Known for his delicious and gorgeous baked goods, John Barricelli of the SoNo Baking Company in Norwalk, Connecticut, has become a local celebrity. In The Seasonal Baker, he brings everyday baking with fruits and vegetables within reach for home cooks, offering 135 sweet and savory recipes for all seasons.
John patiently walks readers through his recipes for breakfast treats, quick breads, poached fruits, cookies, pies, cakes, quiches, pizzas, and more. He shares his Pears “Belle Hélène,” using the fall’s bounty and including suggestions for how best to submerge fruit for poaching. His Strawberries Romanoff—perfect for summertime—comes with tips on how to gently clean the berries so they retain their beautiful shape. The Blueberry Cheesecake in Glass Jars offers a delightful, picnic-style presentation for company. He presents Joan’s Carrot Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting and Spiced Pecans for a cozy winter treat. Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Cinnamon Cream are a hit with all ages, perfect for Thanksgiving when pumpkin harvest is in full swing. He steeps and softens sun-dried tomatoes for Cheese Focaccia with Summer Squash, and guides you through making Grilled Pizza with Figs and Ricotta, great from summer through early fall, and which can be made in the oven.
In his follow-up to his acclaimed The SoNo Baking Company Cookbook, John showcases the diversity of the produce, keeping us connected to the seasons. He also includes a definitive shopping guide on how to buy and prepare fruits and vegetables, and how best to store them for later use. This rich collection of recipes, great for beginning bakers and pros alike, is accompanied by gorgeous four-color photography, as well as Barricelli’s family stories.
These are the recipes that he makes at home with his children, and they will inspire you to add his seasonal family favorites to your own standbys. Often simple enough for anyone to make, these dishes are mouthwateringly beautiful and approachable enough to make during the week.
Through fall, winter, spring, and summer, this is the book you’ll turn to again and again for recipes that feel like home.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ teaspoon coarse salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch cubes
½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
2 pounds fresh peaches, halved, pitted, and sliced into ½-inch-thick wedges
2 (6-ounce) baskets raspberries
1⁄3 to ½ cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1. Set the oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Set a 12 by 9-inch or 14 by 10-inch oval baking dish on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a nonstick silicone baking mat.
2. To make the topping: In a medium bowl, use a fork to stir together the flour, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Add the butter and, using your fingertips, quickly work it into the dry ingredients until pea-size crumbs form. Add the oats and toss gently. Set aside in the refrigerator.
3. In a medium bowl, toss together the peaches, raspberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and salt. Transfer to the gratin dish. Sprinkle the topping mixture evenly over the top.
4. Bake, rotating the baking sheet about two-thirds of the way through the baking time, until the juices bubble up and the topping is golden brown and very crisp, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Excerpted from The Seasonal Baker by John Barricelli. Copyright © 2012 by John Barricelli. Excerpted by permission of Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
About John Barricelli
JOHN BARRICELLI is the owner and chef of the SoNo Baking Company in South Norwalk, Connecticut, which opened in 2005, and a new location in nearby Westport. For many years he worked at Martha Stewart’s magazines and television and radio shows. He was also the host of the PBS show Everyday Baking. A third-generation baker with thirty years of experience, he worked at River Café, Le Bernardin, and Four Seasons before opening his own bakeries. He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and author of The SoNo Baking Company Cookbook.
“John has the uncanny ability to create recipes that all of us can make and enjoy. In this collection there are many sweet and savory dishes that are certain to become family favorites.
“So many chefs talk about recipes that can be made at home simply, easily, and successfully, but John Barricelli delivers. His sweets are just the kind you want to bake for family and friends, and just the kind that even beginning bakers can turn out. You will make these recipes year-round, and you’ll make them over and over again.”
“The Seasonal Baker is a dessert book you want to hug. It will actually become part of your kitchen (flour- and chocolate-stained) and not your library. John’s pastry is always straightforward delicious. And if you don't make his Banana–Chocolate Chip Kugelhopf, you are simply missing out on one of the things that makes life worth getting out of bed for.”
--MATT LEWIS & RENATO POLIAFITO
"I enjoyed getting to know John and his family through his heartfelt mix of savory and sweet recipes. He takes care to keep instructions clear and approachable; perfect for the home baker. I can't wait to try some of these with my family."
“My introduction to John was over his Lemon Daisy Cake at Martha Stewart’s studio. It was so light and airy and at the same time tart and sweet. This perfect dessert is a reflection of John’s background—a unique combination of family and professional cooking and baking, with his philosophy of using the best ingredients, that results in no-fail recipes. From simple Poached Pineapple or Grilled Peaches to Ratatouille Hand Pies, there is something here for everyone. I’m going to start with the Gingerbread-Pineapple Upside-Down Cake.”