cover image The Book on Pie: Everything You Need to Know to Bake Perfect Pies

The Book on Pie: Everything You Need to Know to Bake Perfect Pies

Erin Jeanne McDowell. HMH/Martin, $32 (352p) ISBN 978-0-358-22928-5

McDowell, baking columnist for Food52, hits the mark in this expert guide to pie making, both sweet and savory. Beginning with a chapter on doughs and crusts, MacDowell lays a foundation with recipes for pie doughs including whole-wheat, gluten-free, and cornmeal, as well as hot-water, puff pastry, and a variety of press-in cookie crusts. Pie recipes are divided into chapters by type, including fruit, custard, and “Cream, Chiffon & Cold Set Pies.” The savory section includes an avocado galette, croque monsieur pielets, a “Forager’s Mushroom Pie,” and a red onion tarte tatin. Must-bake highlights include a stunning blood orange brûlée pie and a free-form domed white chocolate-peppermint pie generously topped with fluffy meringue, and a shrimp boil pie, consisting of potatoes, shrimp, sausage, and corn atop puff pastry. The author’s informative yet laid-back spirit permeates the work, and her love of teaching pie baking comes through the pages. “Whys of Pies” sidebars—along with enticing photos by Mark Weinberg—share helpful information on topics including making substitutions for vegan and dairy-free pies, saving ripe seasonal fruit for later use, and successfully creating a deep-dish pie. This is a top-notch go-to for all things pie. (Nov.)