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Customer Review

VINE VOICEon March 27, 2011
Martha Stewart's New Pies and Tarts: 150 Recipes for Old-Fashioned and Modern Favorites is another quality cookbook by Martha Stewart Living. Each of the recipes for pies and tarts is accompanied by a beautiful color photo (nearly all of which are full-page). Additional color photos show steps in the process (such as arranging and glazing fruit for Berries and Cream Tartlets, and forming tuile cups for Lemon Tartlets with Meringue Caps).

This is similar in format (as well as size) to Martha Stewart's Cookies: The Very Best Treats to Bake and to Share (Martha Stewart Living Magazine) and Martha Stewart's Cupcakes: 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone's Favorite Treat.

Each recipe includes an introduction with a description of the dish, and many also include serving suggestions and possible substitutions. There is a link to ten of the recipes on the Facebook page for Martha Stewart Living (posted March 24, 2011) which you can check out as examples.

Text is black on white pages and is easy to read. Nearly all of the recipes contain the ingredient list and directions on one page so the baker does not have to flip back and forth while preparing the pie or tart.

The first chapter, Classic, is described as "an introduction to the wonderful world of pie- and tart-making for beginners, and for baking enthusiastics, a delicious refresher course." It includes recipes for the most requested recipes of the past 20 years:
* Chocolate Cream Pie
* Peach and Berry Tart
* Pecan Pie
* Plum Galette
* Pumpkin Pie
* Mile-High Lemon Meringue Pie
* Apple Pie
* Lattice-Top Blueberry Pie
* Berries and Cream Tartlets
* Tarte Tatin

The next chapter, Free-Form, includes recipes for pies and tarts that "are formed simply and quickly by hand on a baking sheet" and are "among the easiest desserts to prepare from scratch":
* Thin Pear Tart
* Mini Rhubarb and Raspberry Galettes
* Pear and Sour Cherry Flat Pie
* Strawberry Galette with Basil Whipped Cream
* Peach Tartlets
* Cherry and Almond Galette
* Phyllo Tart with Sugared Pluots
* Sun-Died Strawberry Hand Pies
* Red Wine-Poached Prune Tart
* Apple Crumb Crostata
* Honeyed Fruit Tartlets
* Chocolate-Almond Tart with Fleur de Sel
* Apple Butter Hand Pies
* Apricot-Pistachio Tart

The third chapter, Sleek, includes recipes for elegant yet uncomplicated desserts:
* Crème Brulee Tarts
* Chocolate Mousse Tart with Hazelnuts
* Panna Cotta Tartlets with Strawberries
* Egg Custard Tart with Nutmeg
* Milk Chocolate Pistachio Tart
* Sour Cherry Clafoutis Tarts
* Honey Acorn-Squash Pie
* Chocolate-Nut Candy Bar Tartlets
* Caramelized Lemon Tart
* Crisp Coconut and Chocolate Pie
* Pumpkin Flans in Pastry Shells
* Marbleized Lemon Tart with Sage

The next chapter, Dreamy, focuses on cream pies and a chiffon tarts. "The shells are partly or fully pre-baked, fillings often consist of stove-top custards and puddings, and many of the toppings are as simple as soft swirls of sweetened whipped cream." Recipes include:
* Butterscotch Praline Cream Pie
* Coffee Cream Pie
* Banana Cream Pie
* Pumpkin Icebox Pie
* Key Lime Pie
* Apricot Chiffon Tart
* Mississippi Mud Pie
* Rum-Vanilla Cream Pie
* Frozen Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie
* Coconut Cream Pie
* Yogurt and Blueberry Pie with Granola Crust
* Chocolate-Caramel Cream Pie

The fifth chapter, Rustic, includes recipes for "homespun favorites" such as:
* Pear, Fig, and Walnut Pie
* Roasted-Apple Tartlets
* Buttermilk Pie
* Shaker Citrus Pie
* Quince-Apple Pie
* Plum and Port Crostata
* Honey and Pine Nut Tart
* Strawberry Icebox Pie
* Raspberry-Plum Crumb Tart
* Cheddar-Crust Apple Pie
* Peach and Crème Fraiche Pie
* Blackberry Jam Tart
* Sweet Potato Souffle Pie
* Mrs. Dunlinson's Plate Cake
* Gooseberry Custard Tartlets
* Chewy Chess Tart
* Red Currant and Raspberry Pie
* Rhubarb Crumble Pie
* Ginger-Pear Hand Pie

The next chapter, Layered, includes recipes for:
* Red, White and Blueberry Cheesecake Tart
* Rice Pudding Tartlets with Blood Oranges
* Chocolate-Espresso Tart
* Almond Macaroon Galette with Strawberries
* Poached Pear and Almond Tart
* Strawberry and Fresh Fig Tart
* Fresh-Orange and Yogurt Tart
* Rainbow Puff-Pastry Tarts
* Chocolate Pear Tart
* Hazelnut Frangipane Tart with Apricots
* Nectarine and Raspberry Tart
* Rhubarb Tart with Lemon-Yogurt Mousse
* Banana and Coconut Cashew-Cream Tart

The seventh chapter, Dainty, includes recipes for "diminutive treats" with "novel shapes and flavor combinations" such as:
* Cranberry Meringue Mini Pies
* Port Caramel Chocolate Tartlets
* Strawberry-Rhubarb Pielets
* Poppy-Seed Tartlets with Lemon Curd
* Apricot Hand Pies
* Lemon Tartlets with Meringue Caps
* Wild-Blueberry and Almond Tartlets
* Coconut Macaroon Tartlets
* Mini Jam Tarts
* Jumbleberry Mini Tarts
* Carrot-Spice Tartlets
* Persimmon Tartlets with Caramel Cream
* Blackberry and Cream Tartlets
* Lime Curd Tartlets in Meringue Shells
* Roasted Fig Tartlets

The next chapter, Artful, calls for patience and time for making "decorative top crusts on pies and tarts" in recipes including:
* Concord Grape Jam Tart
* Pear-Cranberry Pie with Faux Lattice
* Shingled-Leaf Brandy Apple Pie
* Pumpkin and Ricotta Crostata
* Raisin Pie
* Vanilla Bean-Pineapple Tart
* Sour Cherry Pie
* Linzer Tart with Lingonberry Jam
* Strawberry Bandanna Tart
* Linzertort
* Peach-Raspberry Slab Pie
* Dried-Fruit Star-Lattice Tart

The ninth chapter, Holiday, includes recipes that require "a bit of extra effort" such as:
* Mini Black and White Chocolate Tartlets (New Year's Day)
* Pear-Raspberry Heart Pie (valentine's Day)
* Chocolate Ganache Heart Tartlets (Valentine's Day)
* Grasshopper Pie (St. Patrick's Day)
* Neapolitan Easter Pie
* Coconut and Berry Passover Tart
* Buttermilk Cream Tart (Mother's Day)
* Rocky Road Tart (Father's Day)
* Stars and Stripes Mini Pies (Fourth of July)
* Flag Berry Tarts (Fourth of July)
* Pumpkin Chocolate Spiderweb Tart (Halloween)
* Mini Jack-o'-Lantern Tarts (Halloween)
* Pumpkin Mousse Tart (Thanksgiving)
* Maple Nut Tart (Thanksgiving)
* Cranberry Tart (Thanksgiving)
* Gingerbread-Raspberry Snowflake Tart
* Chocolate Stencil Tarts

The following chapter, Savory, includes proves that pies and tarts are not just for dessert. It includes recipes for:
* Leek and Olive Tart
* Spinach-Feta Turnovers
* Cherry Tomato, Mozzarella and Zucchini Pie
* Brie and Apple Custard Tart
* Swiss Chard and Goat Cheese Galette
* Mini Chicken Potpies with Herb Dough
* Savory Apple Galettes
* Red and Golden Beet Cheese Tart
* Roasted Cauliflower Hand Pies
* Scallion Tartlets
* Vegetable Tartlets
* Summer Squash Lattice Tart
* Alsatian Potato Pie
* Quiche (with three fillings: Mushroom and Shallot, Bacon and Caramelized Onion, and Leek and Corn)

The final chapter, the Basics, covers ingredients and equipment, as well as recipes and techniques to make the crusts called for throughout the book. Color photos illustrate the steps to make pate brisee and to use it for single-crust pies with a variety of edges and for double crust and lattice crust pies. There are recipes and instructions for Cream Cheese Pie Dough, Graham Cracker Crust, Chocolate Wafer Crust, Rich Chocolate Pie Dough, Pate Sablee (a "sugar cookie dough used to produce a crumbly, sandy pastry crust"), Pate Sucree (a sweet, sturdy dough), and Puff Pustry. Additional recipes include those for Vanilla Pastry Cream, Lemon Curd, Candied Lemon Slices, Mile-High Meringue Topping, Whipped Cream, Crushed Hazelnut Praline, Cranberry Compote, Vanilla Poached Pears and Poached Apple Roses.

There is a page of basic Recipe Tips and Techniques (including how to measure wet and dry ingredients, pit cherries, and zest citrus). Also included is one page of sources for specialty equipment (such as flan rings for the Pumpkin Flans in Pastry Shells and brioche molds for Coconut Macaroon Tartlets) and ingredients (such as the Golden Nectar leatherwood honey for the Honey and Pine Nut Tart and spring wheat berries for the Neopolitan Easter Pie). I note that the source guide is only one page as most home bakers will likely have the equipment, and access to the ingredients, for most of the pies and tarts featured in the book.

Finally, a comprehensive index allows you to search by ingredient (such as almonds, cream cheese and pears) or by flavor (such as caramel).

*For the record, I have no relationship to Martha Stewart Living (beyond being a fan of the magazine and many of the cookbooks it has released).
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