Pies are not only delicious, but they always offer a slice of comfort and home when we dig into one. There are nut pies, fruit pies, cream pies and chocolate pies – and while you can take your pick to satisfy any particular food craving, it is a safe bet that some will appeal to you more than others and that could be because of where you are from. Pie flavors are very regional, and a pie that someone from the Northeast absolutely loves might be something that someone in the Southwest has never even heard of. The cookbook United States of Pie offers more than 50 regional pie recipes from all across the country – and that means it has something for every pie lover out there.
The inspiration for the recipes in the book came from newspaper clippings, vintage and church cookbooks and recipe cards tucked away by pie-baking grandmothers all over the country. These recipes were Americana, and a few tweaks here and there served to update and refine them. The finished recipes are all in the book and are divided into four different regions of the country: Northeast, South, Midwest and West. The author takes great care to describe where these recipes have come from and give you an idea of some of the history behind them. This approach draws you in and makes you want to start up your oven, even if you haven’t heard of Olallieberry Pie or Shoofly Pie before. All of the recipes are very easy to follow along with and you’ll soon be making pies as though your own grandma had taught you the recipes herself.
The first chapter of the book deals with pie crusts, and offers nine different pie crust recipes that should be all you need for any pie baking project you might want to take on. As with the pie recipes, the crust directions are clear and friendly, so even those intimidated by crust will feel comfortable jumping right in. The only drawback to this book is that it doesn’t have any pictures of pie in it. Instead, it has cute illustrations decorating the pages. This does give it a fun, vintage look that suits the theme of the book, but it is worth noting because you’ll have to bake the recipes yourself to find out exactly what they look like.