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The Pie and Pastry Bible (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 11. November 1998

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Reading about the ins and outs of baking the perfect, flaky pie crust is a little like reading about how to achieve the perfect golf swing: the proof is in the doing. And it often takes a remarkably intuitive reader to understand exactly what the author is getting at. Not so the work of Rose Levy Beranbaum, the author who gave us The Cake Bible. If ever there was a cookbook author who could place her hands on top of yours, putting you through the proper motions, helping you arrive at just the right touch, Beranbaum is the one.

The Pie and Pastry Bible begins with the crust. The author confesses right up front that 21 years ago, when she first began her quest for the perfect crust, "it was a complete mystery to me." She wasn't looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but something she could consistently turn out at a moment's notice. The ideal pie crust, she writes, "has light, flaky layers, but also ... is tender, and nicely browned, with a flavor good enough to eat by itself."

In a book that stretches to about 700 pages long, her favorite pie crust is the first recipe: Perfect Flaky and Tender Cream Cheese Pie Crust. Typically, Beranbaum lists the ingredients by measure and weight for three separate sizes of pies, then gives instructions for the food processor or by hand.

After 70 pages of pie crusts, tart crusts, and crumb pie crusts of every imaginable make and combination, Beranbaum starts with fruit pies. Her first (of many) detailed charts shows exactly what her ratios are of fruit to sugar to cornstarch. Then each recipe (start with The Best All American Apple Pie) includes pointers for success as well as several variations on the theme. Under the headline "Understanding," Beranbaum goes that extra mile by taking the trouble to explain just why something works the way it does.

If you are only going to own one cookbook for pie and pastry recipes of every imaginable stripe and combination, you can't go wrong with this one. It's the Bible, after all. --Schuyler Ingle


Offers more than two hundred recipes for pies and pastries and includes hints and tips, decorating techniques, and detailed information on ingredients and equipment.

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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This book tends to read at times as though it were longing to be classified as a science text. This is not necessarily bad. I found it very interesting to read about what makes a good pie crust: a low protein flour for tenderness, the proper fat blending technique to ensure flakiness, adequate chilling to ensure minimal distortion during baking, etc. She is very thorough and covers EVERY aspect of making pies and pastry. However, the results and the experience of using this book in the kitchen don't quite live up to the anticipation.
While the fillings are generally about as delicious as they come, there are a few serious errors (I was very careful about measuring and using an accurate thermometer, and the Lemon Merangue Pie still came out like Lemon soup, twice), and the techniques required to acheive these results can be VERY time consuming. If I'm going to spend this kind of time, the recipe better be accurate. In a similar vein, the recipes for sauces, ice creams, and danish produce wonderful results. But again, do not underestimate the amount of time involved in producing them.
The verdict on Rose's pie crust is more problematic. Have you ever tried kneading and pounding pie crust in a ziploc bag? Try it and watch everything stick to the inside; I don't care how cold she says it should be. It sticks and is a mess. Also, she seems to be striving for the ultimate in tenderness for her pie crusts. But using a combination of soft pastry flour, plus vinegar, plus baking soda, plus a two step blending technique (a technique which, minus the ziploc bag, can be very good) results in a crust that is, in my opinion, too tender. It loses some of the crispness that makes that makes pies, especially fruit pies, so wonderful.
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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
When I heard that Rose Levy Beranbaum was coming out with a new cookbook, I was very excited. The author of the Cake Bible and Rose's Christmas Cookies, she is known for her excellent recipes and very detailed instructions. Her new book, The Pie and Pastry Bible is no exception. The book contains not only 315 delectable recipes for pies,tarts, quiches and pastries but also has sections on techniques, ingredients,and equipment. She extensively covers these topics explaining, for example,how to make the perfect pie crust by giving step-by-step instructions on how to blend and measure flours, roll, cut, shape and bake the crust. In every recipe, if you follow her instructions to the letter, a three star dessert will be your reward.
In reviewing The Pie and Pastry Bible I made the Lemon Pucker Pie, Brownie Puddle, Great Pumpkin Pie, and the Open Faced Designer Apple Pie. Every recipe turned out and tasted wonderful. It is obvious that Rose Levy Berenbaum has tested every recipe to ensure perfect results. This book however, is for the professional or serious baker. To go through this amount of trouble to make something, you must really know and appreciate quality. This is not the sort of book you buy if you want to make something quickly as it could easily frustrate the novice baker. For example, making the apple pie involves many steps. The apples are first cut, mixed with ingredients, macerated for 30 minutes to 3 hours, and then placed in a colander to drain. The liquid is reduced and then re-added to the cut apples with cornstarch. This does result in a wonderful apple flavor, but is it worth the effort? When I weigh the extra time and effort involved, I would rather sacrifice a little taste and make it the old-fashioned easier way.
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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
...put this book on your shopping list, but then LEAVE it there for a while, get yourself a more pedestrian introduction, and practice for a while before presuming you are ready for this tome.
I recently thought to teach myself pastry-making from scratch using this book. Mistake! Halfway through another night of carefully cutting unsalted butter into ¾" cubes, wrapping them individually in plastic wrap, putting 2/3rd of them in the fridge and the rest in the freezer, all the while muttering "Ours is not to reason why...", Ms. Beranbaum's lovely photo on the back cover got decorated with a short moustache that makes her look a little like .. eh ... let's be polite and say "Charlie Chaplain."
I'll leave it to others to sing this book's well-deserved praises. If you just want to get dinner on the table, it is not for you. I recently spent eight hours over three nights making her chicken pot pies. The result? My wife fainted clean away, and my teenager actually lifted her head out of her plate and pronounced (as close as I can approximate): "Snumpf!" A month later, my wife still gets a bit wobbly when she thinks of those pies, but I mostly remember the two nights of fish sticks that preceded them. It is not really fair to judge this book harshly because it didn't suit my purposes at the time, but there are some other real problems with it. Most glaring are the mistakes. In a book as PRECISE as this one, the many mistakes really should have been weeded out before publishing. I've only made 5 recipes so far, but 3 of them had mistakes ranging from "orphan" ingredients to nonsensical instructions.
The biggest disappointment is the dearth of savoury recipes.
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