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Pie: 300 Tried-and-True Recipes for Delicious Homemade Pie Paperback – September 13, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 114 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

At 640 pages and nearly two inches thick, Pie, the big book with the shortest possible title, is difficult to read in bed. It's hard to hold up. It weighs on the stomach. But bed is where you will want to take it, night after night, following author Richard Haedrich's lead through fruit pies, berry pies, nut pies, custard pies, turnovers, ice cream pies, and more. Headrich has the most reassuring voice in food literature, and his lifelong passion--the making and baking of all manner of pies--soon begins to fit the reader like new skin.

The first 60 pages are given over to general directions (for example, Haedrich is a firm believer in reading a recipe through to completion before lifting a finger; he rolls his dough on wax paper) and the making and shaping of crust. You will find everything you need to know about creating terrific pie crusts including a friendly pat on the back and the sage advice that great crust comes with experience. This is all but permission to bake several pies a week for the rest of your life. The 300 some recipes in Pie will help you on your way. There are 21 crust recipes alone, everything from that perfect flaky crust to Choco-Nut Press-In Pie Crust.

Ever hear of the Balaton, what sounds like the perfect pie cherry? Haedrich doesn't just give you a cherry pie recipe (there are actually nine), he tells you all about cherries (there's a box titled "Crash Course in Cherries"). And talking about cherries leads to talking about regions of the country, the people in the landscape, the fruit on the trees. You will travel endless miles of back roads with Pie. Haedrich feeds you information in easy bursts, like conversational asides, as recipe leads, as sidebars, as boxes, as how-to notes the author calls "Recipe for Success." In just the pages on cherry pie you'll find out about product sources, sanding sugar, pitting cherries inside plastic bags, lattice pie crusts, baking with kids, knotting cherry stems with your tongue, IQF (individually quick frozen fruit), and much more. And cherry pie isn't a chapter all its own, but a small part of the chapter called Summer Fruit Pies. All told there are 13 chapters in Pie.

Books like Pie don't happen overnight, or even over a year of nights. Haedrich didn't apply his considerable food writing skill to a subject he simply pulled off the shelf. While the tone may be easy going, there's nothing casual here about either the task or the accomplishment. Pie represents a considerable chunk of one man's life wedged between the covers of a book. The tens of thousands of bits and pieces of valuable information, quotes, lines of poetry, not to mention the recipes and careful instruction comes from years and years of both accumulation and winnowing down to the very best.

And all along, page after page, there's that implacably friendly, reassuring voice, leading, encouraging, enlightening. How often do you crack open a cookbook and wind up with a new best friend? Such is the nature of a great book. Such is the magic of Pie and Ken Haedrich. --Schuyler Ingle --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

No, that number's not a typo: here are 300 recipes for sweet pies, with fillings ranging from fruits to nuts, ice cream to custard. Haedrich, a cooking teacher and cookbook author (Apple Pie Perfect, etc.), shares an astonishing quantity of recipes, advice, pie history and musings on issues such as the butter vs. lard debate and his passion for sour cherries. His zeal and solid expertise make this book a worthy addition to the baker's bookshelf. There are 57 pages of information on pie crusts alone, but Haedrich's tone is clear and encouraging, as he addresses pie pans, rolling pins, pastry edges and more. The recipes range from All-Rhubarb Pie to more exotic offerings such as Watermelon Rind Pie and Carrot Custard Pie (Haedrich also includes 25 recipes for apple pie). Pie snobs, take note: each crust recipe gives instructions for making the pastry by hand, with an electric mixer or in a food processor. Similarly, Haedrich assures readers it's all right to use frozen fruit. Intrepid pie makers will be pleased with the recommendations throughout for other cookbooks and magazines, and the list of resources includes useful information on baker's catalogues, fruit farms and nut growers.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Common Press (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155832254X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558322547
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By rodboomboom HALL OF FAME on September 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I would easily rather have a good slice of pie than any other dessert, especially over cake. For my birthday I would order lemon maringue pie rather than cake.

Here is a compendium of 300 recipes gathered from various sources and all tested out by this pie guru.

Immediately upon receiving this newly published volume, my mouth watered and I baked three pies in three days: Watermelon Chiffon Pie; Indiana Butterscotch Pie with a Checkerboard Crust; and Caramel Apple-Pecan Pie. Each turned out fantastic! Not that hard to bake if one has baked some before, into which category I fit.

This large volume will be used as I have over 250 more luscious recipes I can't wait to try. Neat to consider making some and giving them as gifts. Why not take a pie along as a gift when attending a dinner invitation?

This book has great intro sections on pie making, equipment, resources, and around ten color photos. Each recipe comes with discussion of its origin and pointers on successfully pulling the recipe off. I especially appreciate his pointers on problematic steps in the prep, and what results to expect as one proceeds.

This is just an amazing work, and the world of pie lovers will truly embrace it!
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Format: Hardcover
`Pie' by culinary journalist and editor, Ken Haedrich is an imposing tome of 639 pages that the author freely admits is the largest single book on this subject. And, in my experience, he is probably right, although Rose Levy Beranbaum's `The Pie and Pastry Bible' weighs in at 692 pages, although it is not exclusively about the classic American sweet pie with its characteristic 9 or 9 ½ inch diameter and sloping sides, which distinguishes it from the French tart.

While sheer size alone suggests this book has a lot going for it, the contents confirm that this is a serious reference of recipes and techniques for that great American dessert. Unfortunately, this may still not be the very best text you can get on making good pies. There are three major reasons for that opinion.

First, the aforementioned `Bible' and Susan Purdy's `As Easy as Pie' are both superior texts for presenting good illustrated techniques for how to deal with all the ins and outs of making that elusive tender and flaky piecrust. Haedrich has very few diagrams to illustrate his techniques. The only one I saw was a series of diagrams for assembling a lattice top crust which you commonly see on cherry pies. Other techniques such as pastry cutouts may have been decorated with a single drawing, but hardly a full illumination of the subject. This is doubly irksome as Haedrich's basic technique for transferring the rolled pastry to the inside of the pie plate is not the most common method. In fact, I find his recommended method just as prone to mishaps as the three other methods I have seen or read about.

Second, I really didn't find his coverage of pie pastry methods to be as complete as what we have in the two other references I cite.
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Format: Paperback
Having been raised by my southern grandmother, I have spent a very long time trying to just come close to one of her delicious pies. All of that training she gave me as a child on the perfect, easy pie crust flopped each time. My filling was too runny, too sour, too sweet, too...well, just too. And, yes, I've bought every pie book possible, only to have each attempt turn out inedible and my esteem riddled with disappointment. My family had given up. That was until I bought this book.

I didn't think it possible, but everyone now thinks I'm a pie genius. My husband couldn't believe the Bumble Berry Pie with the unusual shredded top crust. He says he never wants a regular top crust on a fruit pie again. Our friends ate a whole Chocolate Brownie Pecan Pie in one sitting. And the Blackberry Silk...mmmmm. I could go on and on...and not one failure.

Thank you, Mr. Haedrich. After years of failing, I'm now remembering what it's like to sit at my gran's table and wait in anticipation for that delicious pie to come out of the oven. And now my family is doing the same.
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Format: Paperback
It's undeniable that Ken Haedrich has got an incredible assortment of recipes in this book--I've tried several of them and most of them were delicious. However, I found that some of his fruit pie recipes required more thickener (cornstarch) than he called for, as his amounts left the pie runny (even after letting it rest for a few hours, as he suggests).

There are however, a lot of interesting recipes that I've tried that came out absolutley perfect: Like Virginia Diner's Peanut Pie, Caramel Apple Pecan Pie, Maple Custard Pie, too name a few.

He offers a nice variety of crust recipes, and if you are sure to read his crust-making tips before venturing to make them, your crusts will ALWAYS come out as it should.

One of the best things about his book is the "Recipe for Success" portion for each recipe that gives wonderful tips on how to achieve the perfect pie.
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Format: Paperback
Other pie cookbooks on the market range from the mix-based quick pie guide type to the master recipe collection intended for advanced cooks: Ken Haedrich's Pie: 300 Tried-and-True Recipes For Delicious Homemade Pie falls somewhere inbetween the two, providing beginners with an exceptionally easy basic understanding of how to cook a pie, while packing in dishes from bakeries, cooks and specialty shops across the country. Pie features tried-and-true recipes for 300 delicious creations, all of them sweet, savory, and very highly recommended
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