If you hang around here or Instagram, you probably already know that Yossy Arefi, the baker-stylist-photographer behind Apt. 2B Baking Co. and a sometime Food52 baking contributor, takes really gorgeous photos of homey, rustic baked goods you want to snatch right out of the photo.
So it's no surprise that our community cookbook reviewers raved about the photographs of right-off-the-vine produce, and the baked goods that use them all up, in her first book, Sweeter Off the Vine—a 2017 Piglet Community Pick!
But there are some other details of Yossy's book that maybe aren't as attention-hogging as ripe, juicy fruit, but that make her book stand out.
First, it's that Yossy is not just great at rustic desserts, but she also can teach us a lot about more complex pastry techniques. She has "killer pastry technique" and "gives detailed instructions and photos to demystify the processes," including pâte à choux and pie pastry.
Cassidy said "Someone with any level of expertise could make any of these recipes, but you definitely need to be patient! I haven't made everything in this book yet, but everything I have made has been incredible, if time consuming. If you carefully mise everything and follow Yossy's well laid out directions, you can also do what she does so well."
But don't expect your usual apple pie or any old croissant; Yossy blends alternative flours, spices, and fruit with ease. "I love that Yossy includes less-common flours (buckwheat and rye) and produce (rhubarb, rangpur limes, persimmons, cranberries, lemon verbena, preserved lemon, concord grapes, figs, and many more)," Alanna writes. Don't worry, though, if these ingredients are hard for you to find: She "often gives easy swaps at the end of the recipe in case you can't find the fruit the original calls for!"
In terms of standout recipes, Cassidy picked the Cherry and Poppy Seed Yogurt Cake and the Grapefruit and Meyer Lemon Bundt Cake—"both huge crowd-pleasers, picturesque/Instagram-ready, and fun to make, though neither were quick recipes. The pies are incredible, but you may want to make those second."
Community reviewer Jessica Lehrman loved the Blood Orange Old-Fashioned Donuts "because they are the perfect combination of tart and sweet."
Alanna also called out the Browned Butter Date Blondies "because you probably have the ingredients in your cupboard right now. Also they are to-die-for delicious."
2017's roster of Piglet Community Picks were chosen by an open call to our community; the reviews you see here are from some of the folks who voted these books into the tournament. To see other Piglet Community Picks reviews, head here.