A pie is one of the most satisfying baked goods you can make in your kitchen, but pies don’t seem to get baked quite as often as cookies, cupcakes and other baked goods do. This could be attributed to the fact that pies take a little more time to make than some other dishes, since they require a separate crust, or to the fact that many people are simply intimidated by the prospect of making a crust and baking a pie. Fortunately, pies are much easier to make than you might think and a basic pie crust is a must-have recipe that you can use for dozens (if not hundreds) of different recipes.
Crazy About Pies is a pie-centric cookbook that is a great place to start when you don’t have a lot of previous pie experience. The introduction is a comprehensive guide to pie baking basics, outlining tools and ingredients that you need, as well as baking and serving techniques. The basic recipes for crusts are all found at the back of the book, which means that you get to jump into the recipes much more quickly when you start reading. Most of the recipes are accompanied by beautiful photos of the finished products, as well a tips about what is in season or ways to garnish a finished pie.
The book’s friendly tone and straightforward recipes are very approachable for both experienced and novice bakers. The recipes cover a very wide range of both sweet and savory pies, and most of the pie recipes also include variations on the basic filling. Dessert pies include everything from classic Deep Dish Berry Pies to more exotic recipes, such as Mango and Pineapple Empanadas. Savory pies include Chicken Pot Pie and Cornish Pasties. The only drawback to the book’s layout is that the table of contents only lists the recipe categories – Fruit Pies, Birthday Pies, Dinner Party Pies, etc. – instead of listing the individual recipes, which can make it slightly inconvenient to flip directly to a recipe that sounds interesting and easy to miss recipes when you are flipping through the book looking for ideas. Fortunately, this also forces you to flip through the book and a recipe that you might not have expected could catch your eye, motivating you to try out a totally new pie recipe that you might not have chosen before.