Pie: 300 Tried-and-True Recipes for Delicious Homemade Pie Reviews


Pie: 300 Tried-and-True Recipes for Delicious Homemade Pie

Complete with 300 easy and delicious recipes, as well as an instructive, anecdotal introductory chapter walking the home baker through all the basics of pastry making, Pie is the most comprehensive and accessible book ever written on the subject of American pie. Celebrating the best pie recipes and traditions—both old and new—this book includes recipes for every kind of dessert pie—fruit and berry pies, chiffon pies, cream and custard pies, icebox and ice cream pies, nut pies, meringue pie

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3 Comments/Reviews

  • rodboomboom says:
    108 of 111 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Pie Lover’s Utopia!, September 28, 2004
    By 
    rodboomboom (St. Louis, Missouri United States) –
    (VINE VOICE)
      
    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)
      

    I would easily rather have a good slice of pie than any other dessert, especially over cake. For my birthday I would order lemon maringue pie rather than cake.

    Here is a compendium of 300 recipes gathered from various sources and all tested out by this pie guru.

    Immediately upon receiving this newly published volume, my mouth watered and I baked three pies in three days: Watermelon Chiffon Pie; Indiana Butterscotch Pie with a Checkerboard Crust; and Caramel Apple-Pecan Pie. Each turned out fantastic! Not that hard to bake if one has baked some before, into which category I fit.

    This large volume will be used as I have over 250 more luscious recipes I can’t wait to try. Neat to consider making some and giving them as gifts. Why not take a pie along as a gift when attending a dinner invitation?

    This book has great intro sections on pie making, equipment, resources, and around ten color photos. Each recipe comes with discussion of its origin and pointers on successfully pulling the recipe off. I especially appreciate his pointers on problematic steps in the prep, and what results to expect as one proceeds.

    This is just an amazing work, and the world of pie lovers will truly embrace it!

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  • B. Marold "Bruce W. Marold" says:
    94 of 100 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Buy it for recipe collection to supplement book on technique., August 28, 2006
    By 
    B. Marold “Bruce W. Marold” (Bethlehem, PA United States) –
    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)
      
    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)
      

    `Pie’ by culinary journalist and editor, Ken Haedrich is an imposing tome of 639 pages that the author freely admits is the largest single book on this subject. And, in my experience, he is probably right, although Rose Levy Beranbaum’s `The Pie and Pastry Bible’ weighs in at 692 pages, although it is not exclusively about the classic American sweet pie with its characteristic 9 or 9 ½ inch diameter and sloping sides, which distinguishes it from the French tart.

    While sheer size alone suggests this book has a lot going for it, the contents confirm that this is a serious reference of recipes and techniques for that great American dessert. Unfortunately, this may still not be the very best text you can get on making good pies. There are three major reasons for that opinion.

    First, the aforementioned `Bible’ and Susan Purdy’s `As Easy as Pie’ are both superior texts for presenting good illustrated techniques for how to deal with all the ins and outs of making that elusive tender and flaky piecrust. Haedrich has very few diagrams to illustrate his techniques. The only one I saw was a series of diagrams for assembling a lattice top crust which you commonly see on cherry pies. Other techniques such as pastry cutouts may have been decorated with a single drawing, but hardly a full illumination of the subject. This is doubly irksome as Haedrich’s basic technique for transferring the rolled pastry to the inside of the pie plate is not the most common method. In fact, I find his recommended method just as prone to mishaps as the three other methods I have seen or read about.

    Second, I really didn’t find his coverage of pie pastry methods to be as complete as what we have in the two other references I cite. Unlike Beranbaum and Purdy, Haedrich is just a bit too connected to a particular technique for each task. He even goes so far as to `debunk’ some methods such as the technique of rolling pastry dough out between two pieces of plastic. Now it just so happens that based on a demonstration done by my hero, Alton Brown, on an episode of Good Eats, I actually used this method, using a disassembled freezer storage bag for the plastic, and I am happy to say it worked like a charm. Since it was very easy to flip the pastry over and reflour its surface now and again, I was able to roll it out to a very decent circle with no mishaps. And, I had no problems transferring it to the pie dish using the fold in half method. Beranbaum and Purdy tend to give us a range of possibilities, and let us pick the method that works best for us. I find it especially odd that Haedrich doesn’t include a description of the classic French technique for working butter into pastry, which Purdy covers to excellent effect.

    Third, for a book this big dedicated exclusively to pies, I would have expected it to cover all the standards, then move on to variations. Oddly, I discovered that almost every `classic’ pie recipe I looked for was missing from this book. I looked for a standard peach pie recipe and found only some variations which used some expensive ingredients I was not prepared to buy (I stuck with my old favorite from Purdy’s book). I looked for a classic mince pie recipe and only found a Mincemeat – Green Tomato pie. This is not a very practical recipe for Thanksgiving and Christmas, when we are most inclined to make a mincemeat pie. (Purdy comes through again with a great method for jazzing up jarred mincemeat preparations.) I could also find no references to `tarts’ at all, even to the classic Tarte Tatin (French Apple Pie). I suspect the Tarte Tatin is probably covered in the author’s Apple Pie book.

    All this means this book is not quite the DEFINITIVE volume it hopes to be, but that doesn’t mean it is not a very good book to have if you happen to really like baking pies. I highly recommend it as a second book after you have Susan Purdy’s excellent and inexpensive trade paperback `As Easy as Pie’ (There are some other Purdy pie books which are really abridgments of the larger book. Try to get the original.) If you can’t find Purdy’s book, Nick Malgieri’s `Perfect Pastry’, also in paperback, is a great manual for basic techniques, especially since his techniques are illustrated with photographs, if that works better for you. While Barenbaum’s book is, in many ways, the best of the lot, it tends to be oriented to professional baking methods, and it spends a lot of time explaining the whys and wherefores behind the techniques.

    Haedrich has two important things going for him. First, the book is a very easy read. You will enjoy yourself wandering through his opinions on pies and pie making techniques, even if you rely more heavily on other texts. Second, this is a huge collection of PIE recipes. If you have no interest whatsoever of venturing into the world of tarts, galettes, or some other fancy European pastry, this book will keep you occupied for years, as long as you have…

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  • T.D.C. says:
    25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    All I can say is….FANTASTIC!!!, August 28, 2005
    By 
    T.D.C. (Valley of the Sun) –

    Having been raised by my southern grandmother, I have spent a very long time trying to just come close to one of her delicious pies. All of that training she gave me as a child on the perfect, easy pie crust flopped each time. My filling was too runny, too sour, too sweet, too…well, just too. And, yes, I’ve bought every pie book possible, only to have each attempt turn out inedible and my esteem riddled with disappointment. My family had given up. That was until I bought this book.

    I didn’t think it possible, but everyone now thinks I’m a pie genius. My husband couldn’t believe the Bumble Berry Pie with the unusual shredded top crust. He says he never wants a regular top crust on a fruit pie again. Our friends ate a whole Chocolate Brownie Pecan Pie in one sitting. And the Blackberry Silk…mmmmm. I could go on and on…and not one failure.

    Thank you, Mr. Haedrich. After years of failing, I’m now remembering what it’s like to sit at my gran’s table and wait in anticipation for that delicious pie to come out of the oven. And now my family is doing the same.

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