Cooking Books -> Desserts
The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern
Clark, Melissa (Contributor)
Gallagher, Dana (Photographer)
Published: October 16, 2001
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"First and foremost, everything I make has to taste absolutely delicious," says Claudia Fleming in her introduction to The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern. Words to live by, especially when you're the pastry chef at one of New
York City's most popular restaurants. Fleming cleverly describes and explains her creations in intelligent introductions to every recipe. She easily justifies her unusual flavor combinations, such as Roasted Apricots with Chamomile and Lavender-Lemon
Pound Cake, and carefully walks us through important steps like gently cooking the strawberries and rose wine for her Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Strawberry Rosé Gelée.
Recipes are divided by their star ingredient, and read like a farmers' market
shopping list: apples, pears, and quinces; figs, melons, and grapes; herbs and flowers; cheese, milk, and cream. "Composed Desserts" make up the last chapter, and each is paired with a dessert wine. While every one of Fleming's recipes produces a
delectable dessert on its own, the combinations she proposes in this chapter are truly memorable. A lighthearted composition like Waffles with Maple-Glazed Bananas and Maple Flan brings a favorite breakfast treat into the dining room for dessert. It's
creamy and sweet, crispy and warm, cold and tangy--all at the same time. A number of Fleming's signature desserts are here, too: Coconut Tapioca with Coconut Sorbet, Passion Fruit-Pineapple Sorbet, Passion Fruit Caramel, and Cilantro Syrup (a Gramercy
favorite). There are also plenty of recipes for the cookie jar, including the wonderfully soft and chewy Chocolate Brownie Cookies, elegant enough to serve with coffee for dessert. Treats like Milk Chocolate Malted Ice Cream, Mascarpone Cream Cannoli,
and Lime-Gingersnap Parfait will have you singing Fleming's praises as loudly as her fans do at Gramercy Tavern. --Leora Y. Bloom
From Publishers Weekly
Claudia Fleming pastry chef at New York's swank Gramercy Tavern is a dessert visionary who
has earned a James Beard Award for Best Pastry Chef and two Best Dessert Awards from Pastry Art and Design. Some of her restaurant recipes will be a challenge even for the most practiced home bakers, but they are well worth the effort. The book includes
175 recipes, organized by main ingredients. There are chapters on fruits (recipes include Blueberry-Cornmeal Cakes and Tamarind-Glazed Mango Napoleons),... read more
Using fresh, seasonal ingredients captured at the peak of
their flavor, Claudia Fleming creates highly satisfying desserts without pretention. She smartly matches contrasting textures, flavors, and temperatures to achieve a perfect end result-something brittle and crunchy next to something satiny and smooth,
stretching the definition of sweet and savory while retaining an elemental simplicity.
The desserts in The Last Course speak to everyone, as to the 175 easy-to-use recipes. The book is broken down seasonally by fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs and
flowers, spices, sweet essences, dairy, and chocolate. The final chapter is made up of composed deserts. Claudia gives suggestions on how to combine recipes from previous chapters to create the ultimate desserts of the restaurant.
Each chapter and
each composed dessert is paired with a selection of wines recommended by Gramercy Tavern's sommelier. Recipes include: Warm Raspberry Verbena Meringue Cake, Blueberry Graham Cracker Tarts, Apple Tarte Tatin, Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Sauternes Gelee,
Warm Chocolate Ganache Cakes, and more.
Beautifully illustrated, with more than eighty-five full-color photos, The Last Course is the last word on dessert.
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