In all of my many many cookbooks, there are always a bunch of recipes I flag, and some that I try. They are usually the ones where I spot a sensible new way of doing something complicated. I care more for tips and methods than for actual recipes, and more for ease of handling than for time cuts.
Lucky for me, or not, maybe, that this book by Alice Medrich has every single sweet recipe of that sort that you could ever want. Crusts that don´t need rolling, one bowl cakes, cookies that use melted butter, and tequila poured over shop-bought lime pops, sprinkled with salt. Pure, undilluted genius. Buy it inmediately.
There is only one omission, because it is a very hip book: there is no fruit salad. And yes, I hear the collective groan that springs from memories of those boring, boring apple-pear-banana-orange fruit salads from winter bowls of yore. That is boring. But a good fruit salad is a joy, the easiest, most comforting way to eat fruit, and it is a bowlful of love. Making fruit salad is a generous, selfless task. Nobody is going to say "oh wow, did you really make that?", as they would over a daintily piped cream cake. They will not be impressed by your skills, because a six year old could make it (in fact, train your six year old to make it). But they will eat it, and be pleased.
So go on, make fruit salad. Especially in a place like this, where the fruits that arrive can be a little bit short on flavour (ahem. A lot, most often). And yes, it really is the best way to make a couple of wrinkled nectarines and a woebegone pear look good.
Cut them up, squeeze an orange over them, dot with strawberries, don´t forget a bit of banana for heft, and let flavors mingle in the fridge for a bit.
Sweet Sherry, vanilla extract, mint leaves, whipped cream...yes, you can add them, but don´t forget to give in to the simple pleasures.