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am 30. April 2000
Well, the illustrations in this book are beautiful and Martha's pie crust, as well as her lemon curd, are absolutely the best, but the pies and tarts in this book are simply the worst I've ever tasted! Really, I've tasted kindergarten paste that had more flavor than these recipes. As a seasoned baker, I do know how to substitute ingredients and add more spice, but why should anyone have to? And what about those who can't? After all, the book is not titled, Martha Stewart's Exotic Pies and Tarts for the Experienced Baker Only, however, it should be. What good is a book if most people really can't use it? Yes, I can make all those lovely grape clusters, leaves and tendrils that adorn Martha's Concord Grape Pie, but I think most people are really looking for something a little more basic. Okay, final analysis: if you're looking for the out-of-the-ordinary (and the tasteless) then buy this book. If you just want some great pie and tart recipes, try The Pie and Pastry Bible. You won't go wrong there.
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am 16. April 1999
Boy, to read some of the more negative reviews, it sounds like no one has any common sense when it comes to substituting ingredients. Come on, if something calls for winter banana apples and you don't have them, just use a variety you have access to! Same with the fraises, just use strawberries, same with Meyer lemons, etc. This book is good because it is so well illustrated and you have an idea of what your creation ought to look like, it is good because it provides several examples of what to do with each fruit where appropriate, and the pastry recipes and glazes work. The fact that she has an entire section devoted to apples is a good sign and should inspire bakers rather than freak them out. If you're unsure in the kitchen, DON'T start with pies and tarts, stick to cookies and quick breads until you have those mastered. If something looks complicated, either don't attempt it or make it less complicated and omit the chocolate leaves or roses, don't braid the edging on the crust, just do what is comfortable. Just because Martha Stewart has made her life out of domesticity doesn't mean she has an exclusionary agenda and that this book is merely an example of someone with endless means and access to ingredients. If that's how you feel don't buy her books only to criticize them.
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am 8. Januar 1999
I like the concept of what the Martha Stewart organization is trying to portray. I think that our generation needs to learn how they can make things themselves instead of relying on others to make them. However, I am very disappointed in almost every single recipe that I have tried to make from the Martha Stewart cookbooks. This particular book calls for some hard-to-find ingredients with no options for the people who can't find or obtain them.
I realize that the people who bake these pies and tarts for the book are professionals and have had a lot of food styling done to them but what the average person is capable of making at home is no where near what you see in the book.
It seems this book was printed as another tool to promote the Martha Stewart organization. It was not done to help the average consumer, like it seems the MS organization is portraying itself to be. This is a very disappointing book.
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am 23. April 1999
As a self-taught baker (by the time I was 12 I was the champion pie baker in my community) I can understand why people have difficulties with pies and breads. They are not for the faint of heart, those who do not wish to practice, or for those who wish to use cheap ingredients. If one wants to bake a pie, it is going to be the satisfying WORK of love, just as is playing the piano. And both require practice. For those who don't want to put that time and money into their life's satisfactions, buy frozen pies and CD's. They can be reasonably good, and some of my guests with cardboard palates and tin ears don't know the difference; but don't serve them (the frozen pies, that is) to me!
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am 18. April 1999
My roommate (the baker of the household) owns this book. After making three different pies using Ms. Stewart's recipes, he has sworn off of this book forever. Sure the stuff looks great, but if it tastes like nothing, then what good is that? Her recipes use hard-to-find ingredients, and are not very well seasoned; one squash pie called for ground ginger as the only spice, and it was horrible - kind of like bland soap! Stick with some real cooks - Julia Child comes to mind - or a good basic cookbook, like the Joy of Cooking or The Better Hones and Gardens Cookbook.
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am 19. März 1998
Despite all of the criticism of Martha Stewart, her cookbooks are well worth buying. Like her other books, PIES AND TARTS serves up not only new takes on old favorties, but also valuable recipes for basics such as puff pastry, various pie crusts, etc. This book has become one of my standard references. Her recipe for puff pastry made it easy for me the first time I ever tried it, and her recipe for Lemon Curd is one of my all time favorites. This book is easy to understand and use, and the pictures are wonderful.
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am 19. Januar 1999
I just purchased this book last evening. I received 3 of Martha's pie pans for Christmas and was looking for some new pies to try. So far the recipes do not look too difficult, they do look time consuming, but that's ok, I enjoy baking and trying new things. My only concern is that some of the ingredients are not going to be available to me. For instance, key limes, I live in Columubs, Ohio and as far as I know I cannot purchase key limes at the grocery store. I can't wait to get started!!!!!!!
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am 1. April 1999
I am a true Martha devotee, so I am used to her using ingredients that are not available in my neck of the woods. Buyer beware: this book has loads of great recipes and techniques, but many of them rely on exotic ingredients. Ever heard of a winter banana apple ? I hadn't either until this book.
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am 17. Oktober 1998
I have used this numerous times and it is one of my favorite books for desserts. I find it especially usefull for late Summer and Fall when fruits are ripe and I am in the mood for days of baking.
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am 23. November 1999
Martha's pies and tarts are the best recipes I have ever tried. Her crusts come our perfect. Their flavor is just right.
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