If you've been hemming and hawing about buying a DIY cookbook, hoping for just the right one to come along, I think your wait may be at an end. With their signature bird's-eye attention to detail and exacting standards, the editors at America's Test Kitchen have created the definitive guide to the homemade pantry. These guys accept nothing less than the best, and neither should you.
• Who wrote it: America's Test Kitchen
• Who published it: America's Test Kitchen
• Number of recipes: Around 100
• Recipes for right now: Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread, Preserved Lemons, Vanilla Extract, Bacon Jam, Kimchi, Feta Cheese, Greek-Style Yogurt, Bacon, Beef Jerky, Graham Crackers, Granola Bars, Marshmallows, Tonic Water, Cocktail Bitters, Sweet Vermouth
• Other highlights: If you are drawn to recipes with lots of details and scientific explanations, then this is definitely the book for you! Where other DIY books focus on the economics of making your own pantry staples or the warm fuzzy feeling of weaning yourself off store-bought, this book is about function. Pure and simple. This book is meant to be used.
There are photographs on nearly every page, illustrating everything from tying cheesecloth over a jar of sour pickles to blooming gelatin for marshmallows. These photographs aren't the gorgeous lifestyle-y photos from other books, but they are good at showing exactly how the food should look and what you should be doing at each step.
The recipes cover a good range of pantry staples, including condiments and jams, cheese and yogurt, pickles, preserved meats, sweets and candies, and beverages. I like how each recipe includes an in-depth walkthrough of the process followed by a compact recipe to use when actually making the food.
• Who would enjoy this book? Fans of America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Illustrated, people looking for a very thorough guide to DIY pantry projects, curious cooks looking for new kitchen projects to tackle.
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: The America's Test Kitchen D.I.Y. Cookbook by America's Test Kitchen
• Visit the author's website: America's Test Kitchen
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Images: Emma Christensen)