Bake the Book: Teeny's Tour of Pies

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[Photograph: Sara Remington]

Teeny Lamothe has a style as intriguing as her name. Rather than setting her sights on pastry school, she went on a mission to become a "lady baker", a title that apparently necessitated a year-long tour of America's best pie shops and pie-makers. She spent a month here, there, and everywhere, picking up new skills and trade secrets, all in the name of honing her craft. The earnest excitement that carried her through her journey, as well as the recipes she developed from it, can be found in Teeny's Tour of Pie: A Cookbook

A comprehensive education in the world of pie is what you'll find in these pages. There are the expected crust tutorials, explanations of why to use what ingredient and when, as well as a run-down of various crust-weaving techniques. What makes the book unique is Teeny's rediscovery of the deep traditions of pie-making. Pies have always represented the culture of the people who make them, and there's a whole lot of culture here.

Thanks to this respect for tradition combined with culinary curiosity, nearly everything that can be put into a pie crust and baked is featured. There are sweet classics like peach, cherry, strawberry, and blueberry, as well as savories like chicken pot pie. But a lady baker doesn't stop at the classics, she makes them her own. Therefore, there are lamb pies, breakfast pies with a hash brown crust, bluebarb pie, and honey ginger pie. The pies we've chosen to highlight are fruit-focused but have Teeny's touches all over them.

Like her name suggests, many of the pies in Teeny's tour can be made teeny-sized. They use a 5-inch pie tin, and the results are just as delightful as their big brothers and sisters. For the recipes we've chosen, two of them can be shrunk down, and we'll provide those instructions along with the original recipe. It's a mostly hassle-free process in which the ingredients for one regular-sized pie are split into three or four servings. Something about shrinking down pies makes each one seem extra special—it might take a little more finesse to craft a smaller lattice, for example, but having a whole pie to yourself (or for each guest!) is a rather charming experience.

To that end, we'll be featuring Grapefruit Pomegranate Pie, a citrus custard, seed-studded stunner that uses a whole wheat crust for support. Next, there's Sour Cherry Pie, also known as Teeny's favorite, containing just a touch of almond, which is bound in a pretty little lattice. It can be divided into three mini pies. On the more savory side (but only slightly), there's a Pear and Goat Cheese Tart, with a generous sprinkling of goat cheese and a hand-folded wheat crust. Lastly, and most seasonally appropriate, there is the Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, the ultimate warm-weather pie, which boasts a round-holed lattice crust and can be shrunken down into four teeny pies.

Bake with us, and discover new spins on classics, along with flavors you may never have paired before. Teeny's Tour of Pie proves that the best things come in small packages.

Win A Copy!

Thanks to the generous folks over at Workman, we are giving away five (5) copies of Teeny's Tour of Pies this week. All you have to do is tell us what pie you'd make "teeny"!

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