The Pie and Pastry Bible

Pie Friday



      Author: Rose Levy Beranbaum

     Publisher: Scribner

     Rating: 5 stars

     Buy Links: Amazon

     Type: Cookbook

     Purchased by Reviewer



Blurb:  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


Review: If you have never made a pie and would like to become highly skilled and proficient, this is the book for you. If you already know what you’re doing and want to buy one pastry book for the rest of your life, this is it. Rose Levy Beranbaum treats baking like the delicious science it is. Not only do you learn the specific steps for successful pastry, but you learn why they work. If you’re a person, like me, who has to have a reason for following the rules this is a very good thing. You too can achieve flakes in your crust and understand why you’ve achieved them. They’re more than a happy accident.

The fillings are also outstanding. There are multiple chapters on varieties of pies, it’s not limited to fruit, cream, and savory. Really, the book is huge and most anything you can imagine needing to know about pastry is in here. Danish pastry and puff pastry have chapters as well. One of my personal favorites is the chapter on ice cream pie and ice cream.

The ingredient lists can be long in some recipes, though the ingredients themselves are usually relatively easy to find. Honestly, some of the stuff in this book can be pretty challenging for a home cook. I’ve made the Danish Pastry, which was absolutely delicious, but the process for me was slow going and I spent a long time reviewing the recipe and the steps before I even attempted to begin. For a beginner cook this book is wonderful not only because the directions are detailed, but there are multiple sets of directions for different ways to prepare the recipe. If you don’t have a food processor you can easily follow the directions for preparing the recipe by hand.

The book itself is huge. I refer to it as a tome. There are not a lot of pictures and the ones that are there are clumped together in two sets. Thankfully, the pictures present are gorgeous and glossy.

This is a book I would recommend first if a friend asked me about a pastry book. I’ve got books with fascinating flavors that I love, and I’ve got books with approachable flavors for the less adventurous among us. This book has a good combination of both plus comprehensive instructions and explanations. I use this book on a regular basis.


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