Steele follows her successful cookbook-memoir My Nepenthe with 60 seasonally inspired recipes that celebrate the "romance of fruit." Capturing the essence, beauty, and deliciousness of cooking with seasonal fruits, Steele offers simple and seductive recipes that intertwine with the seasons in which each fruit is harvested.
Savory recipes like Coriander Steak with Blackberry Vinaigrette and Kumquat Couscous Salad with Fried Haloumi Cheese are presented alongside sweet treats like Passionfruit Chocolate Truffles and Plum Soup with Basil Ice Cream. Interspersed throughout Plum Gorgeous are beautiful, full-color photographs by Sara Remington and reminiscences from the year that Steele spent living in an orchard in Big Sur, along with fruit lore and select notes on handling and preserving fruit.
In an accessible but imaginative way, Plum Gorgeous beautifully reveals the many layers and flavor profiles of fruit while celebrating the memories inspired by each season's beauty and bounty.