by Sybil PrattNovember, 1998
Can there be a sequel to the Bible? Yes indeed, and I do not blaspheme. Rose Levy Beranbaum, who gave us the glorious, best-selling Cake Bible, has blessed us with The Pie and Pastry Bible, her new, fabulously inclusive compendium of indispensable recipes (over 200) and advice on techniques, ingredients, and equipment.
In the beginning there is a crust, and crust creation is often a devilish endeavor. Rose admits that it took her a long time to turn out a perfect flavorful, flaky, and tender pie crust on a regular basis. Now, she shares this hard-won skill, plus her ideas for crusts of all kinds (and all with both food processor and hand method options), then shows you how to bake beautiful pies, tarts, tortes, turnovers, tatins, quiches, galettes and crostatas--filled, topped and embellished with fruit, custard, ice cream, meringue, chocolate, and nuts. And the biblical beat goes on with puff pastry, savory main course sensations, biscuits, scones, Danish, brioche and croissants, fillo and strudel, curds, creams, sauces, and glazes.
Whether the recipes are for the complex or the simple-- Molten Chocolate Souffle Tartlets and Salmon Wellington rub their epicurean shoulders with Perfect Peach Pie and Butter Biscuits --the instructions are intelligently presented and thorough, measurements are given by volume and weight and each recipe is followed by those oh-so-necessary tips for avoiding ever-present pastry pitfalls--or why bad things happen to good cooks. With this baker's bonanza and source book extraordinaire, you'll be all set for the imminent onslaught of holiday happenings.