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Nick Malgieri's Perfect Pastry: Create Fantastic Desserts by Mastering the Basic Techniques Paperback – November, 1998

13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Malgieri is not only a talented pastry chef but also a born teacher: he has put together a pastry handbook that cooks will come to rely on, with its painstaking attention to detail, intelligent discussions of ingredients and techniques, and clearly written instructions. His array of desserts ranges from simple to elaborate and includes both the repertoire of French classics and brand-new creations. More comprehensive than Jean-Yves Duperret's La Nouvelle Patisserie ( LJ 11/15/88) and less intimidating than professional pastry handbooks, this is highly recommended.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan General Reference; 1 edition (November 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0028623355
  • ISBN-13: 978-0028623351
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #994,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

NICK MALGIERI, former Executive Pastry Chef at Windows on the World and 1996 inductee into Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America, is currently director of the baking program at the Institute of Culinary Education. The author of nine other cookbooks, including the James Beard winner How to Bake and the IACP/Julia Child Cookbook award-winner Chocolate, Nick's recipes have been published widely, including in The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, Food & Wine, Gourmet, and Bon Appetit. He is a contributing editor of Dessert Professional and writes a monthly column for Tribune Media Services. Nick has appeared on national morning shows and local television throughout the United States, as well Food Network and Martha Stewart. Visit him online at

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By David Wihowski on June 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
When I get ready to bake something, I generally consult this book first. It is organized well and provides all the basic techniques (as well as some advanced ones), that I need for probably 75 percent of the baking projects I do. Even if I don't use Nick's recipes I use the techniques that are in the book. The techniques are explained well, with good pictures to support the text (or vice versa). I also can make my own creations built on the building blocks in this book. I even take the ideas, recipes, or flavor combinations from other sources and modify them so they use Nick's techniques or proportions or components.
98 percent of everything I've tried from this book has worked and tasted good (usually very good or excellent). This is a cookbook classic.
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on July 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
Nick Malgieri is one of the two or three most commonly referenced baking writers in modern American books on pastry (what the French call patisserie, as opposed to bread baking or boulangerie). The others by my informal survey are probably Maida Heatter and Flo Braker, with Lindsey Shere a close third or fourth. Before reading this book, `Perfect Pastry', I was at a loss to see the basis for his influence. His more recent book `How to Bake' is a great book of recipes for cakes, cookies, pies, tarts, bread, pizzas, muffins, and the like, and I use it as my `go to first' book when I want to try something new, and I have never been disappointed by the recipes I found therein. But the book is nothing but recipes. There are none of the whys and wherefores I always rate so highly in books such as the outstanding `The Secrets of Baking' by Sherry Yard. In `Perfect Pastry', I have found much which justifies the high regard in which Nick Malgieri is held by his colleagues.
Before I can intelligently rank this book, it is important to spell out where it fits into the world of books on patisserie. There are at least two different scales along which a pastry book may fall. The extremes of the first scale range from `strictly recipes', which you will find in books by Gale Gand and David Lebowitz to very high in teaching and explanation content as in this book and Sherry Yard's `The Secrets of Baking'.
The second scale ranges from highly specific content such as `cookies', `cakes', `pies', `fruit desserts', `chocolate', or even `cupcakes' to very general books. `Perfect Pastry' is intermediate between the general and the specific, as it covers pies, tarts, cake sponges, cake decorating, and cake filling, but it does not cover much about cookies.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 27, 1996
Format: Hardcover
Perfect Pastry by Nick Malgieri works becuase you feel like you are looking over his shoulder. Nick's books give you the basics of "why" and "how": How to make perfect whipped cream, chocolate, pie fillings and cakes. "Why" the techniques work so that you may apply them to all of your baking for the the rest of your life.
An essential work for those who are serious about baking.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Catherine S. Vodrey on April 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Nick Malgieri has done it again. I have nearly all his cookbooks and they are all winners. In "Perfect Pastry," he gives not only superb, basic recipes (and some that are not so basic), but he concentrates on imparting his many years of experience to the reader via techniques and calm, sure guidance.
Having trouble making flaky piecrust? Malgieri calms you down and gives you the tools to start fresh. Want a fresh spin on a brioche? Malgieri has them here in spades. I haven't tried every single recipe in the book, but I've made many of them and have yet to be disappointed.
What really shines through here is Malgieri's intelligence and his people skills. It's clear that his experience as a pastry teacher at Peter Kump's cooking school in Manhattan gives him a voice of authority and a sense of purpose and confidence. He is a master at relaying information in a manner that is not only clear and concise, but that makes it sound--well, not easy, perhaps, but definitely doable. This kitchen classic is aimed at every cook from beginner to professional chef. If you enjoy baking, you could hardly ask for a better book of recipes or a better culinary reference on the topic.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. Referente on December 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
I have over 100 cookbooks by now, and this book remains my top reference to attack any baking project. Nick Malgieri is an excellent teacher and this book provides all the instruction you need to execute and understand baking. I am less of a baker and more of a cook, but this book has helped me produce perfect results on one try. From this book, I first learned to make a flaky pie crust and taught my 9 year old nephew to make cream puffs!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Trevor T. on January 27, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is for people with extensive exposure to pastries and know what the end product should look like. Although there are tiny drawings and B&W photos of the steps in the preparation process, there are no pictures of the finished products.

I am looking for new recipes to try and without a visual image of the end result, I don't know if it would appeal to me. Fortunately, I have other illustrated cake and pastry cookbooks that have similar recipes and I can refer to both as a reference. Malgieri has some useful tips on techniques and corrective measures if it's not working out the way it should. The extensive description of ingredients and the qualities of the different varieties helps you understand how it affects the end result and guides you to shop correctly.

Some ingredients that were easily available at supermarkets in the past are now hard to find. Due to the mass market gravitating to processed and prepared foods, the demand for quality baking ingredients has diminished. You will have to seek out specialty food stores in your area or search for online suppliers.

For experienced bakers, this book is a valuable reference. For those who do not bake frequently, you will need an illustrated book to complement this one.
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