The Pie & Pastry Bible is Now in Its 10th Printing

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The Pie & Pastry Bible is celebrating its 20th year with this latest printing with updates. My most comprehensive bible on a single subject, this book's 692 pages with over 250 main recipes, which took me over 5 years to write, covers virtually everything for this area of baking. The pie section includes a wide variety of pie crusts from my favorite tender, flaky, and flavorful cream cheese and butter crust to savory crusts made with goose fat or beef suet. Related chapters cover fruit pies, chiffon pies, meringue pies and tarts, custard pies and tarts, tarts and tartlets, and savory tarts and pies. And what about apple pie à la mode's accompaniment? An ice cream chapter has 10 ice cream recipes as well as ice cream pie recipes. Pastry chapters cover biscuits and scones, fillo, strudel, puff pastry and croissants, Danish pastry, brioche, and cream puff pastry. Filling, topping, sauce, and glaze recipes are here as well,  to fill, top, and enhance your pie and pastry creations.
You can see a complete listing of all of the book's 250 plus main recipes on this page link.

What to Make for the Holidays

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Here's what I just made--a pecan pie shaped in a tart pan (recipe in the Pie and Pastry Bible). And here are a few tips: Keep in mind that if there are any holes in the crust the sticky filling will find its way there, leak below the crust, and stick to the pan's bottom. To avoid holes best not to pierce the bubbles that form during blind baking, after removing the rice or beans to weight it down, but just to gently press down the crust a few times as it bubbles and finally it will set and be flat. Should a hole develop, fill it with a little dab of egg white and return it to the oven for about 30 seconds. And if worse comes to worse and the crust sticks, just serve the pieces--no one will complain. This pie is the very definition of heavenly! Be sure to use the Lyle's golden refiner's syrup which is so much more flavorful than corn syrup in a butterscotchy/tangy way, and preferably light Muscovado sugar (I love the one from India Tree). And be sure to weigh or measure the yolks. For this pie/tart that calls for 4 yolks I needed to use 6 to equal the right amount as they were so small. Without enough egg yolks the filling will not set effectively.] One last word of caution: When heating the filling go by the thermometer rather than looking for signs of thickening. And when baking test at 15 minutes. I find it usually takes 20 but it should just shimmy slightly when moved and begin to puff.

Blueberry Lemon Tart

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This is one of my (and Elliott's) favorite desserts of all time but this year, the New Jersey blueberries are the most flavorful they've been since my childhood which reminded me to make the tart. It's really quite simple: flaky pie crust or flaky cream cheese pie crust, lemon curd, and uncooked blueberry topping but it does take a while to make all three comonents though all but the topping can be made ahead. It's in The Pie and Pastry Bible page 258

How can I keep a pie crust from shrinking when I prebake it?

A pie crust that shrinks a great deal is also one that is tough. This is a result of too much water, too high a protein flour, and or overhandling of the pastry. My cream cheese pie crust in The Pie and Pastry Bible is one that shrinks very little.But it will help any recipe to allow the dough to relax after rolling and lining the pan for at least 1 hour, covered and refrigerated. Lining the crust with parchment and dried beans or peas until it has set also helps to keep itís shape. A coffee filter, the sort used for coffee urns, is just the right size and shape to line the pastry.

Making Caramel

Mark Question:Your Pie and Pastry Bible is my absolute favorite cookbook - quite thorough! I had a problem with the Boulders Tart that I was hoping you could help with. I couldn't get a caramel to form by simply adding the sugar and corn syrup. There simply wasn't enough liquid. I added water to accommodate and it worked fine, but I'm wondering what I'm missing. Thanks again for a wonderful resource! Best, Mark Rose Reply: caramel is made by evaporating the water from the sugar. the more the water evaporates, the higher the temperature of the syrup aned ultimately the deeper the color of the caramel. i like to add a little extra water in the form of corn syrup or water to start the process of melting the sugar more evenly. the cornsyrup also helps to prevent crystallization. if you add extra water it will just take longer for the sugar to start caramelizing but if it works better for you that’s fine.

Pie and Tarts

Bruce Question:I had been wanting to make a tart for some time, so I checked out your The Pie and Pastry Bible of the library again. I had never made a curd before nor the particular crust. I made the lime curd with kiwi. It turned out very very good. I took a couple of pieces to a neighbor. I was wondering about a pineapple tart with oranges. It tastes good in my mind. I was wanting to know how to make a pineapple curd. I would use a fresh pineapple. Should the pineapple juice be reduced first? If so, how much? How much sugar should I use? ps. I own your Cake Bible and I don't use mixes. Thanks. Rose Reply: this is a very interesting idea. i think pineapple and orange would make a good combination. you could do a pineapple tart with orange curd to see how you like the flavors. if you want to experiment with pineapple curd, i would use the delicious golden pineapple for the juice and the same amount of sugar as the orange curd. pineapple juice has a lot of acidity so you probably don't need to reduce it. do let us know how it works! Barry Question: Dear Rose; I can not begin to tell you how much I enjoy baking your recipes. I'm also the proud owner of all three of your "Bibles" I do need your help though. I am consistantly running into the same problem with my pie doughs. For some reason my pie doughs are very crumbly and I'm having a very difficult time rolling the dough out. I measure accurately and use the correct flour for each of your recipes. Am I not kneading the dough enough? I'm afraid to make the dough to tough. Do you have any suggestions? I made your Tiramasu Black Bottom Tart the other day and I was just barely able to roll the dough. The edges of the dough were extremely crumbly. Thank you in advance Barry S.-an avid fan Rose Reply: thank you barry! assuming you are using bleached all-purpose flour or pastry flour, (unbleached will be tougher and need more liquid) you might be using more flour than the recipe calls for if you are not weighing it. try using Wondra flour which is similar to pastry flour and will give you a more tender crust and also require less liquid. also, try replacing the water with heavy cream and add a teaspoon or 2 more if necessary. here's how you can tell: the dough should be crumbly at first but hold together smoothly when kneaded lightly. if in doubt, take a small amount of the dough and knead it to see if it holds together. the best way to knead the dough is to use latex gloves because the dough won't stick to them and you won't need to add more flour. a helpful technique in kneading is what the french call fraiser. using the heel of your hand, smear the dough forward onto the counter one or two times. this will cause any lumps of butter to form long sheets, resulting in flakiness. then use a bench scraper to gather up the dough and with your hands, press it together to form a disc. J Question: Hi - I tried making a "mile high lemon meringue pie" recipe that I found in Fine Cooking magazine. It has brown & white sugar in it. I made it twice and both times the meringue was totally raw when you cut into it. It called for jut browning the meringue under the broiler....I even turned the oven down to 325F. and letting the pie sit in the oven until the meringue turned a liht brown all obver and it still was raw in the middle. I threw away the entire pie after the 2nd attempt...what did I do wrong? Rose Reply: a high, deep meringue can take a long time to cook through. my preference for meringue on a pie is to use italian meringue. the hot syrup cooks the egg white and keeps it from watering out later. i bake the pie at 350°F, then i put it under the broiler for about 20 seconds watching carefully so it doesn't burn. (see page 178 of the pie and pastry bible). Lura Question: why does my pecan pie always turn out "runny"? Rose Reply: it is the eggs that thicken the pie so if they're not heated enough the filling will become runny. overheating them will cause them to curdle. for this reason, i cook the filling first on the stove top as you would a lemon curd. my recipe will appear on every container of Lyle's golden refiners syrup starting in january. it is in the pie and pastry bible as well.

Crème Fraîche

Dora Question:Hello Rose, Before I get to my question, I must let you know that your Cake Bible is phenomenal. Thank you for sharing all your expertise. I've been an avid baker all my life, and this past April I made my first wedding cake for a very special occasion: my sister's wedding. She loves everything lemon, so I decided on a three-tiered cake, each layer consisting of an almond dacquoise base topped with a light layer of lemon buttercream, then alternating layers of genoise classique & lemon curd, and coverered with the buttercream and finished with porcelain white fondant. Her bouquet consisted of white calla lilies, so I made some lilies out of the fondant for the top, and since she loves pearls, the cake was decorated with a royal icing "pearl" variation-on-a-theme: 7 pearls arranged in flower patterns for the bottom layer, 3 pearls arranged in a triangle for the middle, and single pearls for the top. It was a lot of work, but everyone loved it. Now, onto my challenge. I've made creme fraiche many a time before, but lately I've been encountering lots of difficulty with it thickening properly. In the past, after having left the well-covered cream/buttermilk mixture on top of the fridge out to thicken for about 24 hours, it's thickened, and I've put it in the fridge to let it continue to thicken. Afterwards, I've sweetened it, and had no problems. But I'm getting really frustrated with all of my recent attempts. I know that heavy cream can vary slightly from batch to batch, but even though I've tried a couple of brands of whipping cream, I'm still not having much luck. And when I try sweetening it after it's been refrigerated a while, it liquifies way more than it ever has in the past. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for your time and for your generous spirit. Warm regards, Rose Reply: crème fraîche is one of the most useful ingredients to temper the sweetness of desserts, to add to scrambled eggs for a rich creaminess and tangy flavor, and to sauces. there is an excellent product available from vermont butter and cheese company. as you know, making your own is quite easy if you can obtain cream that is NOT ultrapasteurized. sadly this is becoming more and more difficult. it has been my experience that with ultra-pastuerized cream, it will eventually thicken if left in a warm spot of 80 to 90 degerees but it may take several days. my best advice is to befriend your local bakery. they usually have access to commercial 40% butterfat cream that is not ultra-pasteurized. (that's what i've done!) offer to buy it and i'm sure they will be generous in ordering extra for you.

How to Get a Crisp Brown Bottom Pie Crust

RONI QUESTIONI love to bake and have done so successfully for many years. The one thing I can't seem to do is to get a bottom pie crust to brown. I have used a Pyrex pie pan, a Pampered Chef ceramic pan, a French ceramic pan and a shiny metal pan. I have tried a number of pie crust recipes, too! Please help..Thanksgiving is coming, and I always make an apple pie. Thanks ROSE REPLY i feel strongly that if a bottom pie crust is soggy there is no point in having more than a top crust on the pie! i addressed this in my book "the pastry bible" where i give the technique for juicy pies of letting the fruit sit with the sugar to leach out the juices and then reduce them and return them to the fruit. this way you only need to use about one-third of the thickening agent which results in a more pure fruit taste and you won't be left with a pool of fruit juices on the bottom of a soggy crust after baking the pie. but this alone will not brown the crust. to achieve this, i bake the pie directly on the floor of the oven for the first 20 minutes of baking and then raise it to the bottom shelf. different ovens bake differently so you may need to leave it on the floor of the oven for a longer time. the best way to find out is to use a pyrex plate the first time you do this so you can see through it and gauge when sufficient browning has taken place. if your oven is electric and has coils on the bottom, the best alternative is to use a baking stone on the lowest shelf and preheat the oven for at least 30 minutes to ensure that it is heated fully. i have recently designed and produced a special pie plate that is ceramic with deeply fluted sides to create a beautiful border effortlessly. it also does a great job of even browning of the bottom crust.

Pie Crust Missionary

sometimes i wish i could be a pie crust missionary--going around the country showing how fun and easy it is to make one of the most feared of baked goods: a delicious, flaky and tender pie crust--one that rolls out easily, is as malleable as clay, doesn't tear when transferring it to the pie plate, and doesn't shrink when baking.the main secret to this perfect pie crust is the flour. I learned the perils of choosing the wrong flour when I was on my press tour for "the pie and pastry bible" 7 years ago.

I was on a live morning t.v. show, demonstrating this favorite crust and when I unfolded it into the pie plate my heart dropped because it cracked into pieces! I knew immediately that the prep person had not used a national brand all-purpose bleached flour. regional flours often have a lower protein content, thereby lacking the elasticity to hold together adequately in a pie crust. I just relearned this lesson when I was taping some segments at the food network's shop at home studio in nashville tennessee. the prep person was terrific at turning out all manner of cakes and pies but I noticed that she had to patch the pie crusts which kept tearing apart. sure enough, she was using all-purpose flour but it was a popular southern brand which I knew to have lower protein. the head of the test kitchen ran to the supermarket and came back with some gold medal bleached and I whipped up my favorite pie crust in the food process in under a minute. it was a dream. and the prep person said she would never use a Southern flour for pie crust again. the high point of my visit to shop at home was when LaQuita Scaife, the fashion consultant happened to tell me that when she was in high school in nashville she was the recipient of the betty crocker home maker of tomorrow award. when I told her that I was given the same award in my high school in ny, she screamed with delight, saying she had never met another betty crocker award winner. we went into the prep kitchen and told the director, carl conway, about our delightful discovery and to our utter amazement he announced that he also was the "betty crocker home maker of tomorrow" in his high school in 1972. after we stopped laughing and screaming with disbelief, he explained that the early 70's was the height of the women's lib movement and he wanted to show the girls that he had rights too, so he and 3 other guys enrolled in the home ec. glass. this gave him the right to take the test so he took it and won. he then went on to culinary school and was a cook in the army before becoming head of the test kitchen for shop at home. there must be something to the predictions of this award! Back to the pie crust, since writing the pie and pastry bible, I did an article on pies with lattice crusts for fine cooking magazine, july 2004, and decided to tweak my favorite pie crust recipe to make it a bit more tender. I replaced the few tablespoons of water with heavy cream and not only did it make the crust more tender, it also made it more flavorful. and it is still sturdy enough to use for a lattice crust. Here's my new revised favorite pie crust. (Note: Wondra flour or pastry flour is also terrific and makes a slighty more tender crust.)