Cookbook review: ‘Pie’ serves distinctly British fare

By Elizabeth Reid

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 24 2013 7:04 p.m. MDT

"PIE," by Angela Boggiano, Mitchell Beazley, $24.99, 191 pages

The mysteries of pastry cooking are revealed in Angela Boggiano’s full-color cookbook. From the very British Steak and Kidney Pie for dinner to Mrs. White’s Treacle Pie for dessert, “Pie” details British staples that many Americans have only ever wondered about.

Boggiano begins with detailed instructions and tips regarding various kinds of pie crust. She explains the techniques behind the time-consuming flaky crusts and the secrets of wheat-free pastry. She delves into the hearty hot-water crust and explains the versatile shortcrust. With 11 crust recipes, Boggiano ensures an almost-endless combination of crusts for fillings.

A troubleshooting portion is also helpfully included in the cookbook. Pie crust tips include methods to fix soggy bottoms, shrinking pastries and crusts that won’t mold. Whatever the pastry problem, it is likely that Boggiano has a solution.

“Pie” has a multitude of recipes for entire meals eaten between crust — more than 40 pages are devoted to hearty fare such as Beef Wellington and Fidget Pie. Hand-held pies are next. Explanations are given for the best way to make mini pie crusts and fillings. The history and techniques of tricky Scotch Pies are detailed as well as Cornish Pasties.

In addition, special occasion noble pies are tackled in this book. These pies use unique molds and detailed explanations are given regarding how to obtain the best outcome for meals such as Melton Mowbray Pork Pie. Finally, at the close of this exhaustive cookbook, sweet pie recipes are revealed. While the common apple pie is not in this book, various twists on it such as the luxurious Baby Apple Calvados Pies are. Other dessert secrets such as Pear Frangipane Croustade can be found as well.

Not only does it have an extensive recipe repertoire, it also includes historical pastry tidbits and showcases various United Kingdom pie shops. While traveling to Great Britain is impossible for many, “Pie” can help bring the island country into cooks’ homes across the world.

Great Britain’s Angela Boggiano channels her English and Italian roots in this cookbook. Her book has clean language, color photos and detailed ingredient lists using both American and European measurements.

*****

Chocolate and Pistachio Cream Pie

This pie has a deliciously creamy chocolate custard filling which is so simple to make, and it’s perfect served warm with scoops of vanilla ice cream. Bake it in a rectangular baking pan so that it’s really easy to slice into bars.

Serves: 6

For the pastry

10 ounces sweet shortcrust pastry (see below), adding grated zest of 1 orange to the mixture

2 tablespoons milk, to glaze

For the filling

2 eggs

2/3 cup superfine sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

2/3 cup heavy cream 5 ouncesbittersweet dark chocolate, finely chopped

2 tablespoons pistachio nuts, toasted and roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

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