Here is a cookbook review and note on a recipe-in-progress.
Suzen and I were at a farmers market in Lower Manhattan last fall. That fall was warm, and lacked the surprise snow we have just experienced. I was lugging food and very thirsty and there I saw something wonderful.
Fany Gerson, a very serious pastry chef from Mexico, had a stand with aqua fresca. And she had a copy of her book: My Sweet Mexico. Her drink brought relief and her book brings inspiration.
Fany has traveled back and forth across, and up and down, Mexico. Our images of Mexico tend to Mexico City, beaches, Aztec pyramids, and that troublesome border. There is a vast other Mexico, and that is where Fany has explored and compiled this collection of sweet treats.
Most of the recipes are ones you will not have seen, unless you too have been to Mexico. Many of the recipes are regional or even city treasures. Somewhat like Italy, Mexico is divided by mountains into regions, each with its own climate and agriculture. And thus recipes.
My Sweet Recipes offers many temptations:
- Spiced Chocolate Cakes with Sweet Tomatillo Sauce
- Candied Pumpkin
- Lime Meringues
- Coconut Stuffed Limes
- Sorbets Aplenty: Quince, cucumber, Apricot, Lime and Tamarind
- Fany’s favorite Tres Leches Cake
- Tomato Jam Empanadas
- Pecan Fudge Caramels
- Pistachio Caramels
- Milk Fudge
- Fany’s Mexican Wedding Cookies
- Aceite de Vanilla
That last recipe is for a vanilla liquor. I’ve started it, and after a week of “nurturing” I tell you about the results. A sugar syrup is infused with vanilla beans, poured into a jar, and topped off with rum. It’s sitting on my shelf now.
The headnotes for the recipes are wonderfully informative. Those Mexican Wedding Cookies you have loved? Well, they came to Mexico from Spain. And they got to Spain from the Arab conquest of Spain that lasted, in total, for seven hundred years.
Suzen and I will be trying many of these recipes over the next couple of weeks. That Candied Pumpkin seems the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving!