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A Year of Pies: A Seasonal Tour of Home Baked Pies Paperback – August 7, 2012


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A Year of Pies: A Seasonal Tour of Home Baked Pies + The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book: Uncommon Recipes from the Celebrated Brooklyn Pie Shop + First Prize Pies: Shoo-Fly, Candy Apple, and Other Deliciously Inventive Pies for Every Week of the Year (and More)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Lark Crafts (August 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1454702869
  • ISBN-13: 978-1454702863
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 8.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* In her back-of-the-book acknowledgments, nutritionist-author (the Homemade Living series, including Keeping Chickens, 2010, and Keeping Bees, 2011) English thanks husband Glenn for his pie-eating prowess, six months straight. Obviously, there’s a reason why many would volunteer for that kind of hardship, judging from the more than 60 recipes alone. English’s talent is twofold: repurposing a traditional dish while staying true to its food legacy and giving us foolproof instructions and color step-by-step photographs for making piecrusts right. Also, her approach, as with all good chefs, is seasonal, as is her collection, divided into winter, spring, summer, and autumn. Interspersing savory with sweet, she proffers some intriguing, gotta-make-this kinds of pie: rosemary-bourbon sweet-potato pie, ratatouille and polenta pie, carrot pie, and buttered-rum shoofly pie. Tools and ingredients, along with an all-too-brief history of this delectable entrée-dessert, make up her first chapters, with most space dedicated to recipes, great color photographs, tips, and variations for many. --Barbara Jacobs

Review

“Well-thought-out recipes centered on seasonal ingredients...plenty of updated standards incorporating new ingredients or flavor twists.” --The Wall Street Journal

"English’s talent is twofold: repurposing a traditional dish while staying true to its food legacy and giving us foolproof instructions and color step-by-step photographs for making piecrusts right. Also, her approach, as with all good chefs, is seasonal, as is her collection, divided into winter, spring, summer, and autumn. Interspersing savory with sweet, she proffers some intriguing, gotta-make-this kinds of pie: rosemary-bourbon sweet-potato pie, ratatouille and polenta pie, carrot pie, and buttered-rum shoofly pie." --Booklist

“Pie is one of those nearly universally loved dishes. It's beautiful, delicious, and incredibly versatile. However, you would think that after a few centuries of tweaking this quintessentially American food, there wouldn't be a whole lot left to say about it. Ashley English not only proves this wrong, but she manages to make us look at pie in a new light. From the decadent Chocolate, Coffee, and Orange Marmalade Tart to the veritably heart-warming Curried Winter Vegetable Pie, English sparks the impetus to dust off the old pastry blender and 9-inch pie pan and make something delicious. Prepare to be transported by her infectious enthusiasm and independent spirit.” -- The Joy of Cooking (official site)

 “If you buy one pie book this year, make it this one.” --Rurally Screwed

“Ashley English's passion about pies is felt throughout her entire book . . . Her enthusiasm comes out through each and every recipe . . . It's dangerous to read this book on an empty stomach.” --About.com Baking

“Ashley English's new cookbook, A Year Of Pies: A Seasonal Tour of Home Baked Pies, offers much inspiration. Seasonally organized and brimming with both sweet and savory pies, the book gives step-by-step instructions on all the technical details of making pies, from tools, to crusts, to decorating. It's packed with useful and good-looking photography, and a host of recipes for pies (and tarts, quiches, and galettes) made with both traditional and innovative flavor combinations.” --Garden and Gun



More About the Author

Ashley English has earned degrees in holistic nutrition and sociology. She has worked over the years with a number of nonprofit organizations committed to social and agricultural issues, is currently a member of Slow Food USA, has a bimonthly column for the popular blog Design*Sponge entitled "Small Measures with Ashley", a column for the quarterly publication "Taproot", a monthly pie-baking post on the Mrs. Wages website, and a monthly column in Verve magazine, entitled "English Lessons." She is the author of four books in The Homemade Living Series (Canning & Preserving, Keeping Chickens, Keeping Bees, Home Dairy), as well as A Year of Pies, all from Lark Crafts.

Ashley has been featured in major publications, including Food & Wine, Delish, Edible Magazines, and Anthology. She has been a repeat guest on Martha Stewart Radio on SiriusFM. She blogs at www.smallmeasure.com. Ashley lives in Candler, NC with her husband, their young son, and a menagerie of animals.

People everywhere are embracing local, seasonal foods with an interest in knowing how and where it's produced, to become engaged in their community, with a desire for self-sustainability, and to enjoy fresh flavors. In this beautifully photographed series, Ashley English shows how you can participate in the homemade living movement, walking alongside you each step of the way with practical, need-to-know information; personal reflections of her own experiences; profiles of people living this lifestyle; and unique recipes you'll want in your repertoire. Filled with just the right mix of knowledgeable guidance and friendly encouragement, these books provide you with the essential basics to start enriching your own homemade life.

Customer Reviews

I can't wait to try the other recipes.
a lange
I really like that she has included savory and sweet pies and divided them up according to the seasons.
elsnc
I have severeal of her books, thanks to my daughter, and enjoy them all.
Corinne Hopper

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By J. H. Kling Jr. on July 29, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Who knew pies could be such a sublime feast? A feast for the eyes, to the taste, to one's imagination. I've spent the better part of a week with this book -- and I'm going to cut to the chase and say it's an amazing value and buy it now! -- practically sleeping with it under my pillow, dreaming of its contents.

As a pretty good home cook who's ventured into the realm of pies and quiches with fair success, I have to say that I've recently been looking at my collection of cookbooks and thinking of weeding out a bit. One gets to the point where there are useful books, and then a great weight of books that are never opened. Some of them are awkwardly bad. But there's a short shelf, about a foot long, of cookbooks I keep in the kitchen as a trusted resource, while the rest are relegated to bookshelves in the den.

Ashley English's "A Year of Pies" is going on the special shelf, along with James Beard and "The Joy of Cooking" and a few rarified others. I'm not a fan of niche cookbooks or specialty cookbooks for the reserved shelf. But Ms. English's book on pies, I expect, will inform quite a bit of my gustatory choices when it comes to feasting.

I love pies, and associate them with Thanksgiving (my grandmother's berry pies, mincemeat pies, and of course pumpkin) and summertime (Mom's lemon meringue), coconut creams at Easter, and others in-between. But Ashley elevates pie to more than a slice of sweetness on a plate. She has taken something quintessentially American and simple and unfortunately sometimes mundane, and made it into a yearlong song of amazement.

If you're looking for something special to take to a dinner, or to serve when hosting, there is no end to options in Ashley's book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. ADAMS on August 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
Loved the book. Have tried a number of the recipes provided and the finished product was even better than expected.

The book is very easy to follow and is a visual delight. I plan to send a number of copies as holiday gifts.

I`ve also decided to check into the author`s other books.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By CuteEverything TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
When I first opened A Year of Pies, the first thing I noticed were the gorgeous photos of not only pies, but also fruits, vegetables, and many other ingredients. I thought that the layout and photos throughout the book are eye catching and very well designed. The author begins the book with her intro and then she shares an interesting history of pie and a complete section on pie making basics follows. The book is then sectioned into Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn and each area includes both sweet and savory pies.

I enjoy savory pies just about as much as sweet, and since I had recently been gifted with a large sack of onions, I thought it was the perfect time to try the Carmelized Onion and Bleu Cheese tart. It was much simpler to make than the photo implied, I topped the pie crust with the carmelized onions and blue cheese and then folded the edges of the pie crust over the mixture, galette style. It made for a beautiful and completely delicious main course and I will definitely be making it again.

I had to try a fruit pie as well, and the Peaches and Cream Crumble topped pie really stood out to me, especially after reading that the author's friends said it was the "best peach pie they had ever eaten." It has a custard filling, rather than a clear fruit gel filling and the almond flavoring adds a perfect touch. The crunchy topping really made it for me, especially with the chunks of pecan!

I really appreciated the tips (and photos!) in the chapter devoted entirely to pie crusts, since the crust is the foundation of every pie. Types of crust, tips and decorative top crust ideas fill out this section and offer a lot of classic techniques, as well as some new ideas -- I can't wait to try the Almond Shortbread and Gingersnap crusts!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By elsnc on July 28, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've had this book now for almost three weeks and so far have made the Ratatouille Pie, the Nectarine and Lavender Crostata, the Coconut Cream Pie, the Blueberry Refrigerator Pie, and today I made the Cherry Vanilla Pot Pie. Each pie has genuinely rivaled the previous one for being the best pie I've ever had. I've always loved pie crust more than the filling, but now I'm truly at a loss for what I love more.

I have found the recipes easy to follow and have been impressed that I haven't had to go looking so far for crazy, hard-to-find, expensive ingredients to make outstanding pies. Her basic all-butter pie crust is incredibly flavorful and flaky. I will never buy another frozen pie crust! Prior to purchasing this book, I had always been afraid of making pies- it was the pie crust that worried me. But, her instructions are simple and it really did make a difference to put everything in the freezer.

I have shared each pie with my husband, neighbors, and friends and everyone has been in love with the pies. Out of all the cookbooks I have, this is now in the top three. I really like that she has included savory and sweet pies and divided them up according to the seasons. With the exception of the Coconut Cream Pie that I made for a friend because it is her favorite type of pie, I am trying to be good and follow the progression of pies through the year.

The recipes are laid out well and the photography is lovely. This book is truly a pleasure to look at as much as it is to cook from. My only "complaint" is that it would have been nice if there had been a photo of each pie. For some recipes, the photo is just of the ingredients, although I will admit that fresh lavender buds are much prettier than cooked ones (Nectarine and Lavender Crostata).
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