Perfect Pies & More: All New Pies, Cookies, Bars, And Cakes From America’s Pie-Baking Champion is exactly as promised by the title. Plenty of recipes with few pictures are found in this over 240 page book. Broken into nine chapter sections the recipes run the gamut and feature varying amounts of prep time and difficulty.
After a short introduction the book opens with “Crusts & Toppings.” First up is the author’s “Traditional Pastry Piecrust” on pages 4-7. Along with the list of ingredients and instructions there are suggestions on other recipes to use this pie crust for as well as tips on how to do it well. This same format continues throughout the book as well as with the other four crust recipes and three topping recipes of this chapter.
“Fruit Pies” begins on page 16 and opens with “Apple Carmel Crunch Pie” I’m partial to blueberry as well as cherry pie and they are present here in the combined form of “Blueberry-Cherry Sugar-Free Pie (pages 28-29) as well a couple of other variations. A “Sugar Free Pumpkin Pie” (pages 52-53) is one of 13 other suggestions in this chapter.
If you prefer a cream filling in your pie that chapter appropriately titled “Cream Pies” comes next. “Blueberry Cream Pie” (pages 59-60), “Chocolate Silk Pie” (pages 63-64) and an “Oreo Cream Pie” on pages 73-75 among nine other pies are in this chapter.
Maybe you prefer nuts in your pies. Six recipes make up the “Nut Pies” chapter section and include the “Candy Bar Pie (pages 89-90) and the “Turtle Pecan Pie (pages 98-100).
“Whimsical Pies” comes next and is all about celebrating anything and everything. Items such as the “Birthday Cake Surprise Pie” on page 106-109) blends a vanilla cake with a pastry shell. Or you could make the “Cannoli: Party Dip Pie” on pages 110-111 or the “Thin Mint Chocolate Cookie Pie” on pages 116-117. There are seven more choices for your consideration in this chapter.
Moving on from pies of various types, “Cookies & Bars” comes next starting on page 132. Recipes for biscotti, cookies, and lots of treats are present in this chapter. “Snicker Doodle Cookies” (pages 162-163) and other favorites such as “Fudgy Brownies” (pages 170-171) are here.
If you are looking for a little booster in the middle or the afternoon with a cup of coffee or tea there are 11 suggestions in the section titled “Perfect for a Cup of Tea.” It could be “Banana Tea Bread” (pages 182-183) or “Double Chocolate Bundt Cake” (pages 188-190) among others.
“Lovin’ Spoonful” comes next with “Apple Crisp” on pages 206-207 and “Old Fashioned Bake Rice Pudding” on page 215-216. There are four other recipes in short section.
The final chapter considers toppings with “Top This.” Along with “Hot Fudge Sauce” (page 223) and “Whipped Cream” with several variations (pages 228-229) there is one for “Royal Icing” (page 231) and others.
The book closes with a short acknowledgement section and six page index.
Using her experience winning 27 first place awards in the “National Pie Championship Awards” author Michele Stuart’s cookbook is another treat for the pallet. Lots of good ideas in Perfect Pies & More: All New Pies, Cookies, Bars, And Cakes From America’s Pie-Baking Champion featuring plenty of variety not only in terms of ingredients but also in terms of skill levels.
Perfect Pies & More: All New Pies, Cookies, Bars, And Cakes From America’s Pie-Baking Champion
Photographs courtesy of Ben Fink Photography
Ballantine Books (Division of Random House)
Hardback (also available for the Kindle)
Material supplied by the good folks of the Plano Public Library System located in Plano, Texas.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2013
Author of Mind Slices and contributor to Carpathian Shadows, Volume II
Book Reviews and More http://kevintipplescorner.blogspot.com/