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Pie and Pastry Bible

Pie and Pastry Bible

4.4 15
by Rose Levy Beranbaum

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The Pie and Pastry Bible is your magic wand for baking the pies, tarts, and pastries of your dreams—the definitive work by the country's top baker.

The Pie and Pastry Bible is your magic wand for baking the pies, tarts, and pastries of your dreams—the definitive work by the country's top baker.

-More than 300 recipes, 200 drawings of


The Pie and Pastry Bible is your magic wand for baking the pies, tarts, and pastries of your dreams—the definitive work by the country's top baker.

The Pie and Pastry Bible is your magic wand for baking the pies, tarts, and pastries of your dreams—the definitive work by the country's top baker.

-More than 300 recipes, 200 drawings of techniques and equipment, and 70 color pictures of finished pies, tarts, and pastries

-Easy-to-follow recipes for fruit pies, chiffon pies, custard pies, ice-cream pies, meringue pies, chocolate pies, tarts and tartlets, turnovers, dumplings, biscuits, scones, crostadas, galettes, strudel, fillo, puff pastry, croissants (chocolate, too), Danish, brioche, sticky buns, cream puffs, and profiteroles

-All kinds of fillings, glazes, toppings, and sauces, including pastry cream, frangipane, Chiboust, fruit curds, ice creams, fondant, fruit preserves, streusel, meringues, ganache, caramel, and hot fudge

-A separate chapter featuring foolproof flaky, tender, and original crusts of every kind imaginable. Here are a few: Flaky Cream Cheese Pie Crust, Flaky Cheddar Cheese Pie Crust, Miracle Flaky Lard Pie Crust, and Flaky Goose Fat Pie Crust; Bittersweet Chocolate, Coconut, Ginger, and Sweet Nut Cookie Crusts; and Vanilla, Gingersnap, Chocolate, and Graham Cracker Crumb Crusts

-Countless tips that solve any problem, including the secrets to making a juicy fruit pie with a crisp bottom crust and a lemon meringue pie that doesn't weep

-How to make a tender and flaky pie crust in under three minutes

-How to make the best brownie ever into a crustless tart with puddles of ganache

-Exciting savory recipes, including meat loaf wrapped in a flaky Cheddar cheese crust and a roasted poblano quiche

-Extensive decorating techniques for the beginning baker and professional alike that show you how to make chocolate curls, pipe rosettes, crystallize flowers and leaves, and more

-Detailed information on ingredients and equipment, previously available only to professionals

-The wedding cake reconceived as a Seven-Tier Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Tart

-Pointers for Success follow the recipes, guaranteeing perfect results every time

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
When Rose Levy Beranbaum wrote her definitive book on cakes,The Cake Bible, it not only won that year's IACP cookbook of the year award, it found a place on the essential bookshelf of home bakers everywhere. Now Beranbaum has turned her exacting eye on the other mainstays of the baker's art, pies and pastry. In The Pie and Pastry Bible, she includes not only foolproof step-by-step recipes for pies and tarts of all kinds, plus turnovers, biscuits, galettes, puff pastry, croissants, cream puffs, sticky buns, and much more, but also hundreds of illustrations of equipment and techniques, professional tips (like how to make a crust that's tender and flaky and stays crisp on the bottom even when filled with the juiciest fruit or how to keep a meringue from weeping), and detailed information on ingredients, equipment, techniques, and even decoration instructions that make it possible for even inexperienced bakers to get perfect results. The first chapter of THE PIE AND PASTRY BIBLE is dedicated entirely to crusts; others cover fruit pies, chiffon pies, ice cream pies, tarts, savory tarts and pies and quiches, biscuits and scones, fillo, strudel, puff pastry and croissants, danish pastry, brioche, cream puff pastry, fillings and toppings, and sauces and glazes. Nearly 700 pages long, this is as definitive a guide to baking pies and pastry as has ever been written. Whether you bake all summer and fall as wonderful fruit is in season or just want to make one great pumpkin pie every year for Thanksgiving, THE PIE AND PASTRY BIBLE will be the book you'll turn to everytime.
—KateMurphy Zeman
Library Journal
Over 20 years ago, Beranbaum, author of the award-winning The Cake Bible (LJ 8/88), began her search for the perfectly flaky and tender pie crust. Now, with the publication of her latest culinary tome, Beranbaum is ready to share her findings with eager pastry cooks everywhere. The Pie and Pastry Bible is an impressive collection of more than 200 recipes for sweet and savory treats, including pies, puff pastry, biscuits, and fillings. Both culinary novices and experienced bakers will appreciate the precise preparation instructions provided for every recipe. Nothing is left to chance. Each recipe's ingredients are given in both volume and weight (U.S. and metric). Many recipes have additional pointers, and a chapter on ingredients and equipment is also included. From Classic Blueberry Pie to Danish Pastry Twists, there is something tempting for everyone. Highly recommended for all public libraries.--John Charles, Scottsdale P.L., AZ

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7.20(w) x 10.20(h) x 1.90(d)

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Read an Excerpt


I have been thinking of this book as The Pastry Bible for ten years now, since the publication of The Cake Bible. But after much discussion, I decided to give it the title The Pie and Pastry Bible because I discovered that most people do not know exactly what "pastry" means or that pies are also pastry.

The Oxford dictionary defines pastry as: "Dough made of flour, fat and water, used for covering pies or holding filling."

The writer couldn't have known the pleasure of a fresh tart cherry pie or of a flaky, buttery croissant, or his definition would never have remained so dispassionately matter-of-fact.

I did not grow up with much of a pastry tradition. Neither my mother nor grandmother baked. Once in a while I was treated to either a bakery prune Danish or éclair but that was it. Sunday morning breakfast was a buttered bagel. My father, a cabinet maker, also provided the greater New York and New Jersey area bagel factories with wooden peels, and the fringe benefit was a weekly string of fresh bagels.

The first pie I ever attempted was cherry pie, using prepared pie filling. It was during Thanksgiving break of my freshman year at the University of Vermont. I had just learned the basic techniques of pie making in class and wanted to please and surprise my father. It turned out that everyone else in the family was surprised as well but in different and disagreeable ways! The oven in our city apartment had never been used except to store pots and pans. My mother, who was afraid of lighting an oven that had been dormant so long, made a long "fuse" from a paper towel and took me into the living room, covering her ears. A few minutes later, when the flame reached the escaping gas, there was the loud explosion she had anticipated (not to mention unnecessarily created). Minutes later, my grandmother (whose domain the kitchen actually was) came running in crying, "The soap, the soap!" It turned out she stored her bars of soap for dishwashing in the broiler under the oven. The soap, by then, was melted and bubbling (much to my amusement). But the worst surprise was yet to come. During the baking of the pie, the cherry juice started bubbling out of the pie and onto the floor of the oven where it started to burn and smoke. Apparently the steam vents I had carefully cut into the top crust had resealed from the thick juices of the sugared cherries.

At Christmas break I tried again, this time lighting the oven myself — though I did forget to remove the soap again. My creative though absurd solution to the sealed vents was to insert little straws in them so that the juices could bubble up and down without spilling. Finally, I discovered that all that is necessary is to make little cutouts, which, unlike the slits, cannot reseal. But these days I prefer a lattice crust for my cherry pies. The fruit is simply too beautiful to hide.

My next attempt at pie was two years later as a new bride. I wanted to surprise my Vermont husband with a New England specialty he claimed to enjoy: pumpkin pie. As I was emptying the contents of the can into the pie shell, I licked my finger, which confirmed my suspicion that this was not a pie I was going to like. When I presented it for that evening's dessert, I couldn't resist adding: "I don't know how you can eat this; it tastes like a barnyard." To which he answered: "It does and I can't! What did you put in it?" "Pumpkin." I said, thinking what a ridiculously obvious question. "What else?" he asked. "What else goes in?" I queried. "Eggs, brown sugar, spices, vanilla," he enumerated as I sat there feeling like a total fool. Coincidentally, I was reading James Michener's Sayonara, in which the Japanese bride did the same thing, making her American husband a pumpkin pie using only canned pumpkin without sweetener or flavorings, thinking that it was pumpkin pie that somehow appealed to Western taste. It made me feel a lot better. (Too bad I hadn't reached that chapter before my own misadventure!) The next week I tried again, making it from scratch. To my surprise I loved it. It took me thirty years to achieve what I consider to be the state-of-the-art pumpkin pie.

Making pie crust and other pastries was another story. Pie crust, in particular, never came out the same way twice in a row. My goal in writing this book was to delve into the mysteries of pie crusts so that they would always come out the way I wanted them to be — tender and flaky — and if not, to understand why. My goal was also to convey this knowledge in a way that would encourage and enable others to do the same. This was far more of a challenge than cake baking. When it comes to cake, if one follows the rules, perfection is inevitable. But for pastry you must be somewhat of an interpretive artist as well as disciplined technician. You have to develop a sense of the dough: when it needs to be chilled or when it needs to be a little more moist. The best way to become proficient is by doing it often. And here's the motivation: The best pastry is made at home. This is because it can receive individual attention and optimal conditions. Try making a flaky pie crust in a 100°F. restaurant kitchen and I'm sure you'll agree. Also, there is nothing more empowering than the thrill of achieving good pastry. I'll always remember my first puff pastry. My housekeeper and I sat spellbound before the oven, watching it swell open and rise. It seemed alive. It was sheer magic. I also cherish the memory of my nephew Alexander unmolding his first tartlet when he was a little boy (and didn't kiss girls). The dough had taken on the attractive design of the fluted mold and he was so thrilled he forgot the rules and kissed me!

Many people think of me as "the cake lady," but the truth is I am more a pastry person! I love cake, but I adore pastry because of its multiplicity of textures and prevalence of juicy, flavorful fruit. I have had the pleasure of developing the recipes in this book for more than ten years. All were enjoyable, but I have included only those I personally would want to have again and again.

My fondest wish is that everyone will know the goodness of making and eating wonderful pastry. Then they will walk down the street with a secret little smile on their faces — like mine.

Rose Levy Beranbaum

Text copyright © 1998 by Cordon Rose, Inc.

Meet the Author

Rose Levy Bernabaum, a frequent contributor to all the major food magazines and The New York Times, is a consultant to the baking and chocolate industries. Her definitive work on cakes, The Cake Bible, won the Cookbook of the Year Award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Rose's research for The Pie and Pastry Bible included a strudel pilgrimage to Austria, a fact-finding Danish mission to Denmark, and travel and study throughout France, Switzerland, Hungary, and Germany. She lives in New York City.

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The Pie and Pastry Bible 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book. It's full of useful information and great recipes. If you're a newbie to baking, make the time to actually read the book, especially the technical sections. Once you've done that, read the recipe through completely, making the time to understand what's required in terms of equipment, technique, etc. This is both a useful reference and a great cookbook. Begin here and you won't NEED a mountain of other titles just to learn the basics. Read the whole book, so you can find out about all the wonderful fillings and savory treats you can create, and USE the book as a reference for creating your own variations. There's far more to this book than just a bunch of dessert recipes. FWIW, the author has an online blog, where she regularly updates the errata for all her titles. She's meticulous and careful, and truly cares about her readers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I hate to be a party pooper, but as much as one hopes to love this book, it was just too poorly written and edited. It has many terrific ideas for someone who has baked pies before, but for a newcomer like myself, the defects are pretty glaring. I bought the book because I love 'The Cake Bible'. But this time, the editor went to press before finishing her work, and I bet she's responsible for wasting many thousands of hours of her readers' time, considering how popular this book is. In order to make crust using this book, you have to flip back and forth between many sections: the dough recipe, the rolling instructions, the laying out of the dough, and the baking are all in different places, in the wrong order, and not clearly labeled. I can see why this happened, because the rolling and baking are similar for different dough recipes, and she didn't want to repeat the same instructions over and over. But at least the sections should have been in order! Additional stories and comments are intermixed with the instructions, which makes it hard to follow the instructions once you find them. Different dimensions are given in different places for the size of the rolled dough you need. Sections headings are not consistently formatted--sometimes a new subsection is in the same style as the heading that started the section. I'm a professional scientist and university professor, and I love to cook. I don't think I have any special impairment following instructions. The other reviewers who liked this book surely had the same experience, unless they knew ahead of time what they were doing, so I say to them: stop recommending this book so highly, except to experienced pie and tart bakers! For making pastry the first time, I would use 'The Way to Cook' by Julia Child instead, which manages to give all of the necessary instructions very clearly, in the correct order, in about two pages. Then buy Beranbaum's book and read it at leisure if you want inspiration and expert knowledge, and you don't mind an error here or there. I hope there will be an easier-to-use second edition of this book. The tart I made was truly delicious, but the process made me angry. I'm guessing that the author or editor or publisher decided their deadline was more important than a final week of editing. What a shame.
DogIslander More than 1 year ago
My journey in the making of pies began as a graduate student living in Eastern Washington. Living in my first bachelor apartment, I decided to impress my friends and guests by making a pie for dessert. The filling was easy, but the crust turned out to be a complete nightmare! No matter what I tried, I always wound up with a greasy, wet ball of sticky, uncooperative dough, hard as a rock or crumbling apart into a million odd size pieces. I became desperate and frustrated. This can't be rocket science! In a state of frustration and despair, I entertained the idea of buying a ready made crust at the grocery store. Half way to the store, I turned around and returned empty handed to review the recipe just one more time. Still unable to find the problem, I did what I should have done hours before; I called my Mom, long distance, and wimpered, "help!!" It was then that Mom patiently taught me how to make a good pie crust, using her tried and true family recipe. Since then, I have never looked back! While my Mom is no longer alive, she is still with me in spirit . . . especially when I make a pie. Rose's book rekindled my love for cooking and baking. This is truly the most comprehensive, informative, and enlightening book on the subject in market. The chapters are well organized and the content is articulated in a clear and exacting manner. My first attempt making one of her crusts was ambitious and totally breaking new ground for me. Nonetheless, by following the directions carefully, the product was superb! The real plus to Rose's book is the amount of attention to detail that she provides on every page and in every recipe. Many times, while reading through this book (and it reads as much like a novel as a cookbook) I found myself thinking "Well, I'll be darn! I have always wondered about that . . . "). The book would be well worth the money if pies were all that was covered. However, the book goes far beyond pies, as the title indicates. Since I am now at the point where providing additional information would spoil the surprises for the reader, I will end here with a hearty endorsement for The Pie & Pastry Bible. It is a "must have" addition to the library of anyone, experienced or novice, who is truly interested in perfecting the art of pie and pastry. Tim Wittman, Guemes Island, Washington.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you bake pies or tarts you have to get this book. I have tried at least a dozen pie dough recipes and this is by far the easiest and best-tasting. I would have given this book 5 stars if it had more color pictures of the finished product.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have never been able to make a pie crust worth eating. Following the step by step directions for her basic pie cust, I made my first (successful) apple pie and received raved reviews! Highly recommend this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like Rose's style of systematic explanation of the processes at work and how they affect the outcome.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I took a pie class where the instructor used this book and highly recommended it. I've been making pies for over 35 years but felt I could learn more which I did. Excellent reference book for pies!
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flossieJK More than 1 year ago
It is very informative and easy to use.
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