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The Pie and Pastry Bible Hardcover – November 11, 1998
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The Pie and Pastry Bible begins with the crust. The author confesses right up front that 21 years ago, when she first began her quest for the perfect crust, "it was a complete mystery to me." She wasn't looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but something she could consistently turn out at a moment's notice. The ideal pie crust, she writes, "has light, flaky layers, but also ... is tender, and nicely browned, with a flavor good enough to eat by itself."
In a book that stretches to about 700 pages long, her favorite pie crust is the first recipe: Perfect Flaky and Tender Cream Cheese Pie Crust. Typically, Beranbaum lists the ingredients by measure and weight for three separate sizes of pies, then gives instructions for the food processor or by hand.
After 70 pages of pie crusts, tart crusts, and crumb pie crusts of every imaginable make and combination, Beranbaum starts with fruit pies. Her first (of many) detailed charts shows exactly what her ratios are of fruit to sugar to cornstarch. Then each recipe (start with The Best All American Apple Pie) includes pointers for success as well as several variations on the theme. Under the headline "Understanding," Beranbaum goes that extra mile by taking the trouble to explain just why something works the way it does.
If you are only going to own one cookbook for pie and pastry recipes of every imaginable stripe and combination, you can't go wrong with this one. It's the Bible, after all. --Schuyler Ingle
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
In reviewing The Pie and Pastry Bible I made the Lemon Pucker Pie, Brownie Puddle, Great Pumpkin Pie, and the Open Faced Designer Apple Pie. Every recipe turned out and tasted wonderful. It is obvious that Rose Levy Berenbaum has tested every recipe to ensure perfect results. This book however, is for the professional or serious baker. To go through this amount of trouble to make something, you must really know and appreciate quality. This is not the sort of book you buy if you want to make something quickly as it could easily frustrate the novice baker. For example, making the apple pie involves many steps. The apples are first cut, mixed with ingredients, macerated for 30 minutes to 3 hours, and then placed in a colander to drain. The liquid is reduced and then re-added to the cut apples with cornstarch. This does result in a wonderful apple flavor, but is it worth the effort? When I weigh the extra time and effort involved, I would rather sacrifice a little taste and make it the old-fashioned easier way.Read more ›
For the novice pie and pastry baker, you may think this will be too overwhelming for you. I think this is written in such a way that you will "get it" and thus start out making things correctly. For the experienced, this book is a problem solver and is the road to perfection.
This book contains more than 300 recipes. There are more than 15 recipes for pie crusts plus variations. With that said, obviously not every pie under the sun is here, but there is enough information for you to make improvements on any recipe that is not covered.
This book is so close to perfect, I gave it five stars. However, I do have some criticisms. First, this book needs to better catalog the recipes. The table of contents lists simply the chapters, such as fruit pies, tarts, custard pies etc. The chapters delve into the subject without listing the recipes. I would prefer that each chapter had a mini table of contents that listed individual recipes.
My second criticism is the altering of classic recipes to suit her personal tastes. I realize this is completely subjective, but if she were a Southerner, I wouldn't have to continue to hunt for recipes for chess pie and coconut custard pie. This is the same criticism I had of the Cook's Illustrated baking volume too.Read more ›
In addition, there's the fool-proof technique for ensuring an apple pie in which the juices cling just so to the apple slices yet puddle just a little on the plate -- no more runny apple pies. The multi-step technique, which involves macerating the apple slices, draining the liquid that forms, and boiling down the liquid to a syrup before baking, is time-consuming, but the results are worth it. I tried the apple pie recipe, and my husband rated it a 10! I am one reader who will never again simply toss the apple slices in sugar and bake, on the off-chance that the liquids might (or might not) reduce enough during baking.
The book is invaluable also for the understanding it gives the reader of how the various ingredients in pie crust work, e.g., why the addition of baking powder to pie crust is a must for flakiness, why the crust dough needs to be kneaded harder and longer to make it strong enough to wrap around a meat loaf or the filling of a turnover, etc.
I could go on and on about the merits of this book. Although I wish no one else would read it so that I could be the only person in the world (besides the author) who can make marvelous crust, I cannot help thinking this is a book that should not be kept a secret.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoy the challenge of these recipes and want to try out each one. However, my family and friends don't allow me to make anything else because they are always requesting the... Read morePublished 1 day ago by diy mom
This book has info on superb ingredients and techniques; the cross references to efficiently use them; and the 'why' baking reactions work as they do. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kindle Customer
These recipes are the most technical I've ever followed. Beranbaum calls for very specific ingredients, in very specific amounts, prepared in very specific ways. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jenna Kunc
I haven't had the chance to truly dig in to this book, but the puff pastry recipe is divine and gets 4 stars because of it.Published 4 months ago by Shionna
This a great book - Rose did all the work for us......I just made the cream cheese pastry pie crust - turned out perfect....can't wait to try more recipes.Published 4 months ago by J Soltani