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Great Pies & Tarts Hardcover – April 7, 1998


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 488 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1ST edition (April 7, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 051770398X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517703984
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.8 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #842,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

For anyone interested in baking terrific pies and tarts, this is the book to own. Such a fuss is made over pie and tart disasters, over the uncanny inability of some to make a perfect pie crust dough and whatnot, and really, to no end. So what? Go work on your perfect golf swing. The thrill is in the trying, again and again, and Walter makes you want to try.

Two minor caveats: The layout for the front end of the book, which includes the vital section called "The Primer," is unfortunate. It's all but impossible to look at for any length of time, let alone to read and study. Page after page of four columns of black type per page is tiresome on the eyes. If Carole Walter baked pies that looked like this layout, she'd be thrown out of the state fair.

The other minor note is the extensive use of the food processor. Either have one first, or buy one with this book.

Beyond that, the challenge is clear. If Fruity Viennese Linzer Tart sounds good to you, this is the place to learn absolutely everything you need to know to make it. Or how about the classic Key Lime Pie? Or a White Chocolate Caffe Tart?

If you get into this book and embrace the idea that practice makes perfect, or thereabouts, you are in for some exciting baking. The pastry doughs and crunchy shells are worth the price of admission, because once mastered, your only limitations for mixing up shells and ingredients are your own imagination.

Carole Walter may have written the greatest liberation text of the year. You shall overcome any residual fear you might have of trying your hand at pie and tart baking if you follow this book from page one to the sweet, sweet end. -- Schuyler Ingle

From Library Journal

Walter (Great Cakes, LJ 10/15/91) has been a cooking teacher for more than 25 years, and her experience shows in this authoritative guide to pastry making. The first section, "Before You Begin," covers ingredients, equipment, and techniques in detail; a lengthy Fruit and Berry Glossary is a particularly helpful resource. Then, because so many home cooks suffer from "fear of pie crust," Walter includes a Primer, a mini-cooking course that describes step by step how to make two basic pie and tart pastries and four classic recipes?an apple and a lemon meringue pie, and two European-style fruit tarts (one with pastry cream and one without). Then come more than 150 recipes, from Big Easy Apple Tart to Devilish Chocolate Candy Tart to Strawberry Ice Cream Pie; there are more than 40 pages of crust recipes alone, as well as cobblers, lower-fat treats, and some savory pies and tarts. Walter writes well, and her instructions are clear and thorough; novices will welcome her book, but seasoned bakers will also find it useful both as a reference and as a source of inspiration. An essential purchase.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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See all 15 customer reviews
Especially wonderful to have on hand for special occasions.
S. Ray
The pumpkin pie in this book with the hazelnut crust is a lot of work but it is the best pumpkin pie I have ever made or eaten.
little tugboat
What a lovely way to spend some time: pondering which delightful recipe to try next!
Pamela T. Palmer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amy E. Weber on June 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The title "Great Pies & Tarts, with a primer for the beginner" understates the value of this excellent cookbook for the more experienced baker. Certainly, the book does give detailed instructions for every step of pastry-making, in case the reader has never baked a single pie. However, I think the true value of the book lies in two areas: creative, luscious ideas for unusual combinations of flavors and textures, and precise trouble-shooting guidelines for perfecting the included recipes, as well as all your old pie and tart recipes. I borrowed this book from the local library, but ended up reading it cover-to-cover over several nights. I'll have to buy it now, as well as her "Great Cakes", since she probably has volumes of advice on this topic, too. The only recipe I've made so far is "Roy's Apricot-Cherry Pie with Almond Streusel", and it tastes fabulous. I learned several valuable hints on eliminating soggy, overly-juicy pies made with perfectly ripe summer fruits. This is a must-read for any serious baker.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By wskrz on June 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I affectionately refer to this book as "The Pie Bible." It's almost as big and contains all the information that you could ever want to know about making pies. Walter has done a fantastic job of compiling all this information in one easy to read and follow source.
Even if you're too intimidated by handmade pie crust, this book will put you at ease and you'll probably never use frozen pie crusts again. Walter's Flaky Pie Pastry I (pg. 98) is my most used pie crust and has never failed. Step-by-step instructions with photographs help you through the dough making process. If regular pie dough isn't enough, there are many other pie dough recipes, such as Cheddar Pastry, Sweet Cream Biscuit Dough, Krispie Meringue Crust and Goof Proof Pastry.
The recipes in this book range from the traditional to the original, sweet to savory. The book also provides an indispensible guide to fruits and berries and how to choose the best ones for pies. If you're not quite sure what recipe to try based on your experience level with baking pies, not to worry. There are handy difficulty ratings for each recipe to guide you before you start.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 12, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I found this book to be indispensible for baking pies. I have hundreds for cookbooks and this is one of the most used book of all the ones I own. The directions are clear and all the recipes I have tried are delicious and have gotten rave reviews from other tasters. I especially liked the pear tart, blueberry pie with crumb topping, and sweet potato pie. I will be buying one as a gift this Christmas for my best friend, because she keeps borrowing it.Great book!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 10, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I read through the entire book on a trip from two Creeks to Minneapolis, and tried several recipes when I reached my destination. The pie crusts were the best I've made, and the lemon merangue pie a delight. I had to flip pages back and forth, going from basic recipes to specific recipes, but that wasn't a major problem. I liked the careful separation of directions for "by hand" and "by food processor" and (against advice) did the whole cust by processor. The other thing I liked was the array of unusual recipes--unusual, but not bizzare. The ideas for keeping the crusts crisp were very helpful, esp. the use of gingersnap crumbs in the lemon pie. Would never have thought of it, but seemed a perfect solution, not detectable in the least. Having completely messed up the library's copy with butter, flour and lemon peel, I will now buy my own.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Although there are some good recipes in this book (blueberry tart with walnut topping is one) I spent a lot of time flipping pages, trying to find information. I feel like the book could have been organized more effectively, which is unfortunate considering how much useful information it contains. Overall a good addition to the recipe library, but I often find myself using other references to supplement this book. Also, in a few cases I question the techniques or ingredients, for instance the use of baking powder in the food processor version of the "flaky pie crust."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By joeyinvermont on May 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I *could not* make a pie or tart before this book. The layout is brilliant, helping you get a firm grasp on the basics then allowing you to branch from there. The recipes work and people now ooh and ahh at my pies and tarts. Seriously. She really makes it easy and lets you in on the little tips and tricks that bring you from average to outstanding pastry. Also, there are always excellent alternatives to using a food processor. I never use one and I very much disagree with that portion of the amazon review. This is probably the most useful cookbook I own, and I've probably got at least 100 of them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Miami on November 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have this book and have bought it for my daughters... this is the best pie tart book I have ever used. Cooks who love pies/tarts will appreciate this book and Ms. Walters newer version, I also have. This is a great gift for a bride or new cook. First place I go for a special dessert. I use to think I made the world's best pumpkin pie, until I tried the one in this book, with the pecan crust. It is out of this world, rich, elegant and simple.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews