Apples for Jam – Tessa Kiros
Murdoch Books – 2010
Photography: Manos Chatzikonstantis
I am a huge fan of Tessa Kiros’ recipes however this is easily my least favourite of her cookbooks. It is organised by colour and so is very difficult to navigate. The contents page at the front has almost no information but the index is well done. Page numbers could have done with being clearer, especially as you almost always need to use them to find a recipe from the main index.
The layout of the recipes themselves is much better with a clear separation of ingredients and the main text as well as clear headings. As with most of Kiros’ cookbooks there are little anecdotes in among the recipes which are nice enough to read but if you aren’t a fan of biographical details in cookery books they are very easy to avoid.
There is a very Italian style to a lot of the recipes, which is not at all surprising and for me was very welcome. I love Italian cookery and the warmth of that region really comes across beautifully. At first glance the recipes don’t appear to be very original but they are mostly classic recipes that Kiros has improved upon which makes all the difference.
The recipes are brilliantly written with a very good balance of basic and more challenging as well as a nice rounded combination of sweets, savouries, meats and veggie dishes. A few of the ideas are a bit too long and overly complicated to fit into the family theme I think but as I am not a family cook I wouldn’t like to say for certain. Most of the ingredients used were easy to get a hold of and there are several store-cupboard meals that can be done easily as well.
There are a good number of pictures in the books although there could have been more if the non-food ones had been replaced with photographs of the recipes. The food has been wonderfully styled and matches the philosophy of the book perfectly.
My favourite recipes were the Baked Pumpkin with Butter and Brown Sugar, the Baked Ham and Cheese Bread Pudding, the Mince and Potato Croquettes and the Chocolate Toffee Nut Squares. There was a huge number of recipes in ‘Apples for Jam’ that I will be trying out, a lovely collection altogether.
As with ‘Food From Many Greek Kitchens’ this is a book fully of great recipes but awfully put together. I love the ideas but it’s incredibly awkward to use.