PERFECT PIES, CRUSTS & FILLINGS -
MICHELE STUART'S PIE SHOP RECIPES
Review by Barb & Ron Kroll
Perfect Pies - The best sweet and savory recipes from America's pie-baking champion
(Ballantine Books) ISBN 978-0345524881 0345524888
Michele Stuart provides 80 pie recipes from her Connecticut pie shops for home cooks and professional pie-bakers. Besides cream pies, fruit pies, nut pies, savory pies and party pies, she includes recipes for pastry pie shells, cookie crumb crusts, sauces and whipped cream toppings.
The pie cookbook also features award-winning recipes from the National Pie Championships.
Perfect Pies is organized by type of pie. Each pie recipe is designated as easy, moderate or challenging, based on how long it takes to prepare the pie before baking it.
Michele Stuart introduces each chapter and recipe with pie-baking tips. For example, in the chapter on making fruit pies, she recommends always using fresh fruit rather than canned or frozen.
Candy bar pie
In the introduction to her candyland pie recipe, made with Snickers and Reese's peanut butter cups, she suggests decorating it with candy corn for a Halloween pie and with mini candy canes and green and red M&Ms for a Christmas pie.
Encircled pie-making tips provide information such as how to thicken a fruit pie using tapioca. (Use instant or quick-cooking tapioca.)
Making a lattice crust
Other baking tips focus on ingredients, e.g., what are the differences between light corn syrup (a mixture of corn syrup and high-fructose corn syrup) and dark corn syrup (a richer molasses-flavored mixture of refiner's syrup and caramel flavoring).
Ben Fink Photography illustrates the recipes in Perfect Pies, as well as the ingredients and tools used in pie-making. Step-by-step photos show you how to make a lattice pie crust.
National Pie Championship winners
Michele Stuart's cookbook includes two diabetic pie recipes—sugar-free apple pie and sugar-free blueberry pie, made with Splenda.
A blue ribbon labeled "National Pie Championships Award Winner" designates award-winning pies. They include recipes for maple pumpkin pie with pecan streusel, chocolate peanut butter dream pie and candy apple crumb pie.
Some of Michele's pie recipes
Oreo cookie crust. Pineapple mango pie with macadamia coconut crumb topping. Chocolate pecan bourbon pie. Maple walnut pie. Chocolate raspberry delight pie. Ultimate banana split pie. Eggnog cream pie. Tiramisu pie. Australian beef pie. Lobster pot pie. Ham and brie quiche. Sweet ricotta pie. Raspberry crumb pie. Caramel chocolate pecan pie.
- Crusts and Toppings
- Farm Stand Pies
- Nut Pies
- Cream Pies
- Party Pies
- Savory Pies
- Cherry on Top
Michele Stuart is the owner and pastry chef at two Connecticut pie shops in Norwalk and Westport CT, named Michele's Pies. She is also winner of several awards from the National Pie Championships.