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Apple Pie Perfect: 100 Delicious and Decidedly Different Recipes for America's Favorite Pie Paperback – August 8, 2002

4.3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Ken Haedrich's Apple Pie Perfect celebrates America's most treasured dessert with 100 definitive recipes--everything from a traditional lattice-topped version and Haedrich's parents' brown sugar pie to newer incarnations, including Baked Apple Dumpling Pie, Apple and Brie Pie, and multifruit delights such as Apple-Plum Pie with Coconut Streusel. Apple Pie 101 and then some, the book first offers 10 versatile crust recipes, including the author's favored All-American Double Crust (which requires both butter, for flavor, and shortening, for tender flakiness), plus a delicious whole wheat version, then proceeds to the pies, arranged according to the seasons. The recipes walk would-be pie makers through the process carefully, which should encourage even the baking novice to try their hand. Sidebars include tips (there's even one on how to avoid a floury telephone receiver when called during crust-rolling), lore, and useful subrecipes (like the one for Spiced Ginger Apple Butter), plus a guide to apple varieties. These further expand the book's usefulness. With a section on "handpies"--apple pie for the fingers, like Apple "Calzone" Pie--and recipes like No-Bake Apple Ice Cream Pie that appeal particularly to kids, the book is a sure best-stop for producing a true American food icon. --Arthur Boehm

From Publishers Weekly

Haedrich (Home for the Holidays) has assembled a lively recipe collection that manages not to lag or become repetitive, thanks to his enthusiasm for his subject and to his clever but never outlandish ideas. Starting off with 10 pie crusts (from All Butter to Whole Wheat and Cheddar Cheese), Haedrich carefully explains his methods for reaching pastry nirvana. The pie-filling combinations that follow are both classic and inventive. They begin by reflecting the seasons (apple with pumpkin butter for fall, with blackberries for summer), and move on through special occasions (Apple and Dried Cranberry with Grand Marnier), and projects that can be done with kids (they should like the Apple, Marshmallow and Chocolate Chip Hand Pies). Along the way, there are pies made with specific apples, such as Granny Smiths or Paula Reds; open-faced, latticed and upside-down pies; apples stirred up with custard, boiled cider or Frangipane; and pies topped with gingerbread, coconut streusel and even cheesecake. Frequent sidebars comment on ingredients, techniques and equipment, and Haedrich's friendly advice accompanies each recipe.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Common Press; 4th Printing edition (August 8, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558322256
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558322257
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 0.8 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,269,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The humble apple pie is so easy to make, yet tastes so good. Home made pies are rare these days, so I am glad to have a new book with nothing but recipes for apple pies, 100 in all. Strictly speaking, some of the recipes are not pies, but close relatives.
I like this cookbook very much. I appreciate the simple, direct instructions. I did not have any real problems with the recipes I tried. Note that the author prefers streusel toppings over the traditional 2-crust pie. I find the instructions to remove a blazing hot, half-baked pie out of the oven and pressing toppings onto it with your hands dangerous and not advisable. The author has not solved the problem of a giant air gap under the top crust of a baked pie; he sidesteps the issue by usually recommending a streusel topping, to be applied halfway through baking. The author also lives in the northeast, so much of his comments about different apple varieties apply to those not usually available on the west coast.
On the other hand, there are a few missing elements, which is rather surprising for a book that is essentially only one recipe with 99 variations. One would expect some hints and problems that relate to most of the recipes in the book, yet none are forthcoming. Since all the recipes have apples, one would also expect an extended section about apples: seasons, different types, which to choose for which recipe, typical characteristics, etc. However, the information about apples is perfunctory. It should also have a section on preparing apples, rolling the crust, and how to flute the edges (some information on this does finally appear on p.
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Format: Paperback
Ken Haedrich, a regular contributor to both BETTER HOMES & GARDENS and BON APPETIT, has struck a home run with his "Apple Pie Perfect"--the first all-apple-pie cookbook I've ever seen. Normally I shy away from cookbooks that are so narrowly focused, but as I like Haedrich's relaxed writing style and because apple pies are such wonderfully American desserts, I decided to take a look inside. I was astounded by what I saw.
Haedrich has delivered here nearly every conceivable apple pie permutation you can imagine. The purely apple ones include Baked Apple Dumpling Pie, Grated Apple Pie, Apple Cobbler Pie, Apple Upside-Down Pan Pie, Shaker Boiled Apple Cider Pie, and dozens of others. Then there are the pies which fudge the title a little bit and branch out into other fruits: Apple Cherry Pie with Coconut Almond Crumb Topping, Apple and Champagne Grape Pie, several pies combining apples and tomatoes (yes!), Cottage Cheese-Cheesecake Apple Pie, Apple Pie with Prunes and Port, and more. Haedrich even gives us the official recipe for New York State's Official Apple Pie (using McIntosh apples, an apple most knowing bakers would shy away from for use in a pie, as it gets smushy--but he says it's delicious in this particular recipe).
Of course Haedrich also supplies his readers with a broad variety of different pie crusts and gives, as always, all manner of helpful hints based on his extensive home-baking experience. He is a kindly and knowledgeable guide, and his avuncular voice is particularly well-suited to this book. The book boasts an attractive and easy-to-read graphic design (although I would prefer that the color used for headers and sidebars were something other than red, which can be hard on the eyes, it DOES make sense in a book about apples!).
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Format: Paperback
Ever wanted to know why you have to punch steam vents in your crust? Not sure how to tell when your pie is done? Does your bottom crust always come out soggy, not golden and firm? This book can solve your problems--never have the bottom crusts on our apple pies come out so well!

The book includes "A Pie Maker's Guide to Apple Varieties." It would help if I could actually find more than four or five apple varieties at our store, of course. But at least it tells me the characteristics of the various apple varieties so I can substitute an appropriate variety for the exotic ones called for in some of these recipes. (It also helps that recipes often include notes such as this one from the grated apple pie recipe: "The original Pennsylvania Dutch recipe calls for Winesap apples, but any firm, juicy, tart apple, including Granny Smith, will do.") By the time you're done you'll be able to make whatever kind of apple pie you like best, whether that's mushy or firm, juicy or dry, sweet or tart. You'll also find little "helper" recipes in here, like various crust recipes, sauces, and so on.
The layout is clean and clear. Ingredients are delineated by crust, filling, topping, and so on. Direction steps are numbered and broken down into short steps. There's one short spread of color photo pages in the middle of the book, so you can stare at the frozen apple and peanut butter cloud pie and die of sugar shock. We have stumbled across one instance of slightly confused directions so far, but it was easy to figure out how to fix it, and that was the only incident. There's a good index in the back of the book (you can look up recipes by type of apple), and the table of contents lists out each individual pie with page number.
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