on April 13, 2011
I have all of Martha Stewart's cookbooks, so I was pretty excited when this one arrived.
Some of the other reviewers have gone in great detail about the exact recipes etc., so I won't bore you with that.
What I love about this cookbook (as with the rest of her cookbooks) are:
1) a photo for each recipe! I really dislike cookbooks that have a recipe and no photo, particularly for desserts. after all, i want to know what it is going to look like.
2) very clear, concise, and reliable directions.
3) it's very clearly organized (both the cookbook and each recipe)
4) a short blurb on the top for each recipe giving you tips/pointers
5) excellent step-by-step photos/directions in the back of the book for making pate sucree or pate brisee or puff pastry.
I trust Martha Stewart and know she will not put her name on a recipe unless it has been tested over and over.She hasn't failed met yet!
First pie I made was chocolate cream pie. Yes, it's a novice pie, but I have a 3 yr old so I wanted a crowd pleaser (or rather a kid-pleaser). Easy to follow directions for the crust, filling and whipped topping. It was absolutely delicious and looked professional. Pie was finished by my guests.
Second thing I made was the fruit tart. Rather than do the mini tarts, I did two nine-inch tarts (and she has notes in case you want to do a lot of mini ones or larger 9-inch tarts). Made the pate sucre, made the vanilla pastry cream the day before (my husband and kids licked the spoon from that!) and assembled it a few hours before serving. Beautiful, delicious and I was so pleased with the results.
I highly recommend this cookbook, and with her clear instructions, beautiful photos and wide assortment of crowd-pleasing recipes, I know this will be one I will be referring to over and over. Happy Baking!
on October 15, 2011
I was THRILLED to see this book arrive as I am a " cake and bread baker" and in my yrs of baking,,,,, I can probably count the number of pies I have made on one hand~
Shameful ,,,,and I considered myself a "baker"??
I have made it a priority this year to bake favorite pies for birthdays , home celebrations , picnics and potlucks ~ I thought it was high time I face this challenge head on . I bought tiny pie tins for the children's pies after picking a load of apples from our small orchard
I do think the addition of fruit in many pies/tarts has a healthier edge than heavy layer cakes which I had made for so many years~ and of course, one can control the sweetness~
I was pleasantly surprised at the ease of the first tart I made which was the peach and berry tart.( First chapter)
It is easily made up in only a few minutues, then baked~I baked this for DH to take to a men's breakfast at church ~
It was so pretty that someone said it looked more like decoration than dessert! And it was my FIRST tart! But the TASTE was even better!( he saved a piece for me) I did use the called for addition of cornmeal to the tart crust and it did have a great flavor in an all fruit tart which is now my favorite tart!
The tart looked GORGEOUS and made it look like I was an expert pie baker , I can assure you I am not!
I did things a bit different tho, and I am assuming for the most part a lot of the pies are subject to individual taste~ I made this in an 8" tart pan( because it looked prettier!) and added a few nectarines in w/ the peaches, which made for an excellant taste~
I DID however have to add more than double sugar suggested, and I do not have a huge sweet tooth , so maybe the fruit pies are way way under the sweetness range for me?? But perhaps not for you~
I have had tarts in Europe and do realize that they do use less sugar all the way around except for maybe Austria or Germany?
I had to double the amount of time baking this tart even tho my oven temp is spot on,, I did have some pie covers that I had collected( and never used!) that I topped over the very crust so the top would not get burned,,,,,so far,,so good,,,
I think this is all part of the learning curve for me b/c the apple pies and pumpkin pies came out perfect as per recipe in the book.
I won't give a whole list of the pies, other reviewers have been kind enough to do so,,but I will say as my confidence in pie making grows I will be happily baking those birthday PIES this year ~ my favorite is mile high lemon,,,,,DH, cherry pie from our own trees. I really wanted to master pie making as we grow a TON of cherries, berries and have a lot of fruit trees that have now matured enough to bear a lot,,,,,so now is THE time!
And , being so blessed to have a mini orchard on our land, I wanted to USE it to its best potential b/c the price of fruit is getting higher by the week. I am hoping to look up to see if I can freeze a pie unbaked) so I can have a fresh pie to go when we have people over for a quick brunch or dinner, I have heard this can be done but will have to look at this further has anyone done this successfully I wonder?)
I cannot see how any baker could be bored with this book , it is a gorgeous COLLECTION of many pies one can bake and the photograpy is stunning~( so you can see just how your pie is to look finished! Some of us NEED this.... which is often missing in cookbooks or e recipes
I like inspiration, and to see what I can bake w/ what I happen to have on hand in any particular season ,as I said, we grow a lot of berries and cherries that I used to freeze for toppings to cakes which is kind of sad now that I think of it~
While I work my way thru the pie book I will be careful to taste fruits and berries, and even cremes so I am certain they are up to my taste level
I do think that it will only be a taste thing with the fruit tho~
Only one problem,,,,,THE famous " Elegant Farmer Pie" baked in a brown bag which has been on cooking shows to compete with) has never been duplicated w/ accuracy yet!
I know, I live a few miles from where they make this great pie but I am sure going to look it up on the net.
Love love love the book! My husband is also happy, because it is true,many people are pie lovers first and cake lovers second~ One big disclaimer here,,,,I do NOT eat much sugar , I my eat pie maybe 3 times a year?? But I LOVE to bake and bake I do,,,,,for others!
This book is a very good thing~
on March 29, 2011
This is a beautiful book. Gorgeous images, and as all things Martha tend to be, it is a pleasure to look at and inspires me to try new things.
The book includes many reliable go-to classics such as apple (just tried this, incredible!), pecan and Key lime pies. However, the recipes which most interest me are those which include more interesting and unlikely combinations: fresh orange and yogurt tart, banana and coconut cashew cream tart, lime curd tartlets in meringue shells. I love that there are some obscure fruits finally headlining here too: gooseberries, pluots, quince, red currant. Chocolate lovers won't be disappointed either. Would make a great gift for beginning and advanced bakers alike!
on June 22, 2011
For those of you who like big bold beautiful pictures and amazing tasting pies, this is a must. Others have already described the book in detail, so i'll say make the Sour Cherry pie... I haven't had one in so long and this one comes out looking beautiful and tasting delicious. Homemade is always best. The Cherry almond galette is really nice also and the chocolate espresso tart is for those with a little extra cash and a more sophisticated palate. The Frangipane Apricot tart is also a must. Instead of vanilla I used almond extract and it made this dessert extra extrodinary. It is creamy, delicate and very flavorful. Martha says to serve it right away, but I refrigerated it over night and the flavors came together even more so. The blueberry pie and apricot hand pies are also really nice. And for the Pate Brisee and Pate Sucree in this book, you can not go wrong. The brisee is really flakey when done right. Took me several trys but i've got it.
There's something for everyone (time to get more pie plates) :D. And the ingredients are so easy to combine. So far these are what i've tried and my family has enjoyed them, highly. This book is not the same as her first pie book. There is more of a variety of filling, unlike her first which is mostly fruit.. A great book from a great teacher. I'm ready to bake more pies...
Note: The instructions for the Frangipane Apricot Tart are not totally complete and the cooking time is a bit off. When you get to the cream part, the instructions are: beat the confect. sugar and vanilla til soft peaks form. They forgot to mention the heavy cream. Add it and all will be well, I promise. Then fold in the creme fraiche or sour cream, which worked wonderfully for me. And the tart needed more time to bake and set. You will love this tart.
on June 8, 2016
Wow. I was looking for a great pie book or two, and passed this one over at first because, Martha Stewart, boring, right? But after buying / looking at several newer, blogger-style, seasonal, artisan, pie-goddess type books and not liking them at all, I ordered this book because it was inexpensive and I thought it might be a good reference. OMG, I love it! There are so many recipes that I'm dying to make, it's hard to decide where to start. The photos are gorgeous, and the instructions are clear and simple. Most recipes are very straight-forward and look like they will be easy to execute. I'm thrilled with this book and not even looking at another.