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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Home Baked Heaven!!!
Although I live in a large metropolitan area that has literally hundreds of bakeries within a small radius, I often make the 70-mile journey to Michele's Pies in Norwalk CT. This specialty shop is well worth the effort to seek out! Michele Stuart's creations are extraordinary and unrivaled. It's impossible to pick a favorite from her vast array of pies, as every single...
Published on October 1, 2011 by Donna K.

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67 of 83 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Baking Pies
If you already own a shelf-full of good cookbooks, //Perfect Pies// is unlikely to add anything useful to your collection. Few of the recipes are original, and nearly all you'll find in standard cookbooks and baking books. If you are a novice cook and baker, this has a good collection of standard pie recipes, some 66 of them including 13 savory pies (e.g. Quiche...
Published on October 14, 2011 by George Erdosh


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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Home Baked Heaven!!!, October 1, 2011
Although I live in a large metropolitan area that has literally hundreds of bakeries within a small radius, I often make the 70-mile journey to Michele's Pies in Norwalk CT. This specialty shop is well worth the effort to seek out! Michele Stuart's creations are extraordinary and unrivaled. It's impossible to pick a favorite from her vast array of pies, as every single offering is a masterpiece to savor!

Michele has compiled the recipes for her famous, award-winning pies into this dazzling cookbook. It has massive appeal for all pie aficionados, from amateur home cooks to expert bakers. Michele built her success on what she learned baking alongside her grandmother in a home kitchen. What sets her pies apart is that they are "made with love". The personal stories that accompany each recipe clearly illustrate how she incorporates this special ingredient!

Another of Michele's secrets is selecting the freshest ingredients available, preferably locally grown. She offers excellent advice for matching some of her pies with the most suitable season or time of year for baking them. Her instructions for processing fresh pumpkins to make Maple Pumpkin Pie (featured in her Food Network appearance on Throwdown with Bobby Flay) are remarkably simple to follow and eliminate the desire to ever use canned pumpkin again.

The abundance of zucchini and tomatoes from my summer garden was perfect for her quiche recipe, which I used to bake a delicious meal that the whole family enjoyed. I am excited for my daughters to bake the Tiramisu Pie with me one of these weekends. Many of the pies featured in this cookbook are child-friendly and suitable for any holiday table. (The Candyland Pie is perfect for both, and Michele explains how to change it up for various holidays throughout the year!)

The book is organized into the following sections: Crusts and Toppings, Farm Stand Pies, Nut Pies, Cream Pies, Party Pies, Savory Pies, and Cherry On Top. Each recipe provides clear and easy-to-follow directions. They are designated easy, moderate, or challenging, based on the preparation time. No fancy equipment or exotic ingredients are needed. Michele has removed all the intimidation out of making the perfect pie crust, so that even the most inexperienced baker can master it! The accompanying photographs are a treat for the senses, and you can practically smell and taste the pies right off the pages!

This cookbook will delight anyone who enjoys pies, whether baking them or simply eating them! It is down-to-earth and brilliant in its simplicity.

Note: Prior to her recent marriage, Michele Stuart was formerly known as Michele Albano, which is the name under which she won many of her pie awards and made appearances on the Food Network, Good Morning America and The Today Show.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Love Pie, November 9, 2011
By 
Kris Barlow (GILBERT, AZ, US) - See all my reviews
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I am a home baker...and do much more than most. I've made almost 500 pies this year...for church parties, weddings, holidays, and my family. I'm always looking for tips and tricks and twists on old recipes that update old tastes and traditions and this book gave me a few new things to try. Of course, I love the traditional standards and sometimes you just can't improve on perfection, but with beautiful photos and clear instructions using common ingredients, pie making is made easy for everyone. And this book gives me new recipes to try for the savory pies as I am mostly a sweep pie baker. Always enjoy expanding my knowledge and recipe base.
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67 of 83 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Baking Pies, October 14, 2011
If you already own a shelf-full of good cookbooks, //Perfect Pies// is unlikely to add anything useful to your collection. Few of the recipes are original, and nearly all you'll find in standard cookbooks and baking books. If you are a novice cook and baker, this has a good collection of standard pie recipes, some 66 of them including 13 savory pies (e.g. Quiche Lorraine). These recipes are good but not outstanding. The author included a few unusual pies like Candyland Pie made with Oreo cookie crust and filling that includes Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, mini marshmallows, Snicker Bars and fudge brownies.||The recipes are well written and instructions are good though a novice bakers may scratch their heads at times reading the recipe steps. The designer of the book (most likely a non-cook) did a poor job on the layout as many recipes inconveniently flip over to next pages. The head notes are only fluff, not often informative. The sidebars are more interesting and instructional. Each recipe is labeled according its difficulty (from less than one hour to more than two hours prep time). In my advanced proof copy subject index is missing. Food photo illustrations are beautiful.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Pie Lady, October 14, 2011
Michele Stuart is a multi-award winning pie maker. This book presents an assortment of her pies. They all seem wonderful and the recipes good. The ones I have made have turned out delightful --raspberry crumb pie, maple walnut pie, which I have also substituted other random varieties of nuts in and it has been fine, chocolate-peanut butter dream pie and the ham and pie quiche where I shaved Spam as a substitute for ham and everyone still loved it.
As I look through the ingredients of many of the recipes, they are not that different from the pie recipes I normally use. She does have 2 pies that are sugarless using Splenda, which taste very good and are a huge boon for diabetics and those trying to cut down on calories.
Only a few recipes have pictures, the ones that are done are wonderful. A few sentences describing each pie and what awards it won, if any and an introduction is included for each section. Types of pies and recipes included are: crusts and toppings, farm stand pies, nut pies, cream pies, party pies, savory pies and toppings like caramel sauce, hot fudge sauce, chocolate whipped cream and a yummy bourbon sauce.

An introduction to Michele Stuart and her successful pies is included. Kitchen tools and basic ingredients are explained. Each pie is divided into degrees of difficulty: easy =1hour or less prep time, moderate=1-2 hours, difficult=2 hours or more. Tips are added throughout: baking with tapioca, light corn syrup vs. dark corn syrup. Very good pictures and instruction are shown for making a lattice crust and putting the shell into the pie dish.

I was disappointed that she did not have a modern version of chess pie or some of the other old-fashioned type pies. This is still a good book for those who wish to make pies and have some nice recipes.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Photographs??, November 14, 2012
By 
Mother Crone (New Jersey United States) - See all my reviews
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This is going to be short and (not so) sweet. I ordered this cookbook because it was published by the same folks who just completed David Venable's new cookbook, which, by the way, is outstanding. Having said that, I was immediately disappointed in Ms. Stuart's cookbook because it is almost photo-free. The recipes appear to be clear and concise and I certainly appreciate the pie crust photo intro. However, there are hardly any photos of the completed pies. While the artsy fartsy photos of a stack of ceramic pie plates, a stillife of whisk, or all Ms. Stuart's blue ribbons are pretty, to me it is more important to show what the completed recipe should look like. To be fair, there ARE 16 photos of completed pies amongst all the numerous recipes, and I found the helpful hints great. In the future, please go the extra mile to produce more photos of the pies. Even if you wanted to save some dollars by showing one page of all the completed pies, that would have been helpful. JMHO As always, Amazon.com did an excellent job by offering the best cost for the book not to mention their terrific shipping.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for the novice baker, August 12, 2013
By 
GHDunu (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
I got this book as a gift because I have been wanting to learn how to bake. This book is perfect. It includes all the basic information for baking pies, including tips on equipment, and recipes for different pie crusts, toppings, and plenty of your most traditional pies, as well as a few unique ones! I love that you can personalize your pie by mixing and matching pie crusts or toppings. I baked my very first pie from scratch (including the shell!) using only this book and got rave reviews. I'm really excited to make my way through all of the other recipes.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PERFECT PIES...you bet!, February 6, 2012
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I have a kitchen full of recipe books that I have collected over 40 years, and this book is one of my all time favorites! WOW! I hate to hear people say "I can't make a pie..."ANYONE can make a pie if they use this recipe book. I have always prided myself with making pies, and now after using this book, my pies are even better than ever!!! Great book with GREAT results.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Pumpkin Pie I Ever Tasted - So Glad I Bought This Book, November 11, 2012
Thank you for this fabulous book, Michele! I found this book at a brick & mortar bookstore and looked through it pretty thoroughly before I bought it, so I knew it was going to be a fantastic book to read and enjoy. The question then was: how were the pies? Well, I'm very happy to report that the first pie I made - Maple Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Streusel - is an absolute A+. It is the best pumpkin pie I ever had, and I MADE IT! I will no longer need to look for just the right pumpkin pie recipe - I have it. Even if none of the other recipes are any good, which I sincerely doubt, the book has already been worth it. I really enjoyed reading about Michele's baking journey and her award-winning pies. The pictures are lovely and really add to the enjoyment of reading the book. I love the pies Michele selected, and there's not one that I would not want to make. I have always preferred Crisco crusts, so I was very happy to see that that's the kind of crust Michele prefers as well. I can't wait to make another recipe from this book! I would recommend this cookbook to those interested in reading about and baking pies.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sound Views on Pies, January 12, 2013
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For those of us who have no Crisco..at all..anywhere..use butter and it will still produce a darn fine pie. COmbinations I had not thought of and so far, so good.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Pies, March 22, 2013
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I love this book! It is straightforward and the recipes are easy to follow and I, too, can now make great pie crust!
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