Is pie having a moment? Laura Dozier, senior editor at Abrams, thinks so. “There’s something about pie that’s very comforting,” says Dozier, who acquired and edited Pie for Everyone by Petra Paredez (Sept.). “It’s humble. If you put a slice of pie into a bowl with ice cream, you’re going to make everyone happy.”
This season’s titles push the boundaries of pie making, from varied crusts to unusual fillings, or eye-catching design. “Pie has the ability to be as creative and as open as cake,” says Erin Jeanne McDowell, author of The Book on Pie (HMH/Martin, Nov.). “People think it’s easy to dress up a cake; why can’t you do that with pie?”
This “top-notch go-to for all things pie” (per PW’s starred review) by Food52 baking consultant and New York Times Cooking contributor McDowell covers the fruity, the custard-filled, the savory, and more. She recommends mixing and matching fillings with pie doughs and toppings, and offers a variety of options. Weinberg’s photography depicts each finished product and enhances discussions such as the one on a too-dry vs. too-wet crust.
Haedrich brings the conversational style of his website, The Pie Academy, to his latest cookbook. The “substantial and highly informative” title, according to PW’s starred review, includes recipes for more than 250 pies and a panoply of 25 doughs, from simple press-ins to more involved pastry. He sticks to the classics—think cherry, apple, pecan, pumpkin—offering variations and reimaginings.
A companion to McDermott’s James Beard–nominated Art of the Pie (Countryman, 2016; 49,000 print copies sold, per NPD BookScan), this book zeroes in on technique: she presents a dozen “master” recipes and offers suggestions for “limitless variations.” Each chapter includes sections to help readers troubleshoot common problems. Overall, the book encourages home bakers to move beyond following a recipe and toward developing their own.
Pie for Everyone
Paredez, co-owner of New York City’s Petee’s Pie Company and Petee’s Café, is a second-generation baker; her parents own Mom’s Apple Pie Company in Leesburg, Va. In her first book, she shares personal anecdotes, profiles of Petee’s suppliers, and her baking techniques. Her 80-plus recipes include vegan and gluten-free crust options, and many are seasonally inspired, such as a summery strawberry rhubarb pie or an autumnal pear pie.
Ko’s striking creations have made the artist and self-taught baker an Instagram star with a 336,000-strong follower count. In her first cookbook, she provides extensive tutorials on recreating her modern, geometric pies at home. PW noted in a starred review that she reassures home cooks “looking to add some confectionery flash to their repertoire” that one only needs a knife, a ruler, and patience.
Pies Glorious Pies
First published in the U.K. in 2012 and with more savory recipes than the typical American pie book, this volume explicates British classics, such as steak-and-kidney pie and Cornish pasties. Chapters include “Everyday Pies,” “Posh Pies,” “Portable Pies,” and “Sweet Pies.” Clark, a cooking instructor whose previous book subjects include risotto and pizza, suggests recipes for various occasions: five-spice venison puffs, for instance, for a picnic in the park.
When Nugent, a self-taught baker, began posting her pies under the Instagram account Battered and Baked, she caught the attention of outlets including Better Homes & Gardens, which praised her “edible works of art.” Here, she categorizes her pies by design concept and inspiration (e.g. floral designs, modern motifs, or braid, twist, and weave patterns), and shares simple decorating techniques she’s mastered through trial and error.