Six years ago Deborah Madison started working on a cookbook she called “Desserts for the Pastry Impaired.”
“Pastry chefs are exacting people who have a deep sense about measurement and clean aprons,” she explains. “Cooking is more intuitive, more relaxed, with more opportunities to taste and adjust.” She wanted to write a less rigid book about desserts.
As she wrote the book, the focus gradually changed to fruit, a natural for someone with a bent towards produce. “When you’re working on a book it talks to you in different ways over time,” she says. Apparently it talked to the editor in a different way too. Madison found out her editor regarded her title as a placeholder. “That kind of changed things,” Deborah admits good-naturedly.
She was already three years into the project when it shifted, but that was fine. Seasonal Fruit Desserts: From Orchard, Farm, and Market stayed “in the background, although I was always working on it.”
Here’s what she was doing in the foreground. She wrote three other cookbooks: What We Eat When We Eat Alone: Stories and 100 Recipes; Vegetarian Suppers from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen; and Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen.
No stranger to working on challenging projects in tandem, Deb had opened a restaurant during the