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Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some potential, some disappointment, 30 Mar. 2012
This review is from: Handheld Pies: PintSized Sweets and Savories (Hardcover)
Sweet and savoury pies - finger food - are immensely addictive to many people and there seems to be no limit to what you can encase in a piece of pastry. Yet many cooks seem to fall back on the same old traditional, albeit tasty, options. Maybe this book will change things.
Forty recipes, both sweet and savoury, are presented in a form that seeks to educate, inform and inspire at the same time. Written for an American audience, to this European reviewer some of the ingredients are not so well known (or come with prejudices that are perhaps irrational), yet this book manages to inspire one to want to try them out. Although one remains sceptical to the idea of peanut butter and jelly pop tarts!
The authors have cleverly organised the book by crust, filling and technique in a bid to encourage the cook to explore the diverse range of pie types, and when combined with different combinations of filling the sky is the limit. A lot of information, expertise and tips are provided so that one learns as one reads (and tries the various recipes) - something that many books fail at when they just present recipes and maybe a bit of "small talk" from the author.
This is not, however, a picture-heavy aspirational book but a friendly "text book" that guides the reader throughout. The book does not, however, feel "kitchen-friendly" due to the overall layout and style of presentation and the choice of font and styling could make reading whilst cooking a tad problematical for some. A common bugbear is the binding - one feels one has to be slightly violent to make it stay open which is a horrific thing to do for a book-lover, so maybe one should restrict this book to one's favourite chair, read in a peaceful atmosphere and maybe copy out the recipe you wish to try when in the kitchen.
These small niggles are only practical things that can be very personal to a person. The content, however, remains king and the book provides an interesting array of things to dream about, to learn about and to hopefully try. Measured by those metrics, the book does reach the mark.
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