Book Review ~ Pie Every Day, The Perfect Pie & Farmhand's Favorite Pies

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It was my intention to write a review on a book devoted to the subject of pie. I was almost surprised to find that I do not own a book devoted to pies. You’d think with as many shelves of cookbooks I have, there’d be at least one, but there isn’t. How is that possible…I REALLY like pie! So off to my local public library I go. I love the library. They know me. They know what I like. The gal who orders for the section I most often frequent, gives me a shout out and tells me she has the new Ree Drummond (Pioneer Woman) cookbook at home and although she automatically added me to the list for it, it would be a while. I better go ahead and just order it. Then I start my search. Our library only shelves 3 books on the subject of pies. Only one is authored by a familiar name and none strikes my fancy at first glance. I checked all 3 out determined to really like one so I could do a positive review.

The 3 books I read are Pie Every Day, Recipes and Slices of Life by Pat Willard, The Perfect Pie by Susan G. Purdy (she is the author of The Family Baker) and Farmhand’s Favorite Pies by Amy and David Butler.

Pie Every Day, Recipes and Slices of Life by Pat Willard.
I had great expectations for this book. Pie…EVERY DAY…the title is like my fantasy. While there is a lot of prose in the book, it was lacking what I was looking for…recipes for pies. There is a fair number of recipes for savory pies, pasties, empanadas and such but again, not what I was looking for. This book is a pass for me.

The Perfect Pie, More Than 125 All-Time Favorite Pies & Tarts by Susan G. Purdy
This is the author I was familiar with. I have checked out The Family Baker and although did not add it to my collection, did like the book. The Perfect Pie did have more of the elements I was looking for in a pie book…tutorials on ingredients, equipment, and techniques and a fare number of recipes. But, there was something lacking too. Then my 16 year old son hit the nail on the head…it has no pictures. We both decided we wanted pictures of perfect pies to drool over. Not a bad book, especially if you are wanting a good tutorial, but again, a pass for me.

Farmhand’s Favorite Pies by Amy and David Butler
Of the 3 books I checked out, this was the one I had the least expectations for. That said, I really liked this book. The illustrations are gorgeous, vintage looks into pie making, almost like a peek at your grandma’s pies from another era. The recipes are easy to follow and are what I was looking for…cream pies, fruit pies, meringues, southern favorites, etc.

I think that what I learned from reading these 3 books is that pie really is not something to be defined by a book. It is homey in nature, not complex like cake. It was a way for pioneer women to feed their families and preserve their harvests. It is passed down more than taught. I love pie although I am not an owner of a book devoted to the subject!