Thommy Ford Reads

A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library

50 Great Cookbooks at Thomas Ford – Week 25

As we reach the halfway mark in our series, it is summer and, despite the late freeze and the dry conditions, there is fresh fruit to be purchased at the farmers’ markets and grocery stores. Eating fresh fruit straight is a joy of the season, but so is eating fruit desserts. Here is a book for those who grow or purchase fruit by the quart or bushel.

The Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum (641.8652 BER)

What kind of cookbook is The Pie and Pastry Bible?
Like the word “Bible” in the title implies, Rose Levy Beranbaum’s book is a massive reference work to help anyone wanting to make pies or pastries. In explaining her title, the author says that it is redundant, as a pie is a pastry, but hardly anyone knows that. Many of recipes include fruit or custards, but there are also savories and meat puff pastries.

Is this cookbook easy to use?
Making pastries needs both instruction and study, so the correct answer has to be “no.” But Beranbaum tells the reader what she or he needs to know. The first chapter on making crusts is 70 pages and includes many helpful drawings. Because she wants you to succeed with the top crust, she instructs you to make cut-outs instead of of slits that may reseal when baking.

Can you easily buy the ingredients for the recipes?
Yes, nothing looks uncommon, other than fruits will have their seasons. In winter, you may make pastries with custard or preserves fillings.

What is special about this cookbook?
Cooks will appreciate the attention to to details and breadth of content in The Pie and Pastry Bible. In her well-written recipes, Beranbaum even accommodates those who prefer weight instead of volume measures. They can measure in ounces or grams. The variety of recipes is substantial, covering most traditional pastries served in the U.S.

What are your favorite recipes from this cookbook?
I dream of eating many of the pastries in this volume, including Apple Crumb Pie (p. 86), Cherry Lattice Pie (p. 93), Pineapple Ice Cream Pie (p. 239), Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Seven-Tier Tart (page 318), and Twelfth Night Galettes (p. 446). Yum.

Review by Rick

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This entry was posted on June 24, 2012 by in 50 Great Cookbooks, Book Review, Cooking, Non-Fiction.
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