Cupcakes are so 2010. Don't get me wrong, I still love a good cupcake covered in frosting. In fact, I won a third-place ribbon for cupcakes at the Dixie Classic Fair last year. But that's a (crazy) story for another day.My favorite dessert is, and always has been, pie. Any kind of pie will do, but I'm especially fond of my friend Julie's cherry pie. I also love savory pies for dinner, particularly chicken pot pie and quiche. I'm currently fascinated with the little pocket pie makers you can find in food specialty stores. Gotta love a pie you can carry around with you.
Michele Stuart's new book Perfect Pies covers all the sweet and savory territory. Stuart knows her stuff ― she's won the National Pie Championships several times over, which puts my local-fair ribbon to shame. But I digress.
Don't be put off by the fancy photo on the cover. The recipes are more down-home than haute stuff, and the instructions are easy to follow. Sweet pies include the ever-popular fruit, nut, and meringue varieties. But there are some special and unusual ideas here too, including Twisted Citrus Blackberry, Pineapple Mango, and Maple Oatmeal Raisin.
For the savory pies, there's an amazing recipe for Lobster Pot Pie and another for Sausage and Provolone Quiche. If you're visiting me over the holidays, you're probably going to see one of those on my table.
Perfect Pies also offers crust, whipped cream, and topping ideas that will make you drool. I'm sure Stuart's pastry crust recipe is a good one, but I will always make my own special secret recipe for pie crust. I've only ever shared it within my family ― and my mother-in-law now swears by it, too.
Since we're such good friends here and all, I'll share it with you too. Here goes: Get in the car. Drive to the store. Buy a Pillsbury Pie Crust. Go home and use it. Easy peasy.
Perfect Pies was published in September by Random House.