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Southern Pies: A Gracious Plenty of Pie Recipes, From Lemon Chess to Chocolate Pecan Paperback – September 1, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
The subtitle says it all. McDermott presents dozens of delicious recipes for pie-loving home bakers in this follow-up to Southern Cakes. With a light hand, McDermott brings in just enough history and context to help bakers appreciate her recipes without fattening her book with too much text. Leigh Beisch's photography adds to the appeal, though some shots of ingredients should have made way for more pictures of actual pies. McDermott splits her plenty in two--chess (Buttermilk, Sweet Potato, Old-School Custard Pies, and others) and chocolate, and includes a helpful lesson on making crusts (or buying them, if need be). McDermott has an obvious affection for the Southern men and women (and their cookbooks) that inspired her recipes, but the proof of the pudding is in the pies themselves. If Peaches and Cream, Hungry Mother Spicy Peanut, Black Bottom, or Muscadine Grape Hull don't whet the appetite, keep reading. With over 60 pies included, even the most finicky pie-eater will find a fare share of "must-bake" recipes. Photos. (Oct.)
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"If you love pie, this book is a winner." -- Los Angeles Times
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Top customer reviews
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This wouldn't be an adequate review if I didn't say something about the photography. I've worked as a photographer and know how difficult it is to capture food so that it's lit well and looks appealing. Every photo in this book was fantastic and, so far, a fair representation of the finished pies. Aside from being full of interesting recipes and a nice history, the photography and writing style where outstanding and have made this my new go-to book on making pies. I do hope there are more books coming from this author-cook. Oh, yeah. I forgot there was one thing she left out when she talked about picking wild blackberries. She mentioned the snakes but forgot to mention the bears in the hollers where the pickings are the best. But OMG are those berries ever sweet.
The back of the book has several helpful sections, including a focus on pie crusts, "A Glossary for Southern Pies," "Sources for Southern Food and Cooking," a Bibliography, and "Table of Equivalents".
The recipe I tried is the Winchester Sun Pumpkin Pie, which turned out large and mushy. The list of ingredients calls for "2 cups pumpkin puree (two 15 ounce cans...)". Unfortunately I went with the 2 cans. I believe it should state 2 cups (16 ounces) pumpkin puree or 1 can (15 ,"ounces).
Also, this recipe calls for evaporated milk, but it might be better with heavy cream instead.
I did try to contact the author about the quantities using information at her website, but no answer.
Page 99 has a description of Anjou and Bartlett pears, but I think the description is confused.
Overall, this is an enjoyable book for learning more about pies and I am looking forward to trying other recipes, including the "Double Apple Pie" which has an extra layer of crust in the middle.
While not all of these may be familiar to each southern cook (I live in South Carolina and to my dismay, no one had heard of a chess pie!), but let's face it, the south is a huge area. Each pie I've tried has been quickly devoured, and none have had the chance to fully cool yet!
Among this collection are some rather old fashion walks down memory lane, along with a few modern contributions. Each recipe is well written and most are easy enough for a beginner to follow. If you're looking for good, simple, delectable pies this collection belongs in your cookbook collection!