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70 of 71 found the following review helpful:
Excellent book with superior results! Apr 14, 2011
I have all of Martha Stewart's cookbooks, so I was pretty excited when this one arrived.
Some of the other reviewers have gone in great detail about the exact recipes etc., so I won't bore you with that.
What I love about this cookbook (as with the rest of her cookbooks) are:
1) a photo for each recipe! I really dislike cookbooks that have a recipe and no photo, particularly for desserts. after all, i want to know what it is going to look like.
2) very clear, concise, and reliable directions.
3) it's very clearly organized (both the cookbook and each recipe)
4) a short blurb on the top for each recipe giving you tips/pointers
5) excellent step-by-step photos/directions in the back of the book for making pate sucree or pate brisee or puff pastry.
I trust Martha Stewart and know she will not put her name on a recipe unless it has been tested over and over.She hasn't failed met yet!
First pie I made was chocolate cream pie. Yes, it's a novice pie, but I have a 3 yr old so I wanted a crowd pleaser (or rather a kid-pleaser). Easy to follow directions for the crust, filling and whipped topping. It was absolutely delicious and looked professional. Pie was finished by my guests.
Second thing I made was the fruit tart. Rather than do the mini tarts, I did two nine-inch tarts (and she has notes in case you want to do a lot of mini ones or larger 9-inch tarts). Made the pate sucre, made the vanilla pastry cream the day before (my husband and kids licked the spoon from that!) and assembled it a few hours before serving. Beautiful, delicious and I was so pleased with the results.
I highly recommend this cookbook, and with her clear instructions, beautiful photos and wide assortment of crowd-pleasing recipes, I know this will be one I will be referring to over and over. Happy Baking!
112 of 124 found the following review helpful:
Sweet - and Savory - Pies and Tarts is a Must-Have for Any Baker Mar 27, 2011
By S. D. Fischer
Martha Stewart's New Pies and Tarts: 150 Recipes for Old-Fashioned and Modern Favorites is another quality cookbook by Martha Stewart Living. Each of the recipes for pies and tarts is accompanied by a beautiful color photo (nearly all of which are full-page). Additional color photos show steps in the process (such as arranging and glazing fruit for Berries and Cream Tartlets, and forming tuile cups for Lemon Tartlets with Meringue Caps).
This is similar in format (as well as size) to Martha Stewart's Cookies: The Very Best Treats to Bake and to Share (Martha Stewart Living Magazine) and Martha Stewart's Cupcakes: 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone's Favorite Treat.
Each recipe includes an introduction with a description of the dish, and many also include serving suggestions and possible substitutions. There is a link to ten of the recipes on the Facebook page for Martha Stewart Living (posted March 24, 2011) which you can check out as examples.
Text is black on white pages and is easy to read. Nearly all of the recipes contain the ingredient list and directions on one page so the baker does not have to flip back and forth while preparing the pie or tart.
The first chapter, Classic, is described as "an introduction to the wonderful world of pie- and tart-making for beginners, and for baking enthusiastics, a delicious refresher course." It includes recipes for the most requested recipes of the past 20 years:
* Chocolate Cream Pie
* Peach and Berry Tart
* Pecan Pie
* Plum Galette
* Pumpkin Pie
* Mile-High Lemon Meringue Pie
* Apple Pie
* Lattice-Top Blueberry Pie
* Berries and Cream Tartlets
* Tarte Tatin
The next chapter, Free-Form, includes recipes for pies and tarts that "are formed simply and quickly by hand on a baking sheet" and are "among the easiest desserts to prepare from scratch":
* Thin Pear Tart
* Mini Rhubarb and Raspberry Galettes
* Pear and Sour Cherry Flat Pie
* Strawberry Galette with Basil Whipped Cream
* Peach Tartlets
* Cherry and Almond Galette
* Phyllo Tart with Sugared Pluots
* Sun-Died Strawberry Hand Pies
* Red Wine-Poached Prune Tart
* Apple Crumb Crostata
* Honeyed Fruit Tartlets
* Chocolate-Almond Tart with Fleur de Sel
* Apple Butter Hand Pies
* Apricot-Pistachio Tart
The third chapter, Sleek, includes recipes for elegant yet uncomplicated desserts:
* Crème Brulee Tarts
* Chocolate Mousse Tart with Hazelnuts
* Panna Cotta Tartlets with Strawberries
* Egg Custard Tart with Nutmeg
* Milk Chocolate Pistachio Tart
* Sour Cherry Clafoutis Tarts
* Honey Acorn-Squash Pie
* Chocolate-Nut Candy Bar Tartlets
* Caramelized Lemon Tart
* Crisp Coconut and Chocolate Pie
* Pumpkin Flans in Pastry Shells
* Marbleized Lemon Tart with Sage
The next chapter, Dreamy, focuses on cream pies and a chiffon tarts. "The shells are partly or fully pre-baked, fillings often consist of stove-top custards and puddings, and many of the toppings are as simple as soft swirls of sweetened whipped cream." Recipes include:
* Butterscotch Praline Cream Pie
* Coffee Cream Pie
* Banana Cream Pie
* Pumpkin Icebox Pie
* Key Lime Pie
* Apricot Chiffon Tart
* Mississippi Mud Pie
* Rum-Vanilla Cream Pie
* Frozen Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie
* Coconut Cream Pie
* Yogurt and Blueberry Pie with Granola Crust
* Chocolate-Caramel Cream Pie
The fifth chapter, Rustic, includes recipes for "homespun favorites" such as:
* Pear, Fig, and Walnut Pie
* Roasted-Apple Tartlets
* Buttermilk Pie
* Shaker Citrus Pie
* Quince-Apple Pie
* Plum and Port Crostata
* Honey and Pine Nut Tart
* Strawberry Icebox Pie
* Raspberry-Plum Crumb Tart
* Cheddar-Crust Apple Pie
* Peach and Crème Fraiche Pie
* Blackberry Jam Tart
* Sweet Potato Souffle Pie
* Mrs. Dunlinson's Plate Cake
* Gooseberry Custard Tartlets
* Chewy Chess Tart
* Red Currant and Raspberry Pie
* Rhubarb Crumble Pie
* Ginger-Pear Hand Pie
The next chapter, Layered, includes recipes for:
* Red, White and Blueberry Cheesecake Tart
* Rice Pudding Tartlets with Blood Oranges
* Chocolate-Espresso Tart
* Almond Macaroon Galette with Strawberries
* Poached Pear and Almond Tart
* Strawberry and Fresh Fig Tart
* Fresh-Orange and Yogurt Tart
* Rainbow Puff-Pastry Tarts
* Chocolate Pear Tart
* Hazelnut Frangipane Tart with Apricots
* Nectarine and Raspberry Tart
* Rhubarb Tart with Lemon-Yogurt Mousse
* Banana and Coconut Cashew-Cream Tart
The seventh chapter, Dainty, includes recipes for "diminutive treats" with "novel shapes and flavor combinations" such as:
* Cranberry Meringue Mini Pies
* Port Caramel Chocolate Tartlets
* Strawberry-Rhubarb Pielets
* Poppy-Seed Tartlets with Lemon Curd
* Apricot Hand Pies
* Lemon Tartlets with Meringue Caps
* Wild-Blueberry and Almond Tartlets
* Coconut Macaroon Tartlets
* Mini Jam Tarts
* Jumbleberry Mini Tarts
* Carrot-Spice Tartlets
* Persimmon Tartlets with Caramel Cream
* Blackberry and Cream Tartlets
* Lime Curd Tartlets in Meringue Shells
* Roasted Fig Tartlets
The next chapter, Artful, calls for patience and time for making "decorative top crusts on pies and tarts" in recipes including:
* Concord Grape Jam Tart
* Pear-Cranberry Pie with Faux Lattice
* Shingled-Leaf Brandy Apple Pie
* Pumpkin and Ricotta Crostata
* Raisin Pie
* Vanilla Bean-Pineapple Tart
* Sour Cherry Pie
* Linzer Tart with Lingonberry Jam
* Strawberry Bandanna Tart
* Peach-Raspberry Slab Pie
* Dried-Fruit Star-Lattice Tart
The ninth chapter, Holiday, includes recipes that require "a bit of extra effort" such as:
* Mini Black and White Chocolate Tartlets (New Year's Day)
* Pear-Raspberry Heart Pie (valentine's Day)
* Chocolate Ganache Heart Tartlets (Valentine's Day)
* Grasshopper Pie (St. Patrick's Day)
* Neapolitan Easter Pie
* Coconut and Berry Passover Tart
* Buttermilk Cream Tart (Mother's Day)
* Rocky Road Tart (Father's Day)
* Stars and Stripes Mini Pies (Fourth of July)
* Flag Berry Tarts (Fourth of July)
* Pumpkin Chocolate Spiderweb Tart (Halloween)
* Mini Jack-o'-Lantern Tarts (Halloween)
* Pumpkin Mousse Tart (Thanksgiving)
* Maple Nut Tart (Thanksgiving)
* Cranberry Tart (Thanksgiving)
* Gingerbread-Raspberry Snowflake Tart
* Chocolate Stencil Tarts
The following chapter, Savory, includes proves that pies and tarts are not just for dessert. It includes recipes for:
* Leek and Olive Tart
* Spinach-Feta Turnovers
* Cherry Tomato, Mozzarella and Zucchini Pie
* Brie and Apple Custard Tart
* Swiss Chard and Goat Cheese Galette
* Mini Chicken Potpies with Herb Dough
* Savory Apple Galettes
* Red and Golden Beet Cheese Tart
* Roasted Cauliflower Hand Pies
* Scallion Tartlets
* Vegetable Tartlets
* Summer Squash Lattice Tart
* Alsatian Potato Pie
* Quiche (with three fillings: Mushroom and Shallot, Bacon and Caramelized Onion, and Leek and Corn)
The final chapter, the Basics, covers ingredients and equipment, as well as recipes and techniques to make the crusts called for throughout the book. Color photos illustrate the steps to make pate brisee and to use it for single-crust pies with a variety of edges and for double crust and lattice crust pies. There are recipes and instructions for Cream Cheese Pie Dough, Graham Cracker Crust, Chocolate Wafer Crust, Rich Chocolate Pie Dough, Pate Sablee (a "sugar cookie dough used to produce a crumbly, sandy pastry crust"), Pate Sucree (a sweet, sturdy dough), and Puff Pustry. Additional recipes include those for Vanilla Pastry Cream, Lemon Curd, Candied Lemon Slices, Mile-High Meringue Topping, Whipped Cream, Crushed Hazelnut Praline, Cranberry Compote, Vanilla Poached Pears and Poached Apple Roses.
There is a page of basic Recipe Tips and Techniques (including how to measure wet and dry ingredients, pit cherries, and zest citrus). Also included is one page of sources for specialty equipment (such as flan rings for the Pumpkin Flans in Pastry Shells and brioche molds for Coconut Macaroon Tartlets) and ingredients (such as the Golden Nectar leatherwood honey for the Honey and Pine Nut Tart and spring wheat berries for the Neopolitan Easter Pie). I note that the source guide is only one page as most home bakers will likely have the equipment, and access to the ingredients, for most of the pies and tarts featured in the book.
Finally, a comprehensive index allows you to search by ingredient (such as almonds, cream cheese and pears) or by flavor (such as caramel).
*For the record, I have no relationship to Martha Stewart Living (beyond being a fan of the magazine and many of the cookbooks it has released).
27 of 31 found the following review helpful:
Will inspire the most reluctant baker to tie on the apron! Mar 29, 2011
By jennifer higgins
This is a beautiful book. Gorgeous images, and as all things Martha tend to be, it is a pleasure to look at and inspires me to try new things.
The book includes many reliable go-to classics such as apple (just tried this, incredible!), pecan and Key lime pies. However, the recipes which most interest me are those which include more interesting and unlikely combinations: fresh orange and yogurt tart, banana and coconut cashew cream tart, lime curd tartlets in meringue shells. I love that there are some obscure fruits finally headlining here too: gooseberries, pluots, quince, red currant. Chocolate lovers won't be disappointed either. Would make a great gift for beginning and advanced bakers alike!
12 of 13 found the following review helpful:
Pies and tartes for EVERYONE!!!!!! Oct 15, 2011
By Cultured Purl
I was THRILLED to see this book arrive as I am a " cake and bread baker" and in my yrs of baking,,,,, I can probably count the number of pies I have made on one hand~
Shameful ,,,,and I considered myself a "baker"??
I have made it a priority this year to bake favorite pies for birthdays , home celebrations , picnics and potlucks ~ I thought it was high time I face this challenge head on . I bought tiny pie tins for the children's pies after picking a load of apples from our small orchard
I do think the addition of fruit in many pies/tarts has a healthier edge than heavy layer cakes which I had made for so many years~ and of course, one can control the sweetness~
I was pleasantly surprised at the ease of the first tart I made which was the peach and berry tart.( First chapter)
It is easily made up in only a few minutues, then baked~I baked this for DH to take to a men's breakfast at church ~
It was so pretty that someone said it looked more like decoration than dessert! And it was my FIRST tart! But the TASTE was even better!( he saved a piece for me) I did use the called for addition of cornmeal to the tart crust and it did have a great flavor in an all fruit tart which is now my favorite tart!
The tart looked GORGEOUS and made it look like I was an expert pie baker , I can assure you I am not!
I did things a bit different tho, and I am assuming for the most part a lot of the pies are subject to individual taste~ I made this in an 8" tart pan( because it looked prettier!) and added a few nectarines in w/ the peaches, which made for an excellant taste~
I DID however have to add more than double sugar suggested, and I do not have a huge sweet tooth , so maybe the fruit pies are way way under the sweetness range for me?? But perhaps not for you~
I have had tarts in Europe and do realize that they do use less sugar all the way around except for maybe Austria or Germany?
I had to double the amount of time baking this tart even tho my oven temp is spot on,, I did have some pie covers that I had collected( and never used!) that I topped over the very crust so the top would not get burned,,,,,so far,,so good,,,
I think this is all part of the learning curve for me b/c the apple pies and pumpkin pies came out perfect as per recipe in the book.
I won't give a whole list of the pies, other reviewers have been kind enough to do so,,but I will say as my confidence in pie making grows I will be happily baking those birthday PIES this year ~ my favorite is mile high lemon,,,,,DH, cherry pie from our own trees. I really wanted to master pie making as we grow a TON of cherries, berries and have a lot of fruit trees that have now matured enough to bear a lot,,,,,so now is THE time!
And , being so blessed to have a mini orchard on our land, I wanted to USE it to its best potential b/c the price of fruit is getting higher by the week. I am hoping to look up to see if I can freeze a pie unbaked) so I can have a fresh pie to go when we have people over for a quick brunch or dinner, I have heard this can be done but will have to look at this further has anyone done this successfully I wonder?)
I cannot see how any baker could be bored with this book , it is a gorgeous COLLECTION of many pies one can bake and the photograpy is stunning~( so you can see just how your pie is to look finished! Some of us NEED this.... which is often missing in cookbooks or e recipes
I like inspiration, and to see what I can bake w/ what I happen to have on hand in any particular season ,as I said, we grow a lot of berries and cherries that I used to freeze for toppings to cakes which is kind of sad now that I think of it~
While I work my way thru the pie book I will be careful to taste fruits and berries, and even cremes so I am certain they are up to my taste level
I do think that it will only be a taste thing with the fruit tho~
Only one problem,,,,,THE famous " Elegant Farmer Pie" baked in a brown bag which has been on cooking shows to compete with) has never been duplicated w/ accuracy yet!
I know, I live a few miles from where they make this great pie but I am sure going to look it up on the net.
Love love love the book! My husband is also happy, because it is true,many people are pie lovers first and cake lovers second~ One big disclaimer here,,,,I do NOT eat much sugar , I my eat pie maybe 3 times a year?? But I LOVE to bake and bake I do,,,,,for others!
This book is a very good thing~
7 of 8 found the following review helpful:
An Absolute Must! Jun 22, 2011
For those of you who like big bold beautiful pictures and amazing tasting pies, this is a must. Others have already described the book in detail, so i'll say make the Sour Cherry pie... I haven't had one in so long and this one comes out looking beautiful and tasting delicious. Homemade is always best. The Cherry almond galette is really nice also and the chocolate espresso tart is for those with a little extra cash and a more sophisticated palate. The Frangipane Apricot tart is also a must. Instead of vanilla I used almond extract and it made this dessert extra extrodinary. It is creamy, delicate and very flavorful. Martha says to serve it right away, but I refrigerated it over night and the flavors came together even more so. The blueberry pie and apricot hand pies are also really nice. And for the Pate Brisee and Pate Sucree in this book, you can not go wrong. The brisee is really flakey when done right. Took me several trys but i've got it.
There's something for everyone (time to get more pie plates) :D. And the ingredients are so easy to combine. So far these are what i've tried and my family has enjoyed them, highly. This book is not the same as her first pie book. There is more of a variety of filling, unlike her first which is mostly fruit.. A great book from a great teacher. I'm ready to bake more pies...
Note: The instructions for the Frangipane Apricot Tart are not totally complete and the cooking time is a bit off. When you get to the cream part, the instructions are: beat the confect. sugar and vanilla til soft peaks form. They forgot to mention the heavy cream. Add it and all will be well, I promise. Then fold in the creme fraiche or sour cream, which worked wonderfully for me. And the tart needed more time to bake and set. You will love this tart.
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