Review by

Ripe - A cook in the orchard
(Ten Speed Press) ISBN 978-1607743323 1607743329

Ripe fruit from trees, bushes and vines, makes wonderful main courses, salads and desserts. In his cookbook, Nigel Slater features recipes for fruit grown in temperate regions, rather than tropical fruits.

Besides common fruit varieties, Nigel Slater's recipes include unusual fruits, as well as nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts and chestnuts). In addition to cooking tips, he describes how to grow fruit, buy fruit trees and how to ripen and store fruit.

List of fruits

Ripe is arranged alphabetically, from apples to white currants. For each fruit, the 591-page cookbook specifies which varieties are best for eating and cooking, and which spices and fruits pair well together.

For example, the author explains that Carpathian walnuts have easy-to-crack shells and that walnuts pair well with celery, peaches, figs and maple syrup.

The majority of the 300 recipes in the cookbook are for desserts, but Nigel Slater also includes delicious recipes for fruit with meat: Roast pork with apricot and pine nut stuffing. Venison with blueberries. A salad of chicken, mint and peaches.

What are loganberries?

Recipe introductions include cooking tips, such as caramelizing apples before making apple crumble to enhance their flavors. Information about fruits is comprehensive, e.g., hybrid fruits.

For example, did you know that loganberries and tayberries are crosses between blackberries and raspberries? And that a boysenberry is a triple cross between a loganberry, raspberry and blackberry?

Unusual fruits

A highlight of Ripe is its recipes for unusual fruits. You learn how to make sloe gin with sloes (blackthorn fruit) and use it to make roast duck with apples and sloe gin.

The fruit cookbook also includes recipes for medlars, quinces, gooseberries, damsons and elderberries. Examples? Medlar jelly. Quince paste (to serve with sheep-milk cheeses). Hot gooseberry and ginger sauce. Damson ice cream. Elderflower fritters.

Convert British ingredients to American

The US edition of the Ripe cookbook provides American substitutes for British ingredients. For example, Nigel Slater suggests using brown sugar as a substitute for muscovado sugar.

Sumptuous photos by Jonathan Lovekin illustrate fruit dishes in Ripe, as well as the fresh fruits from which they are made.

Ripe by Nigel Slater


  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Blackberries
  • Black Currants
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Chestnuts
  • Damsons
  • Elderflowers and Elderberries
  • Figs
  • Gooseberries
  • Grapes
  • Hazelnuts
  • Peaches and Nectarines
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Quinces
  • Raspberries
  • Red Currants
  • Rhubarb
  • Strawberries
  • Walnuts
  • White Currants
  • A Few Other Good Things: Medlars and Sloes


Nigel Slater has published several cookbooks, including Real Cooking, Tender and Nigel Slater's Real Food.

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