I bought a signed copy of Rustic Fruit Desserts: Crumbles, Buckles, Cobblers, Pandowdies, and More, by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson over at Sweet Wares here in Portland last week (they sell it for 20% off the cover price) and have been reading it like it was a summer novel. I have so many recipes like these already, but not in one book and not with the utter perfection of these combination of flavors. I am basing this on the fact that I frequent Baker & Spice quite often and have tried just about every dessert they have and they are all outstanding—and quite a few of them are in this book. The desserts are organized by season, which is brilliant, and there are so many good tips in here for this style of down-to-earth, homey baking. The authors suggest freezing a lot. Both before you bake and after—which is key for me when I want to make something but don't want to eat the entire dessert in 2 days. Better to bake and freeze half, or make 2 smaller ones and only bake one—freezing the other for later. For that unexpected brunch party I am known for throwing together. (heh.)
Here's the Rhubarb Buckle with Ginger Crumb Pete made for Mother's Day. Good lord.
Some other desserts in this book: Fresh Strawberry Ricotta Tart, Rhubarb and Bing Cherry Brown Betty, Double Crusted Plucot Crisp, Stone Fruit Slump, Quince and Apple Brown Butter Tart, Pear Cobbler with Shingled Hazelnut Biscuits, Caramelized Pear Bread Pudding, and an Apple Pandowdy.
Better than a birthday cake! (Which I should be receive in about 2 weeks). Can I ask for a birthday pandowdy instead?