While pies and tarts usually get just a chapter or two in most cookbooks, Martha Stewart’s New Pies and Tarts is devoted to them. The book covers a huge range of pies in the 150 recipes that it contains, all of which look just as amazing as they taste. From holiday tarts to hand pies to homemade quiche, you’ll find just about every pie you can think of in this volume – and plenty of basic recipes to build from when you want to put together your own pie recipes.
The book is divided up into chapters, and unlike most cookbooks, the basics are at the back. I like this setup because it allows you to dive right into the recipes and look things up as you go when you need additional tips or instructions. It covers equipment, ingredients and basic techniques, as well as providing recipes for “basic” components that could be used in many different recipes, such as crust doughs, pastry cream, lemon curd and meringue. The rest of the recipes are arranged by type and by difficulty, so you’ll find all the most classic pie recipes in one chapter, all of the cream and chiffon pies in another chapter, and those with elaborate and decorative crusts that might take more time than your average pie (but look that much more impressive) in another. There is even a chapter on savory pies, when you want something to counter your sweet tooth. The recipes are clearly written and are not difficult to follow, and there are plenty of tips throughout the book to guide you through any bumps you might encounter in the process.
The photography in the book is outstanding and every recipe is accompanied by a photo of what the finished dish will look like. There are also plenty of photos that guide you through the pie and tart making process, including demonstrating how to arrange the fruit and toppings for number of pies and tarts, which is very helpful – especially if you’re a visual learner. The photos also serve to motivate you to get started baking, because when you look at the book long enough, you’ll probably find that you have a strong craving for a slice of Rhubarb Crumble Pie or Lattice-Top Blueberry Pie with a big scoop of ice cream on the side.