Warren Brown, back with his 4th cookbook to date, Pie Love, Inventive Recipes for Sweet and Savory Pie, Galettes, Pastry Cremes, Tarts and Turnovers.
I’ve got to tell you that this book covers it all. Everything you wanted to know about pies, and recipes galore. I made his apple pie, and fell in love with the cinnamon Pie crust recipe. I used that as my base, and loved his apple pie recipe! The thing that I liked about the pie, is that it was not an overly sweet pie, the recipe didn’t over do it on the spices, which allowed the flavor of the apples to shine through. I will be using his cinnamon pie crust recipes in some of my favorite pies, where the cinnamon will complement the filling. I liked it that much. I’m hooked!
The book starts with an introduction, The Basics of Pie, covering ingredients, sweeteners, Butters & Fats, Fruits & Vegetables, and pans and tools both small and large. Next, he explains “what goes on in a pie?”.
Chapter one, is Pie Crusts. You’ll find step by step pie crust making (Although his instructions are not based on mixing by hand. I happen to agree with him and use my food processor for my pie crust making.) from mixing the dough in a food processor, to rolling, and crimping, so even a novice can accomplish the sometimes intimidating pie crust! The pie crust recipes were a plus and a pleasant surprise. Crust recipes such as Cinnamon Butter pie crust (my favorite), Vanilla Bean Pie crust, Anise & Mace Spiced Pie crust and Paprika Butter crust are just a few of the pie crust recipes you’ll find here, along with whole wheat, vegan, cheese, lard, chocolate and gluten-free pie crusts. A delightful assortment of Pie crust in this chapter!
Chapter 2 is Sweet Pie fillings. Two Apple Pie fillings, Blueberry Maple, Peach Pie, Traditional Cherry Pie, Red Berry Pie, an assortment and wide variety of fillings to please any palate. I was pleasantly pleased with the large variety of pie filling recipes that were included in this chapter, including a Sugar Cream Pie, Apple turnovers, Blueberry cobbler, Bourbon Pie and even a Hickory Pie.
Chapter 3 is Tart Crusts. Pecan Caramel tart crust, Almond Caramel tart crust, Lemon Shortbread, and a Peanut tart crust. He’ll have you trying to decide which pie and crust to use first, and it won’t be an easy pick either. They will all sound intriguing and mouth-watering.
Chapter 4 is Sweet Tarts. Chocolate Amaretto Tart with Candied Almond around the outside of the pie, looks absolutely delicious! Can’t wait to try that one, and a Vanilla Pudding Cream Tart, Raspberry Lemon Tart, Apricot Tart, Mixed Fruit Tart are just some of the tarts included in this chapter. Chapter 4 also includes that Sauces, Toppings, Pastry Cream and Glazes.
Chapter 5 is Savory Pies. He includes an Apple Lasagna, Meatball Pie, Chicken Pot Pie, Shepard’s Pie, Eggplant & Carrot Pie, and a recipe for Jamaican Beef Patties.
Finishing up the book is the Index to help you find what you’re looking for even faster.
The book is beautifully illustrated! This book is chock full of beautiful pictures of the finished product that are just mouth-watering! I am a visual, like to see the end results kind of person, and this book does not disappoint in the photography department! As an added bonus, throughout the book you’ll find little boxes with helpful hints, and instructions.
This book is a must have in every kitchen! Especially if you like pie. This fast became one of my favorite cookbooks after sitting down and going through it. It surprised me, and delighted me with its unique recipes, pictures, and information. There are so many pies I want to make out of this cookbook that almost all of the pages are dog-eared waiting for me to make them. This link has a sneak peek feature and I encourage you to go take a look. I think you will be as delighted as I am with Pie Love!
Heirloom Apple Pie
This is my go-to apple pie. It’s simple, classic, and easy to make all year-long. If heirloom apples aren’t available, just substitute Granny Smiths, which work well in baking and have a consistent flavor year round. My colleague at CakeLove suggested prepping the apples as cubes, which seemed weird, but in the end, I really liked them that way. Assembling the pie is much faster, the apple cubes retain a nicer texture after baking than slices, and I love the way they spill out of the slice when it’s served.
My goal with this filling was just a touch of sweetness in the syrup; the natural sugars of the apples should be center stage. You’ll notice a bit of juice pooling on top of the crust at the edges toward the end of baking time, but this recedes and blends back into the pie once it cools. I like the Cinnamon-Butter Pie Crust with its nuance of spice, for this pie and extra dough cookies across the top crust. – Warren Brown
7 1/2 Cups (2 Pounds) Heirloom Apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 and 1/4 inch cubes (I used apples from my backyard apple trees, using 3 different types. My trees are LOADED this year!)
1/2 cup (4 oz.) Superfine Granulated Sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
2 Tbsp. Light Brown Sugar, packed
1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
2 Tbsp. Unbleached All Purpose Flour
2 Tbsp. Cornstarch
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon, plus additional for sprinkling
1/2 tsp. Nutmeg, freshly grated (I only used 1/4 tsp.)
1/4 tsp. Allspice (Optional)
4 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
1 Tbsp. Honey
1 Recipe, bottom crust blind baked Cinnamon ButterPie crust, Flaky Butter Crust or Whole Wheat Piecrust (I didn’t blind bake the bottom crust. I put it together with a top crust and baked it for an hour and a half. If you choose this route, keep an eye on the pie, and if the top crust begins to get to dark, cover the top of the pie with aluminum foil to prevent over browning. We prefer this method, and my pie came out great!)
1 Egg (Optional)
1/4 tsp. Vanilla (Optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Place the apple cubes in a 6 quart pot.
3. Mix both sugars, the salt, flour, cornstarch, and spices in a bowl. Combine this mixture with the apples, add the butter, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the juices bubble and thicken.
4. Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the honey, and allow the filling to cool a bit.
5. Scoop the filling into the cooled crust.
6. Cover with the top crust of your choice and style. If desired, whisk together the egg and vanilla to make an egg wash. Brush the crust with the wash and lightly sprinkle the top of the pie with sugar and cinnamon.
7. Bake the pie for 40 to 45 minutes. When finished,, the juices should simmer around the edges and the top crust should be golden brown.
8. Allow the pie to cool for 1 hour to let the filling set before slicing.
Note: Crust cookies are especially festive pie decorations. To make them, ball up any extra dough and roll it in granulated sugar. Roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thick and cut it with cookie cutters into the desired shapes. Press the cookies onto the top crust of the pie in a decorative pattern and brush with egg wash, then bake as directed in step 7.