Pie and Pastry Bible

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Overview

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, ...
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Overview

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
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684813486
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Publication date: 11/28/1998
  • Pages: 704
  • Sales rank: 128,863
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 1.90 (d)

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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Read an Excerpt

INTRODUCTION

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.

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Table of Contents

CONTENTS

FOREWORD

INTRODUCTION

BASIC PASTRY INGREDIENTS

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES

Crusts

Fruit Pies

Chiffon Pies

Meringue Pies and Tarts

Custard Pies and Tarts

Ice Cream Pies and Ice Creams

Tarts and Tartlets

Savory Tarts and Pies — and Quiche

Biscuits and Scones

Fillo

Strudel

Puff Pastry and Croissant

Danish Pastry

Brioche

Cream Puff Pastry

Fillings and Toppings

Sauces and Glazes

Techniques

Ingredients

Equipment

SOURCES

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

INDEX

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First Chapter

Chapter One

CRUSTS

FLAKY PIE CRUSTS

My pastry odyssey began twenty-one years ago, when I started making pie crust. At first it was a complete mystery to me. Sometimes it needed just a little water and the crust came out too fragile to roll. Other times the same amount of flour required lots of water and the crust came out flaky but as tough as cardboard. I hadn't the slightest idea that in the first instance I had mixed the flour and fat too much before adding the liquid so the fat in effect moisture-proofed the flour, preventing it from absorbing water. In the second instance, I hadn't mixed the flour and fat enough so that the water could absorb into the flour readily and form gluten, resulting in a tough crust.

    My dream was to turn out a flaky and tender pie crust on a regular basis. And, of course, just as for cakes, I found that the only way to have complete control is to understand the ingredients--what they contain and how they react. But that was not enough. Theory is one thing, practice another. Now, many hundreds of pie crusts later, after trying every flour, fat, liquid, and technique I could think of, I have realized my dream. Now my goal is to share this knowledge and skill with others. There is simply no commercial pie crust equal to a homemade pie crust made well. I am convinced that if pie lovers had the experience of tasting one of this quality, they would start making pies from scratch, because it's not something one is likely to forget--ever.

But even with the clearest directions, making pie crust is a craft, and one must develop a feel for the dough. The more you make dough, the better you get. The French have a saying for this: Il faut mettre la main a la pate, which means, "It is necessary to put your hand to the dough"--or, to paraphrase, hands-on experience is everything.

COMMERCIAL PIE CRUSTS I have tried many commercial packaged and frozen crusts over the years and find them all lacking. Most are too salty for sweet fillings. The problem with frozen crusts is that when baked blind without filling, they tend to develop cracks that allow liquid ingredients to leak through them during baking, sticking to the pan at best and messing up the oven at worst. If I had to recommend a commercial pie crust, it would be the Betty Crocker crust in a box. Though it is salty, it has a good flavor unfortunately not from butter. The texture is flaky and it is foolproof and easy to mix and roll. Of the frozen crusts, Pillsbury has the best flavor it's made with lard, but don't prebake it!

THE IDEAL PIE CRUST It has light, flaky layers, is tender and golden brown, and has a flavor good enough to eat by itself. My favorite part of the crust is the top crust, because it does not get pressed together by the weight of the filling and stays crisp. Although the most flaky texture is achieved with my all-butter crust, I often make my butter/cream cheese crust. It is a bit less crisp and flaky, but it tastes so delicious it's worth the slight loss of flakiness. I do not at all like the flavor oil imparts to a crust. Using solid vegetable shortening, however, or half shortening and half butter, is useful for making spectacular borders, as this crust doesn't soften from the heat of the oven as quickly as an all-butter crust, allowing the decoration to hold its shape better. It is also more tender and lighter than an all-butter crust, but it is less crisp and browns faster.

    For savory pies, I prefer my most tender, crisp, and flaky of all crusts, the lard crust, though for some savory fillings the butter/Cheddar cheese crust is a better match. For chicken potpie, the butter/goose fat crust is a luxury, and for steak and kidney pie, the meltingly tender, flaky beef suet crust couldn't be more indulgent.

FLAKINESS The way to achieve flaky layers of dough in a pie crust is to keep the pieces of fat large, flat, and solid. When the fat starts to soften, it is absorbed into the flour and the layering is lost. For this reason, it is essential to keep all the ingredients cold and to work quickly. I usually freeze even the flour.

TENDERNESS Flour high in protein requires more water and forms gluten more readily, which makes the dough made from it stretchy and hard to roll thin, resulting in a chewy or tough crust. Flour low in protein, such as cake flour, will usually produce a dough that is so tender it tears when it is transferred to the pie pan and develops cracks during baking. I've succeeded in making flaky pie crust with the lowest-protein flour, cake flour, but I did not like its flavor. The trick is to leave the butter in large cold pieces so that when the water is added, all of it is absorbed into the flour, developing the maximum amount of gluten. The usual practice of cutting the butter into the flour until mealy moisture-proofs the flour slightly, limiting gluten formation. Pastry flour, as the name implies, contains the ideal protein content to produce a good balance of flakiness and tenderness. You can approximate the same protein content by blending together a national brand of bleached all-purpose flour and cake flour see page 7.

BROWNING The speed of browning is increased by high protein, sugar, and low acidity. Cake flour, which is the lowest in protein and highest in acidity, browns the most slowly. The higher the protein in the flour, the faster the browning. All-purpose flour and homemade pastry flour will brown faster than commercial pastry flour. A crust made with the addition of cream cheese, which contains protein, will also brown faster than an all-butter crust. My colleague Shirley Corriher recommends adding a pinch of baking soda to decrease the crust's acidity for recipes where the pie does not bake long enough to brown the crust adequately.

PIE CRUST INGREDIENTS

FLOUR My pie dough recipes were tested with 100% Gold Medal bleached all-purpose flour, King Arthur pastry flour, and a blend of Gold Medal bleached all-purpose flour and cake flour not self-rising.

    For a whole wheat crust, since whole wheat flour weighs about the same as all-purpose flour, it is easy to replace one third the weight or volume of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour. This produces a tenderness similar to a crust made from pastry flour, because whole wheat flour contains very little gluten-forming protein just a little more than cake flour. For best results, it is always a good idea to process the whole wheat flour in a food processor to reduce the size of the coarser germ and bran, which tend to cut through the dough's gluten, weakening it.

    If you have a favorite recipe that uses all-purpose flour and want it to be a little more tender, you can replace the all-purpose flour with an equal weight of pastry flour. Or, if using the volume method of measure, for every cup of all-purpose flour, use 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon of pastry flour.

    Wondra flour can be substituted for pastry flour. With 10 grams of protein per cup compared to pastry flour's 9.2 grams, it will make a crust that is almost, but not quite, as tender. Some of the soft Southern flours have about 9 grams of protein, a little lower than pastry flour, and therefore produce a crust that is a little more tender and a little less flaky--unless all of the fat is left in large pieces.

FAT The fat in a pie crust not only creates flaky layers, it also tenderizes and moisture-proofs it. A crust that is high enough in fat and completely baked is not likely to become soggy even if it is not prebaked. A good ratio is 1 1/3 cups flour to 1/2 cup 8 tablespoons of butter. Grade A and AA butters contain only about 81 percent fat, whereas shortening and lard are 100 percent fat. This has been taken into consideration when formulating the recipes. Lower-quality butter contains more water and will produce a less tender crust. Commercial lard varies in quality and some brands have an off taste. It is always preferable to render your own see page 42.

LIQUID Without liquid, the proteins in the flour could not connect to form the gluten structure necessary for holding the dough together. Some liquids also provide extra fat such as cream or acidity such as buttermilk. I sometimes like to substitute a small percentage of vinegar for the liquid if it has no acidity of its own. I enjoy its faint but pleasant flavor, but what is most important is that the vinegar's acidity weakens the gluten just enough to make rolling even the flakiest, most elastic dough a dream--even 1/16 inch thin--after resting for just 45 minutes. It also prevents shrinkage and distortion during baking, though to ensure a perfect shape, it is always best to allow the dough to rest for 6 to 8 hours after rolling. If you need a quick crust, the one with cream cheese shrinks least when baked without adequate resting. I do not add vinegar to a crust that is tender on its own, such as the suet beef-fat crust. Using chilled beef broth to replace the water for this crust, however, is an interesting enhancement.

    If your water smells of chlorine, use bottled still mineral water or allow the tap water to sit uncovered, or covered with cheesecloth, for 6 to 8 hours, and the odor and flavor will disappear.

BAKING POWDER An eighth of a teaspoon of baking powder per cup of flour not only serves to help counteract the dough's tendency to shrink, it also helps to lift, aerate, and tenderize it, and it adds a perceptible mellowness of flavor if you use an all-phosphate product containing calcium acid phosphate, such as Rumford see page 624. It lacks the bitter aftertaste associated with SAS baking powders, which also contain sodium aluminum sulfate. As it is a perfect balance of acid and base, it has no effect on browning. Another magnificent advantage to baking powder is that the tenderizing effect doesn't take place until baking, so there is no danger of increasing the fragility of the crust during rolling and transferring it to the pan.

SALT A pie crust would taste flat without an adequate amount of salt. I prefer using sea salt, as it has a more aromatic, almost sweet flavor. For savory fillings, use one and a half times the salt called for in the recipe.

    If you are adding baking powder to a preexisting recipe, use only half the salt called for.

MIXING THE DOUGH

In the recipes, I offer two methods for making flaky pie dough: the food processor and the hand method. The hand method produces the flakiest crust. The food processor method is easier and quicker and results in an excellent crust, though slightly less flaky, as long as it is not overprocessed. It's the one I choose when the kitchen is warm or if I'm in a rush. When I'm in the mood for absolute perfection, I use the hand method.

    After gathering the mixed dough together and kneading it lightly, you can tell how your crust will turn out by looking at two different factors: If you see thin flakes of butter in the dough, you know it will be flaky; and if you try stretching it slightly and it seems a little elastic, you know it will be strong enough to hold up well for rolling and baking. If when you begin rolling the dough, it appears to be too fragile and tears when lifted, fold it in thirds like a business letter and refrigerate it for about 20 minutes before rolling it again. This works if the dough was not manipulated enough to develop the gluten--but not if it was too moisture-proofed by the fat.

RESTING THE DOUGH

Flattening the newly formed dough into a 5- to 6-inch disc before refrigerating it makes it easier to roll without cracking. The dough is refrigerated to relax the gluten, making it less elastic and easier to roll. It cannot relax in the freezer, because freezing sets it too quickly, but freezing for 15 minutes before baking is a great help to set the edge and ensure flakiness. Chilling also firms the butter, preventing it from softening, which would result in loss of flaky layering and in sticking, requiring extra flour, which would toughen it. Dough that has rested overnight before baking shrinks less and holds its shape better.

    It is fine to roll out the dough, slip it onto a parchment- or plastic wrap-lined baking sheet, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it until ready to use. It will need to soften for about 10 minutes at room temperature in order to be flexible enough to line the pie or tart pan, but then it needs only brief chilling 15 minutes in the freezer to set the edges and ensure flakiness, as opposed to the usual hour in the refrigerator needed to prevent distortion after rolling and thereby activating the gluten.

MAKING YOUR OWN PASTRY FLOUR

The major advantage of using commercial pastry flour, such as King Arthur's, is that its protein content of 9.2 grams per cup is fairly standard from batch to batch. Bleached all-purpose flour can vary from brand to brand and even harvest to harvest, from 8 to 14 grams of protein per cup, averaging 11 grams. If your all-purpose flour has 11 grams per cup, then your homemade pastry flour will be 9.9 grams protein, compared to the 9.2 of King Arthur pastry flour--just slightly stronger. If you find that your pie crusts made from your own blend of pastry flour are coming out too tender, either reduce the amount of cake flour or use 100 percent all-purpose flour. Conversely, if they are coming out too tough, increase the amount of cake flour slightly.

    To replace the all-purpose flour in a recipe with homemade pastry flour, use a national brand of bleached all-purpose flour, such as Gold Medal or Pillsbury, and cake flour that is not self-rising, or whole wheat flour. If you are doing it by weight, then simply replace one third of the all-purpose flour in the recipe with an equal weight of cake flour or whole wheat flour. Whisk or beat them together until blended. If measuring by volume, use a ratio of 2 parts bleached all-purpose flour to 1 part cake flour.

    To make your own pastry flour, if using a scale, do two thirds bleached all-purpose flour to one third cake flour by weight. If measuring by volume, use the following proportions: 4 cups of bleached all-purpose flour, measured by dip and sweep, and 2 1/4 cups of cake flour, measured by dip and sweep. Stir the flours lightly before measuring and mix them well after combining to blend them evenly. This will make 6 1/4 cups of pastry flour almost 2 pounds. Store it airtight.

POINTERS FOR SUCCESS FOR MAKING FLAKY PIE CRUSTS

* For flaky crust, ingredients must be cold to start with and stay cold.

* Use the correct flour. It is practically impossible to make a flaky crust or even one that holds together using cake flour and equally difficult to make a tender crust using unbleached all-purpose or bread flour.

* If using baking powder, be sure not to use SAS baking powders, which contain sodium aluminum sulfate, or the crust will have a bitter aftertaste. Use an all-phosphate product containing calcium acid phosphate, such as Rumford, available in some supermarkets and most health food stores.

* If not weighing the flour, use the dip and sweep method: Lightly stir the flour, then dip the cup into the flour and sweep off the excess with a metal spatula or knife.

* Brush off any excess flour on top of the dough after shaping it, as it will taste bitter after baking.

ROLLING AND SHAPING FLAKY PIE CRUST

When determining the size of rolled-out dough you need for any pie or tart, it is necessary to consider what sort of edge or border you want. For a tart pan with fluted sides, you need extra dough to turn down to make a narrow decorative edge that extends a little past the top edge of the pan, to allow for shrinkage during baking. For a single-crust pie, you need an extra inch of dough so there is enough to tuck under at the edge for an impressive raised border. A double-crust pie does not require this extra dough, because there will be two extra layers provided by the top crust, which gets tucked under the bottom crust. If the border of the two crusts pressed together is too thick, it will droop during baking. Drooping may even occur with a thick fluted border on a single-crust pie that is baked on the floor of the oven, close to the heat source. In this instance, it is wise to choose a small border that does not extend over the edge of the pie pan.

    The standard pie pan is 9 inches in diameter and 1 1/4 inches deep. The standard fluted tart pan is 9 1/2 inches, measured across the top from one inside edge to the other, and 1 inch deep. Some pie and tart pans, however, measure as much as 1/2 inch less in diameter and the depth of the pie or tart pan may also vary by as much. To be certain that you will have a circle of dough that is the correct size, measure the pan before cutting the dough.

MEASURING THE PAN

Measure the inside of the pie or tart pan with a flexible tape measure by starting at one inside edge, going down the side, across the bottom, and up the other side. Write down these numbers for future reference. When cutting the circle of dough to line the pan, increase the measure accordingly:

For a fluted tart pan, cut the dough circle 1 inch larger.
For a single-crust pie, cut the dough circle 3 inches larger.
For a two-crust pie, cut both circles of dough 2 inches larger.

SIZES OF DOUGH CIRCLES TO CUT FOR STANDARD PANS

For 4 1/4-inch pielets or 7-inch half pies, see Windfall Fruit Pielets, page 78.

    For a single-crust 9-inch pie, cut the dough 13 inches 12 inches if baking on the floor of the oven.

    For a two-crust 9-inch pie, cut the bottom crust 12 inches, transfer it to the pan, and trim it almost to the edge of the pie plate. Cut the top crust 12 inches or more if the fruit is mounded high; you need enough dough to go over the mounded fruit plus a 1/2-inch overlap to turn under all around.

    For a two-crust 10-inch pie, cut the dough 15 1/2 inches, transfer it to the pan, and trim it almost to the edge of the pie plate, and at least 13 inches or more if the fruit is mounded high for a top crust.

For a 3- by 5/8-inch tartlet, cut the dough 3 3/4 inches.
For a 4- by 3/4-inch tartlet, cut the dough 5 3/4 inches.
For a 4 3/4- by 3/4-inch tartlet, cut the dough 6 1/2 inches.
For a 9 1/2- by 1-inch tart, cut the dough 12 inches.

    If the dough has not been given a chance to relax after it has been mixed, it will usually shrink when it is transferred to the pie or tart pan. If the dough has not relaxed adequately, it will be elastic. If you don't have the time to let it relax fully, cut the dough about a half inch larger than indicated above. When the circle of dough shrinks, it becomes both smaller in diameter and thicker. Since a thin bottom crust is more desirable, it is best to plan ahead and give the dough a chance to relax.

PREPARING THE PAN

The pie crust recipes in this book, though tender, are strong enough so that after a pie made from one of them has cooled completely, you can slide it out of the pan and onto a serving plate. This makes cutting each piece easier and prevents the knife from becoming dull and the pie pan from being scratched.

    There is enough fat in these doughs to make greasing the pan unnecessary. If you would like to give added texture to the bottom crust, butter and flour the pan. To do this, use a piece of plastic wrap to spread a thin layer of softened butter onto the bottom and sides of the pan. Scoop about 1/4 cup of flour into the pan and, holding it over the flour bin, rotate the pan to disperse the flour all over it. Turn it over the bin and knock out the excess flour.

[CHAPTER ONE CONTINUES ...]

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Introduction

INTRODUCTION 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 &233;clair 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.

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Foreword

FOREWORD

The first year I was married, I lived in Amherst, Massachusetts, and spent most of my time cooking my head off. I especially liked to make desserts -- the more complex, the better. I made Gâteau St.-Honoré, Zuppa Inglese, Napoleon, Dobos Torte every day of the week. No kidding. Word of my feats got out, and I was approached one day by another faculty wife at Amherst College (where my husband taught) who asked me to teach her how to make a pie crust. I was horrified. A pie crust? How in heaven's name would I ever teach anyone how to do something as elusive and as complicated as that?

Everything changed when I began to edit this book. Just as I had with Rose's book on cakes, I became mesmerized by pies. And since Rose is like Merlin in her ability to draw you in, it wasn't long before I became obsessed by pies. It took hold on a Sunday afternoon, as I left her apartment clutching a sliver of her pear pie. I saw as she sliced it how succulently juicy the pears were, yet there was no dripping of juice onto the pie plate -- all the juice seemed to cling to each slice of pear. I saw the crust as she was slicing it -- and it seemed crisp, crunchy, flaky -- and it was the most beautiful beige-brown against the juicy, holding-the-juice-to-themselves pears. When I got home and shared the treasure with my husband (reluctantly), I realized that Rose had transformed the meaning of pie for me.

I guess I'm bound to get some people angry when I say that I've always thought pies have needed Rose to lift them out of the homey, soggy, less-than-glamorous position they've occupied in America. The fact is, nobody knows how to make them wellanymore. In her ingenious, utterly meticulous way, Rose has reflected long and hard on just how to bring a pie to the level of greatness. She has devised ways that enable a crust to stay crisp beneath the most juicy fruit filling, by placing the pie plate on the oven floor. She makes a fruit more succulent by macerating it with sugar, carefully collecting the juice, and cooking it so that it caramelizes and can create a synthesis with the fruit when the pie is baked in the oven. Rose makes the most of fruit, too. She keeps whenever and wherever possible much of the fruit in her pies fresh, so that it won't lose its personality when it reaches our mouths, and she cooks just enough of the fruit to provide a juicy cushion.

I could go on in this way about each one of Rose's recipes in this book, and I know everybody would think that I was writing a press release after a while. I'll try to be as composed as I can, but who else but Rose would go to Denmark and find out what Danish pastry is all about, and come back with recipes that make you swear you'll make Danish pastry as often as you can. Who else but Rose would go to Austria, and to Hungary, zealously watching master strudel-makers stretch dough, and then come home and make it one hundred times in her apartment in New York, so she could get it just right for us? Who else but Rose would come up with a cream cheese crust whose taste and texture defy description?

I used to think, before I edited Rose's first bible, that I made cakes as well as any home baker. Rose brought me to another level I didn't know existed. I began to make my cakes differently after that, and I also began to understand how important taste was to everything. I'll never add vanilla, or a strip of lemon zest, to a recipe again, whether it's one from Rose or not, unless it smells wonderful and is of the highest quality. I'll never make pound cake unless all the ingredients are at room temperature. With this book, I'll go to the farmer's market excited to find red currants, blueberries, Marionberries, sour cherries, and know with confidence that when I put them in one of Rose's crusts, they'll lose none of their fresh, lustrous brilliance. Now finally, after thirty-three years of baking, and under Rose's tutelage, am I ready to give the woman who asked me to teach her to make a pie, and roll a crust, the class she wanted.

Maria Guarnaschelli
Vice President and Senior Editor
Scribner

Text copyright © 1998 by Cordon Rose, Inc.

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Recipe

Apple Galette

This paper-thin, tart, buttery free-form apple pastry, gilded with golden apricot glaze, is a classic of French pastry. The apples are overlapped like the petals of a giant rose. The tart is simple, elegant, light, crisp, and delicious and makes a spectacular centerpiece.

Oven temperature: 400°F.
Baking time: 40 minutes
Serves: 6 to 8

INGREDIENTS

Flaky Cream Cheese Pie Crust for a 14-inch free-form tart (14.3 ounces/406 grams) [see below]
4 firm-textured tart baking apples (1-2/3 pounds), such as Greening, Granny Smith, or Golden Delicious, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/8 inch thick (5-1/3 cups sliced/21.25 ounces sliced/604 grams)
freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 teaspoons)
1/4 cup sugar(1.75 ounces/50 grams)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (1 ounce/28 grams)
Optional Glaze
1/2 cup apricot preserves (6 ounces/170 grams)
1 tablespoon apricot eau-de-vie (Barack Palinka) or Calvados (apple brandy) (0.5 ounces/14 grams)

EQUIPMENT
A 12- to 14-inch flat round heavy steel pizza pan or an inverted baking sheet (preferably black)

Make the dough.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. at least 20 minutes before baking. If not using a black pan, plan to bake the galette directly on the oven floor; alternatively, set an oven rack at the lowest level and place a baking stone or cookie sheet on it before preheating.

Using a floured pastry cloth and sleeve rubbed with flour or two large sheets of plastic wrap lightly sprinkled with flour, roll the dough 1/8 inch thick or less and large enough to cut a 16-inch circle. Use an expandable flan ring or a cardboard template and a sharp knife to cut the circle. If the dough softens, slip it (still on the cloth or plastic wrap) onto a baking sheet and refridgerate it, covered, for about 30 minutes or until firm before lining the pan. The pastry is too large to slip your hands under and support it adequately. To transfer it to the pan, roll it loosely over the rolling pin or dust it lightly with flour and fold in quarters. Leave the overhang.

Sprinkle the apple slices with the lemon juice to keep them from browning. Arrange the apple slices, cored sides facing toward the center, overlapping in concentric circles, starting from the outer edge of the pan. If you run out of room, push a few slices of the fruit closer together and insert the remaining slices evenly in between. Fold the overhanging border of dough over the outer edge of the apples, helping it to pleat softly at even intervals, and brush this dough rim with a little milk or water. Sprinkle the apples and the dough rim with the sugar. (This will give the border a crunchy texture.)

Dot the apples with the pieces of butter and bake for 40 minutes or until the apples are tender when pierced with a skewer and the dough is crisp. Toward the end of baking, with a metal spatula, carefully lift up the crust and check to make sure it is not burning. If it is very dark, lower te heat to 375°F. or remove the tart (without the stone) to a higher rack to finish cooling.

Cool the tart on the pan on a rack until warm, then glaze if desired.

Make the Glaze (optional)
In a saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the apricot preserves until boiling and strain them. Stir in the liqueur and brush the glaze onto the apples. (This creates a shiny finish and piquant taste.)

VARIATION
Pear Galette: Replace the apples with 2 large firm but ripe Barlett pears (about 12 to 14 ounces total); they should have a pronounced pear aroma. Peel, halve lengthwise, and core the pears. Slice lengthwise into 1/8-inch slices. Arrange the slices, pointed ends toward the center, in overlapping circles on the pastry. To form a center pear-shaped decoration, trim 2 slices to make them shorter but maintain the pear shape and place them, slightly overlapping, curved sides out. Cut a small piece of stem or vanilla bean and place it on the pointed end. Use only 2 tablespoons of sugar to sprinkle on top.

STORE
Room temperature, up to 2 days

NOTE
A half-size galette can be made using a 9-inch pan. Roll the dough less than 1/8 inch thick and large enough to cut an 11-inch circle.

UNDERSTANDING
The flaky cream cheese pie crust is ideal for this tart because of its mellow, buttery flavor and its texture, which is slightly softer than the Basic Flaky Pie Crust, but the flaky pie crust or one of its variations can be substituted. For the crispiest, flakiest effect of all, puff pastry is your dough.

Flaky Cream Cheese Pie Crust

This is my favorite pie crust. It took several years and over fifty tries to get it just right and is the soul of this book. It is unlike any other cream cheese pie crust because, in addition to being tender, it is also flaky. In fact, it is very similar in texture to Basic Flaky Pie Crust -- almost as flaky but a little softer and more tender, and it browns more when baked, resulting in a rich golden color. The addition of cream cheese makes it even easier to prepare than basic flaky pie crust because you never have to guess at how much water to add, and it gives it a flavor so delicious it is great to eat just by itself without filling! It is well worth purchasing or making pastry flour, as it will result in a more tender crust.

Pastry for a 12- to 14-inch free-form tart
Makes: 14.3 ounces/406 grams

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold (6 ounces/170 grams)
1-1/3 cups + 4 teaspoons pastry flour or 1-1/3 cups bleached all-purpose flour (dip and sweep method) (6.5 ounces/184 grams)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
One 3-ounce package cream cheese, cold (3 ounces/85 grams)
1-1/2 tablespoons ice water (0.75 ounces/21 grams)
1-1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar (0.25 ounces/7 grams)

FOOD PROCESSOR METHOD

Cut the butter into small (about 3/4-inch) cubes. Wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze it until frozen solid, at least 30 minutes. Place the flour, salt, and baking powder in a reclosable gallon-size freezer bag and freeze for at least 30 minutes.

Place the flour mixture in a food processor with the metal blade and process for a few seconds to combine. Set the bag aside.

Cut the cream cheese into 3 or 4 pieces and add it to the flour. Process for about 20 seconds or until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the frozen butter cubes and pulse until none of the butter is larger than the size of a pea. (Toss with a fork to sea it better.) Remove the cover and add the water and vinegar. Pulse until most of the butter is reduced to the size of small peas. The mixture will be in particles and will not hold together. Spoon it into the plastic bag. (For a double-crust pie, it is easiest to divide the mixture in half at this point.)

Holding both ends of the bag opening with your fingers, knead the mixture by alternatively pressing it, from the outside of the bag, with the knuckles and heels of your hands until the mixture holds together in one piece and feels slightly stretchy when pulled.

Wrap the dough with plastic wrap, flatten it into a disc (or discs), and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes, preferably overnight. (For a pie shell and lattice, divide it in a ratio of two thirds: one third -- use about 9.5 ounces for the shell and the rest for the lattice, flattening the smaller part into a triangle.)

HAND METHOD

Place a medium mixing bowl in the freezer to chill.

Cut the butter into small (about 3/4-inch) cubes. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes.

Place the flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Add the cream cheese and rub the mixture between your fingers to blend the cream cheese into the flour until it resembles coarse meal. Spoon the mixture, together with the cold butter, into a reclosable gallon-size freezer bag. Expel any air from the bag and close it. Use a rolling pin to flatten the butter into thin flakes. Place the bag in the freezer for at least 10 minutes or until the butter is very firm.

Transfer the mixture to the chilled bowl, scraping the sides of the bag. Set the bag aside. Sprinkle the mixture with the water and vinegar, tossing lightly with a rubber spatula. Spoon it into the plastic bag. (For a two-crust pie, it is easiest to divide the mixture in half at this point.)

Holding both ends of the bag opening with your fingers, knead the mixture by alternatively pressing it, form the outside of the bag, with the knuckles and heels of your hands until the mixture holds together in one piece and feels slightly stretchy when pulled.

Wrap the dough with plastic wrap, flatten it into a disc (or discs), and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes, preferably overnight. (For a pie shell and lattice, divide it in a ratio of two thirds: one third -- use about 9.5 ounces for the shell and the rest for the lattice, flattening the smaller part into a rectangle.)

VARIATION

Mascarpone Cheese Crust
An equal weight of mascarpone cheese can be substituted for the cream cheese, but omit the vinegar and use bleached all-purpose flour, not pastry flour, or the crust will be too tender.

STORE

Refrigerated, up to 2 days; frozen, up to 3 months.

UNDERSTANDING

A classic cream cheese crust contains no water and is more tender than all-butter crust but not at all flaky. I have found it to be so tender it is impossible to use for a lattice top and the bottom crust often develops cracks through which a filling will leak and stick to the bottom of the pan. Very little water is needed, because the cream cheese contains 51 percent water. The addition of a small amount of water connects the two gluten-forming proteins in the flour, producing the rubbery, stretchy gluten that strengthens the structure just enough to prevent cracking when the crust bakes. This pie crust does not shrink or distort as much as an all-butter crust because there is less development of gluten. The acidity of the vinegar weakens the gluten that forms, making the crust still more tender and less likely to shrink. If desire, it can be replaced with water.

Cream cheese is 51 percent water and 37.7 percent fat, so 3 ounces contains 1.53 ounces (about 3 tablespoons) of water and about 1.13 ounces of fat. That means that the pie crust with 6.5 ounces of flour contains the equivalent of 4-1/2 tablespoons of water. Compared to the all-butter crust, this crust has about 1 tablespoon more water, 1.13 ounces more fat, and 0.34 more milk solids. The extra fat in the cream cheese coats some of the proteins in the flour, limiting the development of gluten, which would make it tougher. The milk solids add both flavor and smoothness of texture.

The baking powder lifts and aerates the dough slightly without weakening it, but it also makes it seem more tender.

In developing this recipe, I found that if not using the vinegar and baking powder to tenderize the crust, it is advisable to add one quarter of the butter together with the cream cheese when using all-purpose flour. This helps to moisture-proof it but, of course, takes away a little from the flakiness, as there is less butter available to add in larger pieces to create the layers.

Recipes from THE PIE AND PASTRY BIBLE, by Rose Levy Beranbaum. Copyright © 1998 by Cordon Rose, Inc. Reprinted with permission from Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2007

    If you're a pastry beginner, start here. Read the book, THEN cook ...

    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.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2005

    If you're new to baking pies, start elsewhere

    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.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 16, 2010

    Biblical Proportions

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2004

    Best pie dough ever!

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2001

    MUST HAVE

    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

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2012

    Highly recommend

    I like Rose's style of systematic explanation of the processes at work and how they affect the outcome.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2011

    This is the ultimate!

    I JUST COMPLETED A PASTRY COURSE AND THIS AUTHORS BOOKS WERE VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. I HAVE PURCHASED THE PASTRY AND THE CAKE BIBLE - A WISE INVESTMENT AND DELICIOUS RECIPES.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Pie Reference Book

    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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  • Posted July 11, 2009

    The best for making pies

    It is very informative and easy to use.

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    Posted October 10, 2008

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