Pie and Pastry Bible

Pie and Pastry Bible

by Rose Levy Beranbaum

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Overview

The Pie and Pastry Bible is your magic wand for baking the pies, tarts, and pastries of your dreams—the definitive work by the country's top baker.

-More than 300 recipes, 200 drawings of techniques and equipment, and 70 color pictures of finished pies, tarts, and pastries

-Easy-to-follow recipes for fruit pies, chiffon pies, custard pies, ice-cream pies, meringue pies, chocolate pies, tarts and tartlets, turnovers, dumplings, biscuits, scones, crostadas, galettes, strudel, fillo, puff pastry, croissants (chocolate, too), Danish, brioche, sticky buns, cream puffs, and profiteroles

-All kinds of fillings, glazes, toppings, and sauces, including pastry cream, frangipane, Chiboust, fruit curds, ice creams, fondant, fruit preserves, streusel, meringues, ganache, caramel, and hot fudge

-A separate chapter featuring foolproof flaky, tender, and original crusts of every kind imaginable. Here are a few: Flaky Cream Cheese Pie Crust, Flaky Cheddar Cheese Pie Crust, Miracle Flaky Lard Pie Crust, and Flaky Goose Fat Pie Crust; Bittersweet Chocolate, Coconut, Ginger, and Sweet Nut Cookie Crusts; and Vanilla, Gingersnap, Chocolate, and Graham Cracker Crumb Crusts

-Countless tips that solve any problem, including the secrets to making a juicy fruit pie with a crisp bottom crust and a lemon meringue pie that doesn't weep

-How to make a tender and flaky pie crust in under three minutes

-How to make the best brownie ever into a crustless tart with puddles of ganache

-Exciting savory recipes, including meat loaf wrapped in a flaky Cheddar cheese crust and a roasted poblano quiche

-Extensive decorating techniques for the beginning baker and professional alike that show you how to make chocolate curls, pipe rosettes, crystallize flowers and leaves, and more

-Detailed information on ingredients and equipment, previously available only to professionals

-The wedding cake reconceived as a Seven-Tier Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Tart

-Pointers for Success follow the recipes, guaranteeing perfect results every time

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780684813486
Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: 11/11/1998
Pages: 704
Sales rank: 359,250
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.90(d)

About the Author

Rose Levy Bernabaum, a frequent contributor to all the major food magazines and The New York Times, is a consultant to the baking and chocolate industries. Her definitive work on cakes, The Cake Bible, won the Cookbook of the Year Award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Rose's research for The Pie and Pastry Bible included a strudel pilgrimage to Austria, a fact-finding Danish mission to Denmark, and travel and study throughout France, Switzerland, Hungary, and Germany. She lives in New York City.

Read an Excerpt

INTRODUCTION

I have been thinking of this book as The Pastry Bible for ten years now, since the publication of The Cake Bible. But after much discussion, I decided to give it the title The Pie and Pastry Bible because I discovered that most people do not know exactly what "pastry" means or that pies are also pastry.

The Oxford dictionary defines pastry as: "Dough made of flour, fat and water, used for covering pies or holding filling."

The writer couldn't have known the pleasure of a fresh tart cherry pie or of a flaky, buttery croissant, or his definition would never have remained so dispassionately matter-of-fact.

I did not grow up with much of a pastry tradition. Neither my mother nor grandmother baked. Once in a while I was treated to either a bakery prune Danish or &233;clair but that was it. Sunday morning breakfast was a buttered bagel. My father, a cabinet maker, also provided the greater New York and New Jersey area bagel factories with wooden peels, and the fringe benefit was a weekly string of fresh bagels.

The first pie I ever attempted was cherry pie, using prepared pie filling. It was during Thanksgiving break of my freshman year at the University of Vermont. I had just learned the basic techniques of pie making in class and wanted to please and surprise my father. It turned out that everyone else in the family was surprised as well but in different and disagreeable ways! The oven in our city apartment had never been used except to store pots and pans. My mother, who was afraid of lighting an oven that had been dormant so long, made a long "fuse" from a paper towel and took me into the living room, covering her ears. A few minutes later, when the flame reached the escaping gas, there was the loud explosion she had anticipated (not to mention unnecessarily created). Minutes later, my grandmother (whose domain the kitchen actually was) came running in crying, "The soap, the soap!" It turned out she stored her bars of soap for dishwashing in the broiler under the oven. The soap, by then, was melted and bubbling (much to my amusement). But the worst surprise was yet to come. During the baking of the pie, the cherry juice started bubbling out of the pie and onto the floor of the oven where it started to burn and smoke. Apparently the steam vents I had carefully cut into the top crust had resealed from the thick juices of the sugared cherries.

At Christmas break I tried again, this time lighting the oven myself -- though I did forget to remove the soap again. My creative though absurd solution to the sealed vents was to insert little straws in them so that the juices could bubble up and down without spilling. Finally, I discovered that all that is necessary is to make little cutouts, which, unlike the slits, cannot reseal. But these days I prefer a lattice crust for my cherry pies. The fruit is simply too beautiful to hide.

My next attempt at pie was two years later as a new bride. I wanted to surprise my Vermont husband with a New England specialty he claimed to enjoy: pumpkin pie. As I was emptying the contents of the can into the pie shell, I licked my finger, which confirmed my suspicion that this was not a pie I was going to like. When I presented it for that evening's dessert, I couldn't resist adding: "I don't know how you can eat this; it tastes like a barnyard." To which he answered: "It does and I can't! What did you put in it?" "Pumpkin." I said, thinking what a ridiculously obvious question. "What else?" he asked. "What else goes in?" I queried. "Eggs, brown sugar, spices, vanilla," he enumerated as I sat there feeling like a total fool. Coincidentally, I was reading James Michener's Sayonara, in which the Japanese bride did the same thing, making her American husband a pumpkin pie using only canned pumpkin without sweetener or flavorings, thinking that it was pumpkin pie that somehow appealed to Western taste. It made me feel a lot better. (Too bad I hadn't reached that chapter before my own misadventure!) The next week I tried again, making it from scratch. To my surprise I loved it. It took me thirty years to achieve what I consider to be the state-of-the-art pumpkin pie.

Making pie crust and other pastries was another story. Pie crust, in particular, never came out the same way twice in a row. My goal in writing this book was to delve into the mysteries of pie crusts so that they would always come out the way I wanted them to be -- tender and flaky -- and if not, to understand why. My goal was also to convey this knowledge in a way that would encourage and enable others to do the same. This was far more of a challenge than cake baking. When it comes to cake, if one follows the rules, perfection is inevitable. But for pastry you must be somewhat of an interpretive artist as well as disciplined technician. You have to develop a sense of the dough: when it needs to be chilled or when it needs to be a little more moist. The best way to become proficient is by doing it often. And here's the motivation: The best pastry is made at home. This is because it can receive individual attention and optimal conditions. Try making a flaky pie crust in a 100°F. restaurant kitchen and I'm sure you'll agree. Also, there is nothing more empowering than the thrill of achieving good pastry. I'll always remember my first puff pastry. My housekeeper and I sat spellbound before the oven, watching it swell open and rise. It seemed alive. It was sheer magic. I also cherish the memory of my nephew Alexander unmolding his first tartlet when he was a little boy (and didn't kiss girls). The dough had taken on the attractive design of the fluted mold and he was so thrilled he forgot the rules and kissed me!

Many people think of me as "the cake lady," but the truth is I am more a pastry person! I love cake, but I adore pastry because of its multiplicity of textures and prevalence of juicy, flavorful fruit. I have had the pleasure of developing the recipes in this book for more than ten years. All were enjoyable, but I have included only those I personally would want to have again and again.

My fondest wish is that everyone will know the goodness of making and eating wonderful pastry. Then they will walk down the street with a secret little smile on their faces -- like mine.

Rose Levy Beranbaum

Text copyright © 1998 by Cordon Rose, Inc.

Table of Contents


CONTENTS

FOREWORD

INTRODUCTION

BASIC PASTRY INGREDIENTS

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES

Crusts

Fruit Pies

Chiffon Pies

Meringue Pies and Tarts

Custard Pies and Tarts

Ice Cream Pies and Ice Creams

Tarts and Tartlets

Savory Tarts and Pies -- and Quiche

Biscuits and Scones

Fillo

Strudel

Puff Pastry and Croissant

Danish Pastry

Brioche

Cream Puff Pastry

Fillings and Toppings

Sauces and Glazes

Techniques

Ingredients

Equipment

SOURCES

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

INDEX

Introduction

INTRODUCTION I have been thinking of this book as The Pastry Bible for ten years now, since the publication of The Cake Bible. But after much discussion, I decided to give it the title The Pie and Pastry Bible because I discovered that most people do not know exactly what "pastry" means or that pies are also pastry.

The Oxford dictionary defines pastry as: "Dough made of flour, fat and water, used for covering pies or holding filling."

The writer couldn't have known the pleasure of a fresh tart cherry pie or of a flaky, buttery croissant, or his definition would never have remained so dispassionately matter-of-fact.

I did not grow up with much of a pastry tradition. Neither my mother nor grandmother baked. Once in a while I was treated to either a bakery prune Danish or &233;clair but that was it. Sunday morning breakfast was a buttered bagel. My father, a cabinet maker, also provided the greater New York and New Jersey area bagel factories with wooden peels, and the fringe benefit was a weekly string of fresh bagels.

The first pie I ever attempted was cherry pie, using prepared pie filling. It was during Thanksgiving break of my freshman year at the University of Vermont. I had just learned the basic techniques of pie making in class and wanted to please and surprise my father. It turned out that everyone else in the family was surprised as well but in different and disagreeable ways! The oven in our city apartment had never been used except to store pots and pans. My mother, who was afraid of lighting an oven that had been dormant so long, made a long "fuse" from a paper towel and took me into the living room, covering her ears. A few minutes later, when the flame reached the escaping gas, there was the loud explosion she had anticipated (not to mention unnecessarily created). Minutes later, my grandmother (whose domain the kitchen actually was) came running in crying, "The soap, the soap!" It turned out she stored her bars of soap for dishwashing in the broiler under the oven. The soap, by then, was melted and bubbling (much to my amusement). But the worst surprise was yet to come. During the baking of the pie, the cherry juice started bubbling out of the pie and onto the floor of the oven where it started to burn and smoke. Apparently the steam vents I had carefully cut into the top crust had resealed from the thick juices of the sugared cherries.

At Christmas break I tried again, this time lighting the oven myself -- though I did forget to remove the soap again. My creative though absurd solution to the sealed vents was to insert little straws in them so that the juices could bubble up and down without spilling. Finally, I discovered that all that is necessary is to make little cutouts, which, unlike the slits, cannot reseal. But these days I prefer a lattice crust for my cherry pies. The fruit is simply too beautiful to hide.

My next attempt at pie was two years later as a new bride. I wanted to surprise my Vermont husband with a New England specialty he claimed to enjoy: pumpkin pie. As I was emptying the contents of the can into the pie shell, I licked my finger, which confirmed my suspicion that this was not a pie I was going to like. When I presented it for that evening's dessert, I couldn't resist adding: "I don't know how you can eat this; it tastes like a barnyard." To which he answered: "It does and I can't! What did you put in it?" "Pumpkin." I said, thinking what a ridiculously obvious question. "What else?" he asked. "What else goes in?" I queried. "Eggs, brown sugar, spices, vanilla," he enumerated as I sat there feeling like a total fool. Coincidentally, I was reading James Michener's Sayonara, in which the Japanese bride did the same thing, making her American husband a pumpkin pie using only canned pumpkin without sweetener or flavorings, thinking that it was pumpkin pie that somehow appealed to Western taste. It made me feel a lot better. (Too bad I hadn't reached that chapter before my own misadventure!) The next week I tried again, making it from scratch. To my surprise I loved it. It took me thirty years to achieve what I consider to be the state-of-the-art pumpkin pie.

Making pie crust and other pastries was another story. Pie crust, in particular, never came out the same way twice in a row. My goal in writing this book was to delve into the mysteries of pie crusts so that they would always come out the way I wanted them to be -- tender and flaky -- and if not, to understand why. My goal was also to convey this knowledge in a way that would encourage and enable others to do the same. This was far more of a challenge than cake baking. When it comes to cake, if one follows the rules, perfection is inevitable. But for pastry you must be somewhat of an interpretive artist as well as disciplined technician. You have to develop a sense of the dough: when it needs to be chilled or when it needs to be a little more moist. The best way to become proficient is by doing it often. And here's the motivation: The best pastry is made at home. This is because it can receive individual attention and optimal conditions. Try making a flaky pie crust in a 100°F. restaurant kitchen and I'm sure you'll agree. Also, there is nothing more empowering than the thrill of achieving good pastry. I'll always remember my first puff pastry. My housekeeper and I sat spellbound before the oven, watching it swell open and rise. It seemed alive. It was sheer magic. I also cherish the memory of my nephew Alexander unmolding his first tartlet when he was a little boy (and didn't kiss girls). The dough had taken on the attractive design of the fluted mold and he was so thrilled he forgot the rules and kissed me!

Many people think of me as "the cake lady," but the truth is I am more a pastry person! I love cake, but I adore pastry because of its multiplicity of textures and prevalence of juicy, flavorful fruit. I have had the pleasure of developing the recipes in this book for more than ten years. All were enjoyable, but I have included only those I personally would want to have again and again.

My fondest wish is that everyone will know the goodness of making and eating wonderful pastry. Then they will walk down the street with a secret little smile on their faces -- like mine.

Rose Levy Beranbaum

Text copyright © 1998 by Cordon Rose, Inc.

Recipe

Apple Galette

This paper-thin, tart, buttery free-form apple pastry, gilded with golden apricot glaze, is a classic of French pastry. The apples are overlapped like the petals of a giant rose. The tart is simple, elegant, light, crisp, and delicious and makes a spectacular centerpiece.

Oven temperature: 400°F.
Baking time: 40 minutes
Serves: 6 to 8

INGREDIENTS

Flaky Cream Cheese Pie Crust for a 14-inch free-form tart (14.3 ounces/406 grams) [see below]
4 firm-textured tart baking apples (1-2/3 pounds), such as Greening, Granny Smith, or Golden Delicious, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/8 inch thick (5-1/3 cups sliced/21.25 ounces sliced/604 grams)
freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 teaspoons)
1/4 cup sugar(1.75 ounces/50 grams)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (1 ounce/28 grams)
Optional Glaze
1/2 cup apricot preserves (6 ounces/170 grams)
1 tablespoon apricot eau-de-vie (Barack Palinka) or Calvados (apple brandy) (0.5 ounces/14 grams)

EQUIPMENT
A 12- to 14-inch flat round heavy steel pizza pan or an inverted baking sheet (preferably black)

Make the dough.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. at least 20 minutes before baking. If not using a black pan, plan to bake the galette directly on the oven floor; alternatively, set an oven rack at the lowest level and place a baking stone or cookie sheet on it before preheating.

Using a floured pastry cloth and sleeve rubbed with flour or two large sheets of plastic wrap lightly sprinkled with flour, roll the dough 1/8 inch thick or less and large enough to cut a 16-inch circle. Use an expandable flan ring or a cardboard template and a sharp knife to cut the circle. If the dough softens, slip it (still on the cloth or plastic wrap) onto a baking sheet and refridgerate it, covered, for about 30 minutes or until firm before lining the pan. The pastry is too large to slip your hands under and support it adequately. To transfer it to the pan, roll it loosely over the rolling pin or dust it lightly with flour and fold in quarters. Leave the overhang.

Sprinkle the apple slices with the lemon juice to keep them from browning. Arrange the apple slices, cored sides facing toward the center, overlapping in concentric circles, starting from the outer edge of the pan. If you run out of room, push a few slices of the fruit closer together and insert the remaining slices evenly in between. Fold the overhanging border of dough over the outer edge of the apples, helping it to pleat softly at even intervals, and brush this dough rim with a little milk or water. Sprinkle the apples and the dough rim with the sugar. (This will give the border a crunchy texture.)

Dot the apples with the pieces of butter and bake for 40 minutes or until the apples are tender when pierced with a skewer and the dough is crisp. Toward the end of baking, with a metal spatula, carefully lift up the crust and check to make sure it is not burning. If it is very dark, lower te heat to 375°F. or remove the tart (without the stone) to a higher rack to finish cooling.

Cool the tart on the pan on a rack until warm, then glaze if desired.

Make the Glaze (optional)
In a saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the apricot preserves until boiling and strain them. Stir in the liqueur and brush the glaze onto the apples. (This creates a shiny finish and piquant taste.)

VARIATION
Pear Galette: Replace the apples with 2 large firm but ripe Barlett pears (about 12 to 14 ounces total); they should have a pronounced pear aroma. Peel, halve lengthwise, and core the pears. Slice lengthwise into 1/8-inch slices. Arrange the slices, pointed ends toward the center, in overlapping circles on the pastry. To form a center pear-shaped decoration, trim 2 slices to make them shorter but maintain the pear shape and place them, slightly overlapping, curved sides out. Cut a small piece of stem or vanilla bean and place it on the pointed end. Use only 2 tablespoons of sugar to sprinkle on top.

STORE
Room temperature, up to 2 days

NOTE
A half-size galette can be made using a 9-inch pan. Roll the dough less than 1/8 inch thick and large enough to cut an 11-inch circle.

UNDERSTANDING
The flaky cream cheese pie crust is ideal for this tart because of its mellow, buttery flavor and its texture, which is slightly softer than the Basic Flaky Pie Crust, but the flaky pie crust or one of its variations can be substituted. For the crispiest, flakiest effect of all, puff pastry is your dough.

Flaky Cream Cheese Pie Crust

This is my favorite pie crust. It took several years and over fifty tries to get it just right and is the soul of this book. It is unlike any other cream cheese pie crust because, in addition to being tender, it is also flaky. In fact, it is very similar in texture to Basic Flaky Pie Crust -- almost as flaky but a little softer and more tender, and it browns more when baked, resulting in a rich golden color. The addition of cream cheese makes it even easier to prepare than basic flaky pie crust because you never have to guess at how much water to add, and it gives it a flavor so delicious it is great to eat just by itself without filling! It is well worth purchasing or making pastry flour, as it will result in a more tender crust.

Pastry for a 12- to 14-inch free-form tart
Makes: 14.3 ounces/406 grams

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold (6 ounces/170 grams)
1-1/3 cups + 4 teaspoons pastry flour or 1-1/3 cups bleached all-purpose flour (dip and sweep method) (6.5 ounces/184 grams)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
One 3-ounce package cream cheese, cold (3 ounces/85 grams)
1-1/2 tablespoons ice water (0.75 ounces/21 grams)
1-1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar (0.25 ounces/7 grams)

FOOD PROCESSOR METHOD

Cut the butter into small (about 3/4-inch) cubes. Wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze it until frozen solid, at least 30 minutes. Place the flour, salt, and baking powder in a reclosable gallon-size freezer bag and freeze for at least 30 minutes.

Place the flour mixture in a food processor with the metal blade and process for a few seconds to combine. Set the bag aside.

Cut the cream cheese into 3 or 4 pieces and add it to the flour. Process for about 20 seconds or until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the frozen butter cubes and pulse until none of the butter is larger than the size of a pea. (Toss with a fork to sea it better.) Remove the cover and add the water and vinegar. Pulse until most of the butter is reduced to the size of small peas. The mixture will be in particles and will not hold together. Spoon it into the plastic bag. (For a double-crust pie, it is easiest to divide the mixture in half at this point.)

Holding both ends of the bag opening with your fingers, knead the mixture by alternatively pressing it, from the outside of the bag, with the knuckles and heels of your hands until the mixture holds together in one piece and feels slightly stretchy when pulled.

Wrap the dough with plastic wrap, flatten it into a disc (or discs), and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes, preferably overnight. (For a pie shell and lattice, divide it in a ratio of two thirds: one third -- use about 9.5 ounces for the shell and the rest for the lattice, flattening the smaller part into a triangle.)

HAND METHOD

Place a medium mixing bowl in the freezer to chill.

Cut the butter into small (about 3/4-inch) cubes. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes.

Place the flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Add the cream cheese and rub the mixture between your fingers to blend the cream cheese into the flour until it resembles coarse meal. Spoon the mixture, together with the cold butter, into a reclosable gallon-size freezer bag. Expel any air from the bag and close it. Use a rolling pin to flatten the butter into thin flakes. Place the bag in the freezer for at least 10 minutes or until the butter is very firm.

Transfer the mixture to the chilled bowl, scraping the sides of the bag. Set the bag aside. Sprinkle the mixture with the water and vinegar, tossing lightly with a rubber spatula. Spoon it into the plastic bag. (For a two-crust pie, it is easiest to divide the mixture in half at this point.)

Holding both ends of the bag opening with your fingers, knead the mixture by alternatively pressing it, form the outside of the bag, with the knuckles and heels of your hands until the mixture holds together in one piece and feels slightly stretchy when pulled.

Wrap the dough with plastic wrap, flatten it into a disc (or discs), and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes, preferably overnight. (For a pie shell and lattice, divide it in a ratio of two thirds: one third -- use about 9.5 ounces for the shell and the rest for the lattice, flattening the smaller part into a rectangle.)

VARIATION

Mascarpone Cheese Crust
An equal weight of mascarpone cheese can be substituted for the cream cheese, but omit the vinegar and use bleached all-purpose flour, not pastry flour, or the crust will be too tender.

STORE

Refrigerated, up to 2 days; frozen, up to 3 months.

UNDERSTANDING

A classic cream cheese crust contains no water and is more tender than all-butter crust but not at all flaky. I have found it to be so tender it is impossible to use for a lattice top and the bottom crust often develops cracks through which a filling will leak and stick to the bottom of the pan. Very little water is needed, because the cream cheese contains 51 percent water. The addition of a small amount of water connects the two gluten-forming proteins in the flour, producing the rubbery, stretchy gluten that strengthens the structure just enough to prevent cracking when the crust bakes. This pie crust does not shrink or distort as much as an all-butter crust because there is less development of gluten. The acidity of the vinegar weakens the gluten that forms, making the crust still more tender and less likely to shrink. If desire, it can be replaced with water.

Cream cheese is 51 percent water and 37.7 percent fat, so 3 ounces contains 1.53 ounces (about 3 tablespoons) of water and about 1.13 ounces of fat. That means that the pie crust with 6.5 ounces of flour contains the equivalent of 4-1/2 tablespoons of water. Compared to the all-butter crust, this crust has about 1 tablespoon more water, 1.13 ounces more fat, and 0.34 more milk solids. The extra fat in the cream cheese coats some of the proteins in the flour, limiting the development of gluten, which would make it tougher. The milk solids add both flavor and smoothness of texture.

The baking powder lifts and aerates the dough slightly without weakening it, but it also makes it seem more tender.

In developing this recipe, I found that if not using the vinegar and baking powder to tenderize the crust, it is advisable to add one quarter of the butter together with the cream cheese when using all-purpose flour. This helps to moisture-proof it but, of course, takes away a little from the flakiness, as there is less butter available to add in larger pieces to create the layers.

Recipes from THE PIE AND PASTRY BIBLE, by Rose Levy Beranbaum. Copyright © 1998 by Cordon Rose, Inc. Reprinted with permission from Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

Customer Reviews

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The Pie and Pastry Bible 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book. It's full of useful information and great recipes. If you're a newbie to baking, make the time to actually read the book, especially the technical sections. Once you've done that, read the recipe through completely, making the time to understand what's required in terms of equipment, technique, etc. This is both a useful reference and a great cookbook. Begin here and you won't NEED a mountain of other titles just to learn the basics. Read the whole book, so you can find out about all the wonderful fillings and savory treats you can create, and USE the book as a reference for creating your own variations. There's far more to this book than just a bunch of dessert recipes. FWIW, the author has an online blog, where she regularly updates the errata for all her titles. She's meticulous and careful, and truly cares about her readers.
DogIslander More than 1 year ago
My journey in the making of pies began as a graduate student living in Eastern Washington. Living in my first bachelor apartment, I decided to impress my friends and guests by making a pie for dessert. The filling was easy, but the crust turned out to be a complete nightmare! No matter what I tried, I always wound up with a greasy, wet ball of sticky, uncooperative dough, hard as a rock or crumbling apart into a million odd size pieces. I became desperate and frustrated. This can't be rocket science! In a state of frustration and despair, I entertained the idea of buying a ready made crust at the grocery store. Half way to the store, I turned around and returned empty handed to review the recipe just one more time. Still unable to find the problem, I did what I should have done hours before; I called my Mom, long distance, and wimpered, "help!!" It was then that Mom patiently taught me how to make a good pie crust, using her tried and true family recipe. Since then, I have never looked back! While my Mom is no longer alive, she is still with me in spirit . . . especially when I make a pie. Rose's book rekindled my love for cooking and baking. This is truly the most comprehensive, informative, and enlightening book on the subject in market. The chapters are well organized and the content is articulated in a clear and exacting manner. My first attempt making one of her crusts was ambitious and totally breaking new ground for me. Nonetheless, by following the directions carefully, the product was superb! The real plus to Rose's book is the amount of attention to detail that she provides on every page and in every recipe. Many times, while reading through this book (and it reads as much like a novel as a cookbook) I found myself thinking "Well, I'll be darn! I have always wondered about that . . . "). The book would be well worth the money if pies were all that was covered. However, the book goes far beyond pies, as the title indicates. Since I am now at the point where providing additional information would spoil the surprises for the reader, I will end here with a hearty endorsement for The Pie & Pastry Bible. It is a "must have" addition to the library of anyone, experienced or novice, who is truly interested in perfecting the art of pie and pastry. Tim Wittman, Guemes Island, Washington.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I hate to be a party pooper, but as much as one hopes to love this book, it was just too poorly written and edited. It has many terrific ideas for someone who has baked pies before, but for a newcomer like myself, the defects are pretty glaring. I bought the book because I love 'The Cake Bible'. But this time, the editor went to press before finishing her work, and I bet she's responsible for wasting many thousands of hours of her readers' time, considering how popular this book is. In order to make crust using this book, you have to flip back and forth between many sections: the dough recipe, the rolling instructions, the laying out of the dough, and the baking are all in different places, in the wrong order, and not clearly labeled. I can see why this happened, because the rolling and baking are similar for different dough recipes, and she didn't want to repeat the same instructions over and over. But at least the sections should have been in order! Additional stories and comments are intermixed with the instructions, which makes it hard to follow the instructions once you find them. Different dimensions are given in different places for the size of the rolled dough you need. Sections headings are not consistently formatted--sometimes a new subsection is in the same style as the heading that started the section. I'm a professional scientist and university professor, and I love to cook. I don't think I have any special impairment following instructions. The other reviewers who liked this book surely had the same experience, unless they knew ahead of time what they were doing, so I say to them: stop recommending this book so highly, except to experienced pie and tart bakers! For making pastry the first time, I would use 'The Way to Cook' by Julia Child instead, which manages to give all of the necessary instructions very clearly, in the correct order, in about two pages. Then buy Beranbaum's book and read it at leisure if you want inspiration and expert knowledge, and you don't mind an error here or there. I hope there will be an easier-to-use second edition of this book. The tart I made was truly delicious, but the process made me angry. I'm guessing that the author or editor or publisher decided their deadline was more important than a final week of editing. What a shame.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you bake pies or tarts you have to get this book. I have tried at least a dozen pie dough recipes and this is by far the easiest and best-tasting. I would have given this book 5 stars if it had more color pictures of the finished product.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have never been able to make a pie crust worth eating. Following the step by step directions for her basic pie cust, I made my first (successful) apple pie and received raved reviews! Highly recommend this book
jackieml on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I rely on this book for standard recipes for pie crust and the like. However, I think many of the recipes are needlessly complicated or require obscure ingredients that aren't easy for the average home cook to come by. Fore example, the pecan pie recipe calls for Lyle's Golden Syrup for the filling. It's no problem to procure this in NYC or San Francisco, but it's decidedly harder in other locations. Also, you would never find this on the ingredients list for a traditional pecan pie.
mcglothlen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Nearly as perfect as The Cake Bible. Maybe if this had come first, I'd have liked it better than the Cake Bible. Who knows. It's really good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like Rose's style of systematic explanation of the processes at work and how they affect the outcome.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I JUST COMPLETED A PASTRY COURSE AND THIS AUTHORS BOOKS WERE VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. I HAVE PURCHASED THE PASTRY AND THE CAKE BIBLE - A WISE INVESTMENT AND DELICIOUS RECIPES.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I took a pie class where the instructor used this book and highly recommended it. I've been making pies for over 35 years but felt I could learn more which I did. Excellent reference book for pies!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
flossieJK More than 1 year ago
It is very informative and easy to use.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago