Cookbook Review: For the Love of Pie

Why Pie? It’s the essence of hand-made. It’s not like cake, there’s no mix for it. Once you learn the basics, you’re there. Anything locally available to you is potentially pie. What could be better than that?

Cheryl Perry and Felipa Lopez, owners of Brooklyn’s Pie Corps, share their pie-making expertise and delicious recipes in their first cookbook. For the Love of Pie boasts sophisticated and contemporary flavours in pies made using traditional techniques. Perry and Lopez explain the science and art behind baking a perfect pie crust while offering a variety of crust recipes, from all butter to chocolate crumb.

Paired with the crusts are recipes for dessert pies, pot pies, hand pies, meat pies, and tarts. Several of the Pie Corps’ signature recipes, such as Apple Crumb Pie with Rosemary-Caramel Sauce and Buttermilk-Fried Chicken Pie with Buttermilk Gravy and Sautéed Greens, are in the cookbook along with other mouth-watering options like Lemon Thyme Blackberry Mini Tartlets, Picadillo Hand Pies, and Honey-Lavender Custard Pie.

For the Love of Pie: Sweet and Savory Recipes is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.


APPLE CRUMB PIE WITH ROSEMARY CARAMEL SAUCE 

MAKES 1 (10-INCH) PIE

We have an adage around Pie Corps: Fruit loves herbs! And you’ll see why after one bite of this pie. Our apple pie is baked with homemade rosemary-infused caramel and topped with tender, buttery crumble. This is our signature pie.

The tart Granny Smiths call for sweetness, so we turned to the time-tested sauce that seemed to be invented for apples—caramel. Here at Pie Corps, we love our sweets, but we revel in our savories. Our solution? Rosemary spiked caramel. Herbal, fragrant, and slightly floral, the rosemary note elevates this simple sauce from the mundane to the sublime.

Have ready and chilled 1 (10-inch) pie plate fitted with all-butter crust for a single-crust pie.

Have ready 1⁄ 2 recipe Butter Crumb Topping. 

ROSEMARY-CARAMEL SAUCE

1 cup heavy cream

2 sprigs rosemary

1⁄ 2 cup granulated sugar

APPLE CRUMB PIE

3 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

2 1⁄ 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (from 1 small lemon)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup granulated sugar

3⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1⁄ 2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons (1⁄4 stick) unsalted butter

1 teaspoon almond extract

4 tablespoons cornstarch

Egg wash (1 large egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water)

2 teaspoons Turbinado sugar

ROSEMARY-CARAMEL SAUCE

Place a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the cream and rosemary and slowly bring the cream to a just below a boil. You will know the cream is about to boil by the small bubbles forming on the sides of the saucepan and the steam rising off the surface. Immediately remove pan from heat and set aside. Once the cream has cooled to room temperature, strain through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing down on the rosemary to release oils and residual cream.Set aside.

Put the sugar in a small heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat, and warm for 5 minutes. Lower heat slightly and cook until the sugar dissolves and turns a medium brown, 5–7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Watch the sugar carefully; at the end of cooking, it can go from caramel to burned very quickly.

Stand back to avoid splattering, and gradually pour the cream mixture into the hot sugar, stirring vigorously with a whisk as you pour. Simmer until the caramel dissolves and the sauce is smooth and thick, about 2 minutes. Serve warm, or at room temperature.

APPLE CRUMB PIE

In a medium mixing bowl, combine apples, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, and salt and cover loosely with a clean dish towel. Allow to rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, and up to 3 hours. The longer the mixture rests, the more the flavours will marry.

Place a colander over a large bowl and pour in the apples. Reserve the strained liquid. Pour the apples into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Pour the reserved liquid into a small saucepan set over medium heat, add the butter, and reduce by half, stirring frequently, until it’s the thickness of warm honey. Remove from the heat and set it aside to cool, about 30 minutes. Once cooled, pour the liquid over the apples and add the almond extract and cornstarch, and toss lightly.

TO ASSEMBLE

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Spoon the apples into the prepared crust, along with all of the collected juices. Brush the crimped edge of the crust with egg wash and sprinkle with Turbinado sugar.

Drizzle 1⁄4 cup of the Rosemary-Caramel Sauce on top of the apples and evenly sprinkle the prepared Butter Crumb Topping over the top of the pie. Place the pie on a baking tray and bake for about 1 hour, or until the crust is browned and the juices are bubbling. Remove from the oven and let cool before slicing and serving with a drizzle of the caramel sauce.

Store the pie wrapped in aluminum foil in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or double wrap in plastic wrap then foil, and store in the freezer for up to 1 month.

 To store the caramel sauce, refrigerate in a tightly lidded container for up to 1 month.

For the Love of Pie: Photographs by Tara Striano from For the Love of Pie by Cherry Perry and Felipa Lopez, reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.

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