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Tarts With Tops On: A Book of Pies: Or How to Make the Perfect Pie [Hardcover]

Tamasin Day-Lewis
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

9 Sep 2004

Pies are the business. You can dress them up or dress them down. Make them classic or modern, savoury or sweet, shroud them in butter crisp pastry or top them with creamy potato. Eat them hot, warm or cold, with a scoop of cream, a slug of vanilla custard, a dollop of crème fraiche. You can fold the fruit in, tuck the crust under, build up the layers. No food comforts and nurtures like a proper home-made pie.

Tamasin's selection includes classic savoury pies like Chicken Pie, Egg and Bacon Pie, the Cornish Pasty, an Italian Easter Pie with eggs and artichokes, la Torta di Zucchini, a Galician Pork and Sausage Pie, Koulibiac, the traditional Russian Salmon Pie, and a delicate Feta, Rice and Yoghurt Pie.

Sweet pies include a section on apple pies, a Sugar-topped Cherry Pie, Raspberry Ripple Ice-cream Pie, Shaker Lemon Pie, Peach Pie, Southern Pecan Pie, Key Lime Pie, Mississippi Mud Pie and Blueberry Pie.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; New Ed edition (9 Sep 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297843761
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297843764
  • Product Dimensions: 16.7 x 20.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 561,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


'A delightful collection of sweet and savory pastries... posh pies, everyday pies, new pies, old forgotten favourites; a greedy celebration of crust and filling' (Nigel Slater OM (THE OBSERVER) 2/11/03 )

'With sensuous photos by David Loftus and Day-Lewis's own voluptuous prose... well, never before have we found homemade pastries to be so sexy.' (VANITY FAIR (Oct 03) )

'Is there a more enthusiastic cookery writer than Tamasin Day-Lewis? 'Tarts with Tops on' is her stupendous follow up to 'The Art of the Tart'. It's subtitled 'How to Make the Perfect Pie... what are you waiting for? Get baking!' (WATERSTONE'S BOOKS QUARTERLY )

'Tarts with Tops on is the provocative title of the latest book by our food writer Tamasin Day-Lewis. Her new book is actually about how to make the perfect pie, with recipes for savoury and sweet classics, such as bacon and egg, Cornish pasty and apple, plus Key Lime, Misisippi Mud and Shaker Lemon.' (COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS (Oct 2003) )

'The title is suitably, but mildly, naughty and the prose has all of Lawson's posh and flirty tones: mental back-burners, culinary boulevards and lots of delectable scrumminess. The pies themselves look good enough to eat.' (HAM & HIGH (14 Nov 03) )

'... a stimulating collection of sweet and savoury pies that tingles the tastebuds.' (CAKE CRAFT & DECORATION )

''Tis the season for pie I think. Here is a no nonsense cookbook that confirms what I have been preaching for years, that there really is a pie for every occasion. If you are not convinced and think pies are old-fashioned or boring then Tamasin Day-Lewis will convert you with her range of traditional and innovative recipes.' (EPICUREAN LIFE )

'No-one quite does a pie like the English. Although, as Day-Lewis concedes, the Americans also know a thing or two about sweet pies. Her engaging and intelligent voice contributes a large part to the success of this collection, as do the thoughtful balance of recipes and the lovely presentation.' (GOURMET TRAVELLER )

'There can be no current English food writer delivering a regular slew of recipes to her public who does it more entertainingly than Tamasin Day-Lewis. What is more, her recipes work. She is often referred to in this house.... Very good stuff... She writes as she speaks: often firm in her instructions, but always cheerful.' (PETITS PROPOS CULINAIRES (Dec 2004) ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A beautifully written, exquisitely produced celebration of the pie - its most classic recipes and modern interpretations.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Is there anyone who doesn't inwardly melt at the sight of a golden glazed pie crust, with its little cottage chimney of steam wafting the scent of buried juices, the auguries of delight of what lies beneath? Read the first page
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Front Cover | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect pies 25 May 2004
By SecretSweets VINE VOICE
This book is packed with mouth-watering pies. There are traditional savoury pies, foreign pies, apple pies and sweet pies. In short, this book has a pie for all occasions. There are also some unusual pies - for example the Feta, Rice and Yoghurt Pie was an eye-opener!
The chapter on Traditional Pies offers several old favourites, those long-forgotten pies that have been violated by commercialisation. These pies will take you back to the good old days when pies were made from wholesome ingredients, guaranteed to leave you satisfied. Here you will be able to recreate Melton Mowbray Pork Pies, Cornish Pasties, Devonshire Squab Pies and Streak and Kidney Pudding, amongst others.
There is also a chapter dedicated to pies made famous by other people, such as Claudia Roden, Nigel Slater and Michel Roux.
My personal favourite - sweet pies: from apple pies to a whole host american pies. All I can say is this section alone will inspire you to bake more pies. I have made about two thirds of the recipes in this section and each one has been applauded by family and friends. I think this book is worth getting even if it's just for the sweet stuff.
Of course, as in The Art of Tart, Tamsin Day Lewis seems to insist on all things organic. Sometimes, it is just not possible to get organic cocoa powder, and I happily ignore such instructions and the results are still excellent.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Excellent recipes and a good mix of savoury and sweet pies. Two small gripes -
1. the font size is very small to be able to read easily in the midst of a busy kitchen
2. it would be helpful to have the sizes of the pie tins and dishes used. I seemed to have loads of excess filling left over on several occasions.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some nice pies but imperfect recipes 23 Mar 2011
By Blye
Tarts with tops on does show you how to make some very nice, very tasty pies. They range from the quite simple and traditional through to some very fancy modern types. The pictures are nice and clear and the instructions are not difficult to follow.

There is one major grip that I have with the book however.

All of the cooking guidelines underestimate the time needed in order to ensure that the pies are properly cooked through. I have used a couple of different ovens and the times given are simply unrealistic. This can cause great frustration initially as the pie is never ready when it should be and so can throw out your lunch or dinner plans very easily.

Now that I know this of course, I do my best to adjust the times given and the book does tend to be very useful - as I say, the recipes are otherwise good. But I do think that this is not something every cook should have to do once they have bought a cookery book. No one likes raw chicken pie!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not good for the basics 5 Aug 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book was a disappointment, as it's basically a collection of recipes. It really doesn't go into much detail about the process of making the pastry specifically relating it to every recipe. There are hardly any useful images of the pastry making process; the recipes aren't broken down well enough.
Buy this book if you already know all about pastry making techniques and how to fill the pie dish properly, and all you want is some new recipes.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You can't beat a juicy pie! 18 Nov 2003
By A Customer
Forget nouveau cuisine and posh clobber like that. The world would be a better place if there were more pie's in it. This book is great. It's got all the old favourites from everyones childhood and a few little suprises too. I never realised you could get so much under a crust. Get your flat cap out, slap your whippet and indulge this winter. Sink your teeth into a great pie every night of the week. There are more than enough recipes to keep you going. Chuffin wonderful.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Truly Awful Title Disguises an Excellent Book 18 Nov 2003
I'm a bit worried about the level of pastry consumption in my family as a result of this book - I particularly like the section on American Pies (mississippi mud, key lime, etc) and the savouries are great too. Tamasin Day Lewis's recipes always work, so I suffer no anxiety when using them. Whoever in her publishing company came up with the gratingly twee title deserves to be shot though, as it does a really good book a great disservice.
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