The Pie and Pastry Bible (Anglais) Relié – 11 novembre 1998
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I have been thinking of this book as The Pastry Bible for ten years now, since the publication of The Cake Bible. But after much discussion, I decided to give it the title The Pie and Pastry Bible because I discovered that most people do not know exactly what "pastry" means or that pies are also pastry.
The Oxford dictionary defines pastry as: "Dough made of flour, fat and water, used for covering pies or holding filling."
The writer couldn't have known the pleasure of a fresh tart cherry pie or of a flaky, buttery croissant, or his definition would never have remained so dispassionately matter-of-fact.
I did not grow up with much of a pastry tradition. Neither my mother nor grandmother baked. Once in a while I was treated to either a bakery prune Danish or &233;clair but that was it. Sunday morning breakfast was a buttered bagel. My father, a cabinet maker, also provided the greater New York and New Jersey area bagel factories with wooden peels, and the fringe benefit was a weekly string of fresh bagels.
The first pie I ever attempted was cherry pie, using prepared pie filling. It was during Thanksgiving break of my freshman year at the University of Vermont. I had just learned the basic techniques of pie making in class and wanted to please and surprise my father. It turned out that everyone else in the family was surprised as well but in different and disagreeable ways! The oven in our city apartment had never been used except to store pots and pans. My mother, who was afraid of lighting an oven that had been dormant so long, made a long "fuse" from a paper towel and took me into the living room, covering her ears. A few minutes later, when the flame reached the escaping gas, there was the loud explosion she had anticipated (not to mention unnecessarily created). Minutes later, my grandmother (whose domain the kitchen actually was) came running in crying, "The soap, the soap!" It turned out she stored her bars of soap for dishwashing in the broiler under the oven. The soap, by then, was melted and bubbling (much to my amusement). But the worst surprise was yet to come. During the baking of the pie, the cherry juice started bubbling out of the pie and onto the floor of the oven where it started to burn and smoke. Apparently the steam vents I had carefully cut into the top crust had resealed from the thick juices of the sugared cherries.
At Christmas break I tried again, this time lighting the oven myself -- though I did forget to remove the soap again. My creative though absurd solution to the sealed vents was to insert little straws in them so that the juices could bubble up and down without spilling. Finally, I discovered that all that is necessary is to make little cutouts, which, unlike the slits, cannot reseal. But these days I prefer a lattice crust for my cherry pies. The fruit is simply too beautiful to hide.
My next attempt at pie was two years later as a new bride. I wanted to surprise my Vermont husband with a New England specialty he claimed to enjoy: pumpkin pie. As I was emptying the contents of the can into the pie shell, I licked my finger, which confirmed my suspicion that this was not a pie I was going to like. When I presented it for that evening's dessert, I couldn't resist adding: "I don't know how you can eat this; it tastes like a barnyard." To which he answered: "It does and I can't! What did you put in it?" "Pumpkin." I said, thinking what a ridiculously obvious question. "What else?" he asked. "What else goes in?" I queried. "Eggs, brown sugar, spices, vanilla," he enumerated as I sat there feeling like a total fool. Coincidentally, I was reading James Michener's Sayonara, in which the Japanese bride did the same thing, making her American husband a pumpkin pie using only canned pumpkin without sweetener or flavorings, thinking that it was pumpkin pie that somehow appealed to Western taste. It made me feel a lot better. (Too bad I hadn't reached that chapter before my own misadventure!) The next week I tried again, making it from scratch. To my surprise I loved it. It took me thirty years to achieve what I consider to be the state-of-the-art pumpkin pie.
Making pie crust and other pastries was another story. Pie crust, in particular, never came out the same way twice in a row. My goal in writing this book was to delve into the mysteries of pie crusts so that they would always come out the way I wanted them to be -- tender and flaky -- and if not, to understand why. My goal was also to convey this knowledge in a way that would encourage and enable others to do the same. This was far more of a challenge than cake baking. When it comes to cake, if one follows the rules, perfection is inevitable. But for pastry you must be somewhat of an interpretive artist as well as disciplined technician. You have to develop a sense of the dough: when it needs to be chilled or when it needs to be a little more moist. The best way to become proficient is by doing it often. And here's the motivation: The best pastry is made at home. This is because it can receive individual attention and optimal conditions. Try making a flaky pie crust in a 100°F. restaurant kitchen and I'm sure you'll agree. Also, there is nothing more empowering than the thrill of achieving good pastry. I'll always remember my first puff pastry. My housekeeper and I sat spellbound before the oven, watching it swell open and rise. It seemed alive. It was sheer magic. I also cherish the memory of my nephew Alexander unmolding his first tartlet when he was a little boy (and didn't kiss girls). The dough had taken on the attractive design of the fluted mold and he was so thrilled he forgot the rules and kissed me!
Many people think of me as "the cake lady," but the truth is I am more a pastry person! I love cake, but I adore pastry because of its multiplicity of textures and prevalence of juicy, flavorful fruit. I have had the pleasure of developing the recipes in this book for more than ten years. All were enjoyable, but I have included only those I personally would want to have again and again.
My fondest wish is that everyone will know the goodness of making and eating wonderful pastry. Then they will walk down the street with a secret little smile on their faces -- like mine.
Rose Levy Beranbaum
Text copyright © 1998 by Cordon Rose, Inc.
Présentation de l'éditeur
The Pie and Pastry Bible is your magic wand for baking the pies, tarts, and pastries of your dreams—the definitive work by the country's top baker.
-More than 300 recipes, 200 drawings of techniques and equipment, and 70 color pictures of finished pies, tarts, and pastries
-Easy-to-follow recipes for fruit pies, chiffon pies, custard pies, ice-cream pies, meringue pies, chocolate pies, tarts and tartlets, turnovers, dumplings, biscuits, scones, crostadas, galettes, strudel, fillo, puff pastry, croissants (chocolate, too), Danish, brioche, sticky buns, cream puffs, and profiteroles
-All kinds of fillings, glazes, toppings, and sauces, including pastry cream, frangipane, Chiboust, fruit curds, ice creams, fondant, fruit preserves, streusel, meringues, ganache, caramel, and hot fudge
-A separate chapter featuring foolproof flaky, tender, and original crusts of every kind imaginable. Here are a few: Flaky Cream Cheese Pie Crust, Flaky Cheddar Cheese Pie Crust, Miracle Flaky Lard Pie Crust, and Flaky Goose Fat Pie Crust; Bittersweet Chocolate, Coconut, Ginger, and Sweet Nut Cookie Crusts; and Vanilla, Gingersnap, Chocolate, and Graham Cracker Crumb Crusts
-Countless tips that solve any problem, including the secrets to making a juicy fruit pie with a crisp bottom crust and a lemon meringue pie that doesn't weep
-How to make a tender and flaky pie crust in under three minutes
-How to make the best brownie ever into a crustless tart with puddles of ganache
-Exciting savory recipes, including meat loaf wrapped in a flaky Cheddar cheese crust and a roasted poblano quiche
-Extensive decorating techniques for the beginning baker and professional alike that show you how to make chocolate curls, pipe rosettes, crystallize flowers and leaves, and more
-Detailed information on ingredients and equipment, previously available only to professionals
-The wedding cake reconceived as a Seven-Tier Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Tart
-Pointers for Success follow the recipes, guaranteeing perfect results every time
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In reviewing The Pie and Pastry Bible I made the Lemon Pucker Pie, Brownie Puddle, Great Pumpkin Pie, and the Open Faced Designer Apple Pie. Every recipe turned out and tasted wonderful. It is obvious that Rose Levy Berenbaum has tested every recipe to ensure perfect results. This book however, is for the professional or serious baker. To go through this amount of trouble to make something, you must really know and appreciate quality. This is not the sort of book you buy if you want to make something quickly as it could easily frustrate the novice baker. For example, making the apple pie involves many steps. The apples are first cut, mixed with ingredients, macerated for 30 minutes to 3 hours, and then placed in a colander to drain. The liquid is reduced and then re-added to the cut apples with cornstarch. This does result in a wonderful apple flavor, but is it worth the effort? When I weigh the extra time and effort involved, I would rather sacrifice a little taste and make it the old-fashioned easier way. Rose Levy Beranbaum has aimed for perfection and this takes a lot of time and much effort. This is a great book for the serious baker who wants to make perfect pies and pastries and understand the science behind it. The recipes are given in both volume and weight, which I appreciate. She gives storing instructions for every recipe and pointers for success. At a list price of $35.00 it is a great textbook.
For the novice pie and pastry baker, you may think this will be too overwhelming for you. I think this is written in such a way that you will "get it" and thus start out making things correctly. For the experienced, this book is a problem solver and is the road to perfection.
This book contains more than 300 recipes. There are more than 15 recipes for pie crusts plus variations. With that said, obviously not every pie under the sun is here, but there is enough information for you to make improvements on any recipe that is not covered.
This book is so close to perfect, I gave it five stars. However, I do have some criticisms. First, this book needs to better catalog the recipes. The table of contents lists simply the chapters, such as fruit pies, tarts, custard pies etc. The chapters delve into the subject without listing the recipes. I would prefer that each chapter had a mini table of contents that listed individual recipes.
My second criticism is the altering of classic recipes to suit her personal tastes. I realize this is completely subjective, but if she were a Southerner, I wouldn't have to continue to hunt for recipes for chess pie and coconut custard pie. This is the same criticism I had of the Cook's Illustrated baking volume too. However, we're talking about two or three recipes in each book that I don't agree with, so the books were still worth the purchase.
Speaking of Cook's Illustrated, if I had to choose between this book and Baking Illustrated, I would go with this book. If both are an option for you, get both. Cook's does a good job of balancing flavor with speed. The bible series seems to be all about flavor with little regard to speed.
My last criticism is a minor one and I realize it is as subjective as the author's taste when writing the recipes; I find the language and recipe structure awkward at times. I think the Williams-Sononma Collection, while not the most exhaustive collection of recipes, is the best example of recipe writing.
I wanted to make pie crust from scratch for Thanksgiving, so I paid rush shipping charges to get this book here and it is worth the expense. I made a test basic flaky pie crust and it came out perfectly.
In addition, there's the fool-proof technique for ensuring an apple pie in which the juices cling just so to the apple slices yet puddle just a little on the plate -- no more runny apple pies. The multi-step technique, which involves macerating the apple slices, draining the liquid that forms, and boiling down the liquid to a syrup before baking, is time-consuming, but the results are worth it. I tried the apple pie recipe, and my husband rated it a 10! I am one reader who will never again simply toss the apple slices in sugar and bake, on the off-chance that the liquids might (or might not) reduce enough during baking.
The book is invaluable also for the understanding it gives the reader of how the various ingredients in pie crust work, e.g., why the addition of baking powder to pie crust is a must for flakiness, why the crust dough needs to be kneaded harder and longer to make it strong enough to wrap around a meat loaf or the filling of a turnover, etc.
I could go on and on about the merits of this book. Although I wish no one else would read it so that I could be the only person in the world (besides the author) who can make marvelous crust, I cannot help thinking this is a book that should not be kept a secret.
In order to make crust using this book, you have to flip back and forth between many sections: the dough recipe, the rolling instructions, the laying out of the dough, and the baking are all in different places, in the wrong order, and not clearly labeled. I can see why this happened, because the rolling and baking are similar for different dough recipes, and she didn't want to repeat the same instructions over and over. But at least the sections should have been in order! Additional stories and comments are intermixed with the instructions, which makes it hard to follow the instructions once you find them. Different dimensions are given in different places for the size of the rolled dough you need. Sections headings are not consistently formatted--sometimes a new subsection is in the same style as the heading that started the section.
I'm a professional scientist and university professor, and I love to cook. I don't think I have any special impairment following instructions. The other reviewers who liked this book surely had the same experience, unless they knew ahead of time what they were doing, so I say to them: stop recommending this book so highly, except to experienced pie and tart bakers!
For making pastry the first time, I would use "The Way to Cook" by Julia Child instead, which manages to give all of the necessary instructions very clearly, in the correct order, in about two pages. Then buy Beranbaum's book and read it at leisure if you want inspiration and expert knowledge, and you don't mind an error here or there.
I hope there will be an easier-to-use second edition of this book. The tart I made was truly delicious, but the process made me angry. I'm guessing that the author or editor or publisher decided their deadline was more important than a final week of editing. What a shame.