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4.4 out of 5 stars
200 Pies & Tarts: Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The 200 recipe range of books from Hamlyn is inexpensive at around a fiver each - less from Amazon - and each offers a selection of recipes based on a certain theme - although they don't all contain a full 200 recipes!. This one offers Pies and Tarts and benefits from Amazons Click to Look Inside feature. Using this feature will give an idea of the layout and content of this book and reading the introduction may help you decide if it is for you or not. We have a few other books in this series but this one is one my wife's favourites and contains some very tasty meal ideas. There's nothing quite like the smell of homemade pastries cooking to give you an appetite!

The books in this range are small and chunky and nicely illustrated, but I'm not sure the spines would stand up to too much rough use in the kitchen! Still, they are offered for a good price and represent decent value for what you pay. A range of books that will probably suit those new to cooking, rather than the more experienced, or perhaps those just looking for some new ideas. A good-value book we've used quite a bit - recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Another good recipe book from the Hamlyn all colour cookbook series, this one is packed with tonnes of recipes of Pies and Tarts. They are so many mouth watering recipes to choose from.
The book is essentially divided into the following subheadings- introduction; bite-sized snacks; savoury light bites; main meals; sweet pies; sweet tarts; and gluten free. The introduction covers tips and techniques, short crust pastry, gluten free pastry,hot water crust pastry, pate sucree,and how to cheat with bought pastry. I like the fact that it says you cheat with a bough pastry as sometimes making your own can be tedious then it becomes a question of 'here is one I made earlier'. I think it is good to make your own but also have the option to use ready made one. I found that section very useful and a good foundation on which to develop the various recipes. There 200 recipes as the name of the book suggests with beautiful pictures illustrating each one and a step by step guide to preparing and baking them. I am not a big fan of buying ready made pies as I like to make my own and this book has proved immensely useful in the variety of recipes covered, which are really easy to make and quite delicious too. The book is compact and small and easy to carry around. I love it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I now own a baker's dozen of these wonderful little books. This latest in my collection matches the excellent standards of the other twelve. As ever: it is a compact book, with wipe-able covers; has a recipe per page with many including a tip for changing the dish into something different; has full-colour photographs of the finished dishes; easy-to-follow recipes for novices to the more accomplished cook; & has useful front sections on how to make the various pastries needed, & Tips & Techniques eg lining a pastry case; & even has a gluten free section at the back of the book.
The Pizza Puff Pies (made with shop bought puff, so really easy!) were fabulous. The recipe makes six, but I have a feeling that, over the Christmas period, I'm going to be doubling the amount of ingredients at least, for any visitors that come a-calling! The Honeyed Pecan Pie was even easier, & equally as delicious, &, next time, I'll make the chocolate pecan pie. My favourite recipe from the book thus far, however, is the Goat's Cheese & Beetroot Tart. With two of my most loved ingredients in this indulgent creation....what's not to like?!! Another terrific Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook. Buy with confidence, cook with confidence.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 20 November 2012
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I do like this series of cookbooks. OK - they are never going to turn you into a gourmet chef. If you want that then you need to look elsewhere. What they do very well is provide lots of ideas for simple, fairly cheap to make and yet mostly tasty recipies. I have a young son and a husband who is a picky eater, so I am always looking for ideas for nutritious, tasty meals which both of them will eat. I can usually rely on this series of books to provide me with inspiration for this. Each book is split into sections e.g. soups, fish/seafood, meat/poultry, desserts and so on, and there are plenty of recipe ideas in each section which means you can usually find something to suit all tastes.

The layout of the books is good - each recipe has a double page allocation with a good colour image of the finished meal, a full ingredient list and easy to follow step by step instructions. My only criticism, and the reason I have given 4 stars instead of 5, is that the spine of the book is quite stiff and as a result it is hard to get the book to stay open at any given page without weighing the pages down. When just flicking through the book for ideas this is not a problem, but if you want to follow a recipe step by step in the kitchen as you are working then it is awkward. I would also say that the variety of pies and tarts in this is not as good as I expected, certainly compared to some of the others in the series. Saying that, it is still good value for money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Hamlyn's range of 200 recipe cookbooks is amongst the most appealing I have come across; they are all small enough to pop into a bag or pocket to accompany you on the trip to buy ingredients for a recipe, whilst being of sufficient size to make recipe preparation a breeze.

Each recipe occupies a double-page spread; a colour photograph of the finished recipe on one side and the method on the other. Recipes are easy to follow and in this case you can easily 'cheat' your way through half of the preparation by purchasing ready-made pastry if you cannot, or do not have the time to, make your own.

Instructions are provided at the front for making your own pastry - Shortcrust, pate sucree, hot water crust and gluten free varieties but curiously not puff pastry; I can understand the explanation that filo pastry is not worth making yourself but puff pastry isn't all that labour intensive and is actually fun to do yourself.

Once you have made or bought your pastry, a wonderful array of recipes awaits ranging from a savoury family-sized game pie, individual starter-sized smoked salmon & pea tarts, bite-sized (party suitable) feta & spring onion cigarellos to waist-expanding desserts such as summer berry mille feuilles. If you are at a loss as to what to do with a pumpkin there is also an appealing recipe for a pumpkin and tomato pie (with a bacon variation).

These books are inexpensive but very inspirational, particularly if you grow your own fruit and veg or receive a box of goodies each week. I am a vegetarian and found sufficient of interest to make this a worthwhile reference source. Ideally suited as stocking fillers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is another book in this very useful series of small cookery books published by Hamlyn. It contains two hundred recipes for pies and tarts and most have a suggested variation at the end of the recipe which means the book actually contains many more than two hundred recipes.

There is an introduction to the book which gives instructions for making several different types of pastry and advice on such things as baking blind - no need for expensive baking beans - just used dried pasta. The book then has six sections:
Bite-Sized Snacks
Savoury Light Bites
Main Meals
Sweet Pies
Sweet Tarts
Gluten Free

All the gluten free recipes could also be made with ordinary flour. There are ordinary everyday recipes such as chicken and mushroom pies and steak and kidney pies but there are also recipes for the more exotic varieties such as citrus baklava and Mexican egg tarts or Portuguese custard tarts.

There are recipes which will be of use to the more experienced cook and those which are ideal for the beginner. Each recipe is laid out in easy to follow steps and the ingredients and quantities are clearly set out. There is a colour illustration on the opposite page to each recipe and there is a useful index at the end of the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have previously reviewed a number of these Hamlyn cookbooks and all are very similar in style and presentation. This is a small, almost pocket size book. It contains as the title suggests 200 recipes. It is broken down into chapters that look at,bite size snacks, savoury light bites, main meals, sweet pies, sweet tarts and gluten free pies. Each recipe takes two pages. On one side is a picture of the finished dish and on the other is the list of ingredients and simplified cooking instructions. I have one small problem with this book, some of the recipes are so overly simplified, certain stages of the process are left out...needing some guess work, but this does not really detract from the quality of the recipes.

This is a great little book, but I do think to get it to the smaller page format, they have sacrificed some of the preparation/cooking stage explanations and have overly simplified some of the recipes. This is a good little book but with a bit more of an explanation to some of the recipes it could have gained 5 stars.

Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have quite a collection of Hamlyn cookery books and they're always excellent value for money. There's a colour photo for each recipe which is important for me. I want to know how my food will look before I cook it and I enjoy seeing the dishes properly presented. Recipes, ingredients and methods are incredibly well set out and easy to follow for each individual item and, there's no wasted space. You won't find any useless information, unecessary photography, there's just 200 recipes with a few hints and tips.

The book is split into 6 sections:-

bite-size snacks
savoury light bites
main meals
sweet pies
sweet tarts
gluten-free

plus; an introduction to different types of pastry and the techniques for making it.

I was somewhat sceptical as to how many recipes there are for pie but, my goodness, there are ideas in here that would never have occurred to me; plum tripti (feta, ricotta and plum), baby banana & peach strudel and minted fig tarts to name but a few. I would highly recommend the kaffir lime tart, lovely with clotted cream, and golden mushroom and leek pie is perfect for people who don't eat meat and it's lovely and rich.

Most of the challenge in these recipes is to make your own pastry:- shortcrust, sweet shortcrust, pastry for samosas, pate sucree (some flavoured), polenta pastry, sweet gluten-free, gluten-free, all-butter sweet shortcrust and a few others. Don't be put off. The recipes for filo and puff pastry are all set around you buying readymade/frozen pastry, you don't need to be an expert. Perfect book for the forthcoming winter months. Nothing nicer than a homemade pie for dinner on a dark, cold evening....real comfort food.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have several titles from this series and they are very handy additions to a kitchen library. You may find 5 or 6 of the approximately 20 titles will be useful or you may want to have them all. At the prices at which they typically are offered, the series will be no more expensive than a few alternative cookery titles but will provide a much greater variety. The only thing missing will be the names of a celebrity chef or two.

The title of this book is fairly self-explanatory and includes almost everything made with a pastry base and many with a pastry topping. Included are mini-pies and tarts suited for a picnic or lunch-box and the full-sized versions able to serve a family or a party. All include a mixture of sweet and savoury fillings. Following the typical Hamlyn layout of the series, every main recipe has a variant where either one meat is replaced by another, with possibly some ingredient modifications to suit, or the fruit filling (in most instances) is replaced with another.

None of the recipes is unduly complex and the most difficult part is to get the pastry just right. This can require a little practice and a few 'failures' - less a total failure and more a slight imperfection - will help the less experienced cook to improve their skills. As with any cook book, there is a general assumption that some basic tools and equipment are available, but some guidance is provided as it is with almost every other of the series that I have seen. If not, one or two straight edged pie/tart tins and another one or two with fluted edges and a rolling pin are about all you will require and need not be expensive. Non-stick ones may be better that plain but both will work perfectly well.

The book is easy to follow, well laid out and illustrated and, by no means least, very inexpensive and therefore is easy to recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 10 September 2012
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Another of this excellent series of books which offer plenty of easy & fast recipes for the time-pressed cook. In part this is achieved by using shop bought pastry in many of the recipes (frequently puff pastry or filo) although there is a good section at the beginning of the book providing pastry dough recipes and hints & techniques.

The book is divided into chapters as follows:
* Bite-sized snacks (both sweet & savoury) e.g. parmesan & tomato tarts; mini filo & guacamole cups; mini chocolate truffle tarts; baby banana & peach strudels.

* Savoury light bites including smoked salmon & pea tarts, Mexican egg tarts, chillied pumpkin & tomato pies, pizza puff pies, savoyarde potato pies.

* Main meals e.g summer prawn & fish filo pie; golden mushroom & leek pies; torta pasqualina using char-grilled artichokes, tomatoes & spinach;goats' cheese & beetroot tart.

* Sweet pies - summer berry mille feuilles; Moroccan almond spiral; chocolate meringue pie.

* Sweet tarts - e.g strawberry chiffon tart; cherry frangipane tart; blueberry & lime tarts; macadamia & vanilla tart.

* Gluten-free recipes again both savoury & sweet.

Most, if not all, recipes have an alternative suggestion at the end. For example, the alternative to the macadamia & honey tart is pine nut & honey.

As always in this series, the pictures are enticing. The downside is that the small size of the books means it is difficult to keep them open without plonking something on them thus obscuring the recipe unless you have one of those Perspex recipe book holders, although on mine this still isn't entirely satisfactory because the book isn't tall enough!
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