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How to Build a Better Pie: Sweet and Savory Recipes for Flaky Crusts, Toppers, and the Things in Between Paperback – June 1, 2012

3.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

How to Build a Better Pie was reviewed in The New York Times' T Magazine! http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/01/bookshelf-how-to-build-a-better-pie/

About the Author

Millicent Souris is a New-York-based, self-taught, homegrown, DIY-driven pie-maker. She's made thousands of pies in the past 10 years (you may have tasted some of them in places as far-flung as Chicago and Brooklyn). A resident of Brooklyn, she teaches pie-making workshops at the Brooklyn Kitchen, and she can spot a limp crust from 100 paces.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Quarry Books (June 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592537960
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592537969
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.5 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #563,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In the same way that Sandor Katz makes reading about fermentation educational, interesting, friendly and encouraging all at once, Ms. Souris has created a book about pie that informs and invites the reader to stand up, get in the kitchen and make some pie. She makes very important and refreshing points about food as SUSTENANCE rather than fetish, and although the book will appeal to "foodies" (shudder), it is written for everyone who is interested in making real food that is nourishing and satisfying in every way. Her recipes are wonderfully varied, and include unique and creative combinations. Souris also encourages the reader to modify the recipes to their tastes. Try them and adjust as needed to suit yourself (if you don't like as much salt - use less!). That is the point of cooking and why each of us has our own signature in the kitchen. So buy this book, get inspired, try the recipes, make them your own, and eat some pie!!!
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Format: Paperback
I'm cheating - my wife picked up this book from the library and made an all strawberry variation on the Strawberry-Rhubarb pie recipe which we just sat down to last night. The pie used the Basic Pie Crust recipe at the start of the book and it is VILE. 3 t of kosher salt results in a horrendous pie crust which was also chewy after baking the full time and cooling completely. (The fruit was thoroughly macerated - I did the dishes and discarded of perhaps 1/2 to 3/4 cup of juice). I can still taste it. It's unlike any crust I've ever had in my life. The recipe called for a further 1t of kosher salt for the filling. The filling was muted (although perhaps the taste of the crust affected my judgement of the contents).

Perhaps the other recipes will justify your buying this book, perhaps not. But I have to wonder at the capability of an author who publishes a crust recipe requiring such a large adjustment in the recommended ingredients as this one does. I have to wonder what other ingredients will need adjusting, and how many pies will hit the garbage can (as did ours last night) along the way.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the third copy of this book that I've purchased; in addition to the one I bought for myself, I've purchased two copies for friends. I got my first copy at a class that the author was giving on making pies.

Prior to this book and the class, I thought making pie was something that was very difficult and resulted in shoddy product. Every grocery store cherry pie makes me think of gross cherry jelly coming out of a can and straight into a bready flavorless crust.

All of that changed with this book. Millicent Souris treats every step of making a pie scientifically, describing the theory (fans of Howard McGee will really enjoy this), and pointing out the key variables that will affect the output and how to control for them: for instance, varying the amount of water based on the humidity of the day. This book isn't just a list of recipes. It goes step by step through how to create an incredibly tasty and flaky crust, when to pre-bake, and the theory of making great pies. Once you have an amazing crust, it's really really hard to screw up the rest of it.

My wife and I are now always asked to bring a pie to potlucks and get-togethers: the crusts are tender, flaky, buttery, delicious, and the fillings are amazing combinations of fresh sour cherries and basil or something savory like oxtail. It is now also difficult to order pies at restaurants in NYC now because we're always comparing them to our pies; most pastry chefs in NYC can learn a thing or two from this book. I cannot say enough great things about this book: it opens the door to a new world of sweet and savory flavors and textures.
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