Customer Review

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for every pie-crust lover., 27 Dec 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Pie and Pastry Bible (Hardcover)
As someone who had tried various pie-crust recipes over the years and never gotten it quite right, reading Berenbaum's aptly named bible was a revelation. The complex and rather unorthodox techniques for cutting in fat into the flour had me skeptical at first but, having tried several of the various crust recipes in this book, I will never make a crust the easy old way again. If you want to make consistently perfect, by which I mean delectably tender and flaky, crust, this book is for you. The cream-cheese crust that Berenbaum calls the soul of her book is alone worth the price of the book.
In addition, there's the fool-proof technique for ensuring an apple pie in which the juices cling just so to the apple slices yet puddle just a little on the plate -- no more runny apple pies. The multi-step technique, which involves macerating the apple slices, draining the liquid that forms, and boiling down the liquid to a syrup before baking, is time-consuming, but the results are worth it. I tried the apple pie recipe, and my husband rated it a 10! I am one reader who will never again simply toss the apple slices in sugar and bake, on the off-chance that the liquids might (or might not) reduce enough during baking.
The book is invaluable also for the understanding it gives the reader of how the various ingredients in pie crust work, e.g., why the addition of baking powder to pie crust is a must for flakiness, why the crust dough needs to be kneaded harder and longer to make it strong enough to wrap around a meat loaf or the filling of a turnover, etc.
I could go on and on about the merits of this book. Although I wish no one else would read it so that I could be the only person in the world (besides the author) who can make marvelous crust, I cannot help thinking this is a book that should not be kept a secret.
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