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Perfect Pies & More: All New Pies, Cookies, Bars, and Cakes from…

by Michele Stuart

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Perfect Pies & More: All New Pies, Cookies, Bars, And Cakes From America’s Pie-Baking Champion is exactly as promised by the title. Plenty of recipes with few pictures are found in this over 240 page book. Broken into nine chapter sections the recipes run the gamut and feature varying amounts of prep time and difficulty.

After a short introduction the book opens with “Crusts & Toppings.” First up is the author’s “Traditional Pastry Piecrust” on pages 4-7. Along with the list of ingredients and instructions there are suggestions on other recipes to use this pie crust for as well as tips on how to do it well. This same format continues throughout the book as well as with the other four crust recipes and three topping recipes of this chapter.

“Fruit Pies” begins on page 16 and opens with “Apple Carmel Crunch Pie” I’m partial to blueberry as well as cherry pie and they are present here in the combined form of “Blueberry-Cherry Sugar-Free Pie (pages 28-29) as well a couple of other variations. A “Sugar Free Pumpkin Pie” (pages 52-53) is one of 13 other suggestions in this chapter.

If you prefer a cream filling in your pie that chapter appropriately titled “Cream Pies” comes next. “Blueberry Cream Pie” (pages 59-60), “Chocolate Silk Pie” (pages 63-64) and an “Oreo Cream Pie” on pages 73-75 among nine other pies are in this chapter.

Maybe you prefer nuts in your pies. Six recipes make up the “Nut Pies” chapter section and include the “Candy Bar Pie (pages 89-90) and the “Turtle Pecan Pie (pages 98-100).

“Whimsical Pies” comes next and is all about celebrating anything and everything. Items such as the “Birthday Cake Surprise Pie” on page 106-109) blends a vanilla cake with a pastry shell. Or you could make the “Cannoli: Party Dip Pie” on pages 110-111 or the “Thin Mint Chocolate Cookie Pie” on pages 116-117. There are seven more choices for your consideration in this chapter.

Moving on from pies of various types, “Cookies & Bars” comes next starting on page 132. Recipes for biscotti, cookies, and lots of treats are present in this chapter. “Snicker Doodle Cookies” (pages 162-163) and other favorites such as “Fudgy Brownies” (pages 170-171) are here.

If you are looking for a little booster in the middle or the afternoon with a cup of coffee or tea there are 11 suggestions in the section titled “Perfect for a Cup of Tea.” It could be “Banana Tea Bread” (pages 182-183) or “Double Chocolate Bundt Cake” (pages 188-190) among others.

“Lovin’ Spoonful” comes next with “Apple Crisp” on pages 206-207 and “Old Fashioned Bake Rice Pudding” on page 215-216. There are four other recipes in short section.

The final chapter considers toppings with “Top This.” Along with “Hot Fudge Sauce” (page 223) and “Whipped Cream” with several variations (pages 228-229) there is one for “Royal Icing” (page 231) and others.

The book closes with a short acknowledgement section and six page index.

Using her experience winning 27 first place awards in the “National Pie Championship Awards” author Michele Stuart’s cookbook is another treat for the pallet. Lots of good ideas in Perfect Pies & More: All New Pies, Cookies, Bars, And Cakes From America’s Pie-Baking Champion featuring plenty of variety not only in terms of ingredients but also in terms of skill levels.

Perfect Pies & More: All New Pies, Cookies, Bars, And Cakes From America’s Pie-Baking Champion
Michele Stuart
http://www.michelespies.com/
Photographs courtesy of Ben Fink Photography
Ballantine Books (Division of Random House)
http://www.ballantinebooks.com
October 2013
ISBN# 978-0-345-54419-3
Hardback (also available for the Kindle)
256 Pages
$26.00

Material supplied by the good folks of the Plano Public Library System located in Plano, Texas.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2013
Author of Mind Slices and contributor to Carpathian Shadows, Volume II
Book Reviews and More http://kevintipplescorner.blogspot.com/ ( )
  kevinrtipple | Dec 24, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345544196, Hardcover)

After the success of Perfect Pies, National Pie Baking Champion (27 times!) Michele Stuart went back into the kitchen—the same kitchen in Vermont where she first dreamed up the award-winning creations that inspired her to open the popular Michele’s Pies shops. Returning there also meant returning to the cherished pies she learned to bake under her grandmother’s and mother’s watchful eyes, as well as the wonderful cakes, cookies, and other sweet treats that became their family tradition.
 
In her newest cookbook, Perfect Pies & More, Stuart delves deeper into her roots while creating delicious new memories made with love and care. Inside, you’ll find tantalizing recipes—some easy-to-bake, some requiring a bit more finesse—for dozens of her favorite fruit, nut, and cream pies, and so much more.
 
• NEW TWISTS ON OLD FAVORITES: Pineapple-Pomegranate Pie with Coconut Crumb, Orange Creamsicle Pie, Almond Joy Pie
• WHIMSICAL PIES: Thin Mint Chocolate Cookie Pie, Key Lime-Blackberry Chiffon Pie, Cannoli Party Dip Pie
• CRUSTS & TOPPINGS: Pretzel Crust, Oreo Cookie Crust, Walnut Crumb Topping
• COOKIES & BARS: Blondies, Double Chocolate Walnut Cookies, Lemon Crunch Bars
• PERFECT FOR A CUP OF TEA: Applesauce Cake, Double Chocolate Bundt Cake, Cranberry-Orange Walnut Bread
• LOVIN’ SPOONFUL: Apple Crisp, Blueberry-Blackberry Turnovers, Bread Pudding
• TOP THIS: Caramel Sauce, Raspberry Glacé, Classic Meringue, Maple Whipped Cream, Chocolate Whipped Cream, Buttercream
 
Sprinkled throughout with mouthwatering photos, Perfect Pies & More also serves up tips, techniques, and the secrets behind several of Michele Stuart’s National Pie Championship winners—including Banana Coconut Pecan Delight. Now a perfect blue-ribbon pie and other scrumptious delicacies are as close as your own kitchen!

Praise for Perfect Pies & More and Michele’s Pies
 
“Stuart’s recipes are rooted in tradition and in a sense of how fresh-baked treats can serve as a powerful sense-memory later in life.”—Hartford Courant
 
“Baking (and eating) fiends, ready your stretchies . . . Stuart’s second book gives the people what they want.”Daily Candy

“You owe yourself a visit to Michele’s Pies, where pie fillings range from fruits and nuts to butterscotch to just about everything in between.”The New York Times
 
“Michele is the undisputed champion of pies, and now she’s sharing even more sweet treats from the oven! Her home-cook–friendly recipes are creative, easy, and delicious. I’m a better baker because of this wonderful book. Happy Dance!”—David Venable, QVC host and author of In the Kitchen with David

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:22 -0400)

Stuart provides tantalizing new recipes-- some easy to bake, some requiring a bit more finesse-- for dozens of fruit, nut, and cream pies, and so much more! From new twists on old favorites to intriguing toppings that change a pie into a creation, you'll find tips, techniques, and secrets to help you make memories.… (more)

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