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Art of the Pie – Cookbook Review

Art of the Pie – Cookbook Review

Outlander

I’ve been lucky to meet a lot of wonderful people over the past few months, while doing publicity for the Outlander Kitchen Cookbook. One of the Very Special folks I’ve been privileged to connect with is Kate McDermott, pie expert and author of Art of the Pie, a much-anticipated new cookbook released this week.

kate-mcdermottKate and I connected with the help of a mutual friend. Despite living so close to each other (she is just south of me on her own little island), our busy summer schedules have kept us from meeting in person thus far, but I look forward to heading down to her Pie Cottage one day, where we will sprinkle flour and roll out our dough at the same table, sharing stories we haven’t yet told each other via Facebook Messenger.

lemon-meringue
from Art of the Pie. Photo by Andrew Scrivani

From the cover overleaf: “Kate McDermott has taught this and made pies with thousands of people across the country at her Pie Camps. Her confidence comes through in every recipe, and will inspire readers to don an apron, grab a rolling pin, and get cooking. (The stunning photographs in this book won’t hurt either.) Over the years, McDermott developed more than a dozen crusts, half of which are gluten-free, and in this book she gives detailed instructions for making, rolling, and baking crusts. A pie needs filling, too, and she does not neglect a single detail when describing her ingredients, methods, and tricks for making the filling and finishing off the pie.I devoured Art of the Pie over the weekend, and loved everything about it.”

I literally read it cover to cover. Kate’s recipes are logical and easy to follow, her hints and tricks helpful to even the most experienced pie baker. Her level of expertise is through the roof, and her confidence shines through in everything she says, from tips about leaf lard, to her advice on life, as told from perspective of a dedicated baker, mother, and practitioner of kindness.

porkpie
from Art of the Pie. Photo by Andrew Scrivani

Nestled between Kate’s prose are Andrew Scrivani’s gorgeous photos. It’s hard not to like pie, but it’s impossible not to fall in love with every single one of Scrivani’s photos. He made it difficult for me to decide what recipes to test, but in the end, I decided on my favourite, a Lemon Meringue, and My Englishman’s favourite, a savoury Pork Pie.lemon-meringue2I used Kate’s recipe for an All-Butter Crust for my lemon meringue pie, and loved her method for making it in a food processor. My hands don’t work as well as they used to. They’ve lost some strength and maneuverability, and working dough between my fingers is no longer the joy it used to be. I depend on my processor and stand mixer to do those jobs I can no longer do.crustBut I still enjoy the craft of rolling my chilled dough out, and creatively crimping the edges. Kate’s got a number of tricks to make this go smoothly too.

lemon-meringue1What a pie! We had this for dessert last night, and it was to die for! Adding the meringue to the top of the hot curd kept it from separating from the filling, and the weeping was minimal. We both loved the tart sweetness of the curd, and the meringue sweetness complimented it nicely, without being cloyingly sweet.

pork-pieAnd then there was the pork pie. This recipe is a bit of a project, but the results are spectacular. I’ve attempted traditional English Pork Pies in the past, but Kate’s recipe is by far my biggest success, both aesthetically and gastronomically.

I have to fess up and admit I did not have the leaf lard for the hot water pastry. I substituted butter for that, and uncured bacon for the pork belly. On a small island, I often have to use what I have on hand, and these substitutions worked well. The pastry crisped up nicely and took on a good brown. The filling was perhaps a little smoky from the bacon, but my Englishman, a self-declared expert on pork pies didn’t complain. He didn’t say a word — his mouth was full.

It is my joy to recommend Art of the Pie. Pick up a copy today…the baking season is upon us!

6 Comments

  1. Jennifer Fontanella
    October 6, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    I’m waiting patiently for my Pie cookbook to arrive. Sounds like I’ll be busy baking!

  2. Catherine
    October 12, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    I love making pies! I will look for this book! Thank you for this review!u

  3. Linda Brown
    October 13, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    I love your Outlander Cookbook so I’m sure I will love this one also!

    Linda

  4. Rosella
    October 13, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    I agree, there is nothing as good as pie. I was raised on a farm and we always had lard in the fridge and an assortment of meats or fruits and vegetables either frozen or canned and available to turn into a pie. I believe my mom probably made to best pies I remember. Will have to look for this cookbook, Thank you.

  5. Bullrem
    October 13, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    OMG OMG OMG I feel like saying naughty words to you. This is sinful with a capital S’. I must get this book. I would love love love to be in a class with you both. Any chance y’all will take your cooking ‘show’ on the road to Arkansas ?????? Helen in Ark.’

  6. Jeanne
    October 14, 2016 at 11:02 am

    Sounds like a great addition to my cookbook collection. I’ve been experimenting with my homemade wine grape skin flour, I think crust will be my next adventure. Thanks for the info Theresa!

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