I am giving a pie plate for a shower gift and would like to also give a great cookbook specifically related to pies. What are your favorites? I was thinking of giving Four and Twenty Blackbirds and was curious what else was out there. Thanks!!
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While not pie-specific, there are many pie and tart recipes in Chez Panisse Desserts.
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I would suggest Pie and Pastry by Rose Levy Beranbaum. While I have not baked from this book, I have her other baking books for cakes. She provides the techniques (not just the recipe) and the science behind why they work. I Love the Cake Bible and the recipes have always turned out right.
I've made a few of her pie recipes from the "Baking Bible", and am a bit ambivalent. Her pie crust ("perfectly soft and flaky, I think it was called) was pretty individual. It worked of course- her recipes always work (though I'd like to take another shot at rolling those rugelach)- but I found it too soft for my tastes, and I thing the shortening was a bit excessive. The procedure (it's assembled in a plastic bag) was interesting.The fillings are usually dependable, but there was a pomegranate pie that I was particularly looking forward to that turned out too sweet for human consumption.
I have used this book and find it has great ideas but is sometimes overly complex. The results are good but you might spend hours working on a pie and I'm not sure the improvement in the pie is equal to the time to make it. i.e. for an apple you add the sugar to the apples, let it stand for hours, drain off the sugary juice and cook it down before adding it back to the apples in the crust. So I'm not sure it is a good book to start with.
My first pie book was Perfect Pies by Michele Stuart. I had success with the first pie I made from this book.
Maida Heatter's pies and tarts- she has my vote for best cookbook writer ever. The recipes are always good, always work, and always contain any information you could need.
Thank you, everyone! I will happily peruse all your suggestions on amazon tonight.
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Martha Stewart's Pies and Tarts has never let me down.
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My recommendation is the wonderfully homey "Southern Pies," by Nancie McDermott. Such wonderful recipes, easy to follow, everything is better than great.
The Artful Pie - delicious pie recipes combined with lovely paintings of pie.
DH's grandma used Betty Crocker picture cookbook (reprint edition from 1950) for all of her pies and other desserts and hers are awesome.
Luv the reprint Betty Crocker.