Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Dinner Pies : From Shepherd's Pies and Pot Pies to Turnovers, Quiches, Hand Pies and More by Ken Haedrich

There doesn't seem to be much left to the imagination as to what is included in this book because of its title.  As written above, it just about says it all.  I did, however, edit the last bit that graces the book's cover from the heading... With 100 Delectable & Foolproof Recipes. So there you have it.  What else could you possibly need as an added enticement for giving Ken Haedrich's book, Dinner Pies, a look see and trying out his recipes?  A love of pies!

I love pies.  I am good at making them, the sweet varieties that is. Dessert hand pies, fruit pies and cream pies are a snap.  I haven't had a lot of experience with savory ones, with the exception of quiche. This book provided me with the methods to make a variety of tasty choices to expand my pie loving repertoire.   In this case, I am learning about the savory ones by virtue of the wondrous talents of the "dean" of pies himself!  That is how Ken refers to himself on his website: ThePieAcademy.com. Like his book, the website is worthy of your time and attention.  On it you will find more recipes plus other helpful tips if you are a pie making novice.

Ken does a good job at providing a variety of different ethnic recipes in this book after establishing the ground rules for equipment you will need and the ingredients to use.  I loved the reference to Cornish Pasties and how the miner's wives would tuck a bit of jam in the corner of each pie when making them.  This provided their loved ones with a tasty dessert treat at the end of their meal. There are other delicious recipes with an international nod to India, Canada, and New Zealand, to mention a few. There are also some Tex-Mex and other regional pies from around the US, as well as, other old-time favorites that are bound, with Ken's help, to make a comeback.  I'm particularly intrigued with the hand pie varieties.

Though hand pies require a bit more prep time, I like being able to customize individual portions for the finicky eaters in my family.  The fact that they are portable is an extra bonus.  Ken includes thirteen different varieties of crusts to try and that alone is bound to keep you from getting bored.  It also makes it even more versatile in accommodating every pallet.  Taking advantage of his tips on making crusts ahead and how to properly store them will also give you a little latitude in meal-prep time if you have a busy schedule. The only drawback I can see at this point to making this book an out of the park home run is, with the temperatures rising, folks may be inclined to think the dinner pies would be best served as a cold weather dinner option.  I say crank up the air conditioning and have at it.

As long as you have your rolling pins out, you might consider trying some of the delicious pie recipes from the book, Magpie: Sweet and Savories From Philadelphia's Favorite Pie Boutique by Holly Ricciardi.

Review by Phyllis

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