There was a time when pie was more important. Fat, fruit-stuffed confections lined the booths at state and county fairs, cooled in the windows of kitchens across the world, sprouted blackbirds in nursery rhymes and rose to iconic glory as a symbol of goodness and patriotism. That was then. Pies, as so many other things, have been in a slump for quite a while. This book – American Pies – is one man’s attempt to restore them to their former glory, at least for his family.
Contained in this book are a short history of pies, along with shared memories of growing up in 1950s, 60s, and 70s America, making stops at every pastry-coated fruity treat along the way. There is baking – the author baked a total of 13 pies in preparing the book, including the soon to be famous “American Pie” shown on the cover – a pie that should become a FOURTH OF JULY FAVORITE. Along the way he shares bits of his life, some dry humor, and a whole lot of useful tips and tricks for baking the perfect fresh-fruit pie.
From the preface: “Pie is important to me, and not just because I like to eat it. It’s part of my past, my history, my family, and in some ways it’s important to the our heritage, and our country. At least, it used to be important. Now what serves as pie in most cases is a 9″ cardboard box with something inside that is more like a fat toaster pastry than a pie, pre-cooked and heated up to be half-eaten and catch flies in the kitchen after holiday meals. These, I am happy to say, are not the pies of my childhood, or my memory. I needed to bring it back full circle. I needed to find the pies that I remembered, to learn how to make them and bake them and serve them up to my family. In a world where things grow more generic and cookie-cutter by the day, I needed to make a stand…” – David Niall Wilson
American Pies contains instructions and recipes for Persimmon, Pear, Mango, Pineapple, Grape, Honey-Crisp Apple, Nectarine, Plum, Strawberry and Raspberry Pies, plus the recipe for the “American Pie” itself. Each recipe has been tested – and the results consumed. As a special bonus, “The Pie Bloke” from across the water, Darren Pulsford, has added in metric and Imperial measurements, as well as celsius temperature settings for ovens.