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While those that know me, know me as a cookie and cupcake gal (see?), a little known secret is that I’ve always preferred pie. So why, oh why, do I rarely bake pies? That may change now that I have A Year of Pies by Ashley English in my possession. You may remember Ashley’s earlier books in The Homemade Living Series (Canning and Preserving, Keeping Chickens, Keeping Bees, and Home Dairy, all given away on this blog). Pies are treated just as lovingly and thoroughly in this beautiful, rich book. The time and precision to make pies often explains a baker’s hesitation, but Ashley brings us back with the ultimate joy. “Crafting and baking pie is an exercise in patience with a reward in contentment…The finished product, you see, is so delicious, so lovely, so lauded by those who consume it that the mindful steps taken to reach that end point make it all incredibly worthwhile.” (p. 8)
A Year of Pies: A Seasonal Tour of Home Baked Pies, published by Lark Books, features both sweet and savory pies, both classic and modern. Ashley crafted the book according to how she bakes throughout the year to best take advantage of seasonal ingredients and garden fresh fruits and veggies. Naturally, the Basics are covered with what Ashley deems as a “hand holding” chapter to rid of any pie fears you may hold. This includes a detailed description of the tools, from pie pans to pie birds, and the ingredients, from butter to spices. As a nerd of academia, I can’t help but appreciate the brief history of pie and its origins as an inedible storage vessel for other food. And given the baker’s greatest worry, the crust, I’m glad to see such attention to this step. Aside from recipes for not just basic pie crusts, but for such yumminess as gingersnap crust, you’ll find tips and step-by-step photographs for making, rolling and topping with pie crust. The 60 seasonal recipes include such gems as Buttered Rum Shoofly Pie and Mushroom and Chevre Galette (Winter), Honey Pie and Chicken Pot Pie (Spring), Cherry and Vanilla Pot Pie and Roasted Corn and Pepper Pie (Summer), and Chai Spice Apple Pie and Rosemary Bourbon Sweet Potato Pie (Autumn). And an extra treat… You’ll find guest recipes each chapter from familiar bakers such as Aran Goyoaga of Cannelle et Vanille and Jessie Oleson of CakeSpy.
Leave a comment to this post before Tuesday, August 14, midnight EST for a chance to win a copy of A Year of Pies, by Ashley English.
One winner will be chosen randomly.
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Winner has 48 hours to respond after being notified before another winner is chosen.
By Meaghan MountfordHave you entered all our giveaways?