Customer Review

46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Home Baked Heaven!!!, October 1, 2011
This review is from: Perfect Pies: The Best Sweet and Savory Recipes from America's Pie-Baking Champion (Hardcover)
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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Location: Long Island, NY

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