For anyone interested in baking terrific pies and tarts, this is the book to own. Such a fuss is made over pie and tart disasters, over the uncanny inability of some to make a perfect pie crust dough and whatnot, and really, to no end. So what? Go work on your perfect golf swing. The thrill is in the trying, again and again, and Walter makes you want to try.
Two minor caveats: The layout for the front end of the book, which includes the vital section called "The Primer," is unfortunate. It's all but impossible to look at for any length of time, let alone to read and study. Page after page of four columns of black type per page is tiresome on the eyes. If Carole Walter baked pies that looked like this layout, she'd be thrown out of the state fair.
The other minor note is the extensive use of the food processor. Either have one first, or buy one with this book.
Beyond that, the challenge is clear. If Fruity Viennese Linzer Tart sounds good to you, this is the place to learn absolutely everything you need to know to make it. Or how about the classic Key Lime Pie? Or a White Chocolate Caffe Tart?
If you get into this book and embrace the idea that practice makes perfect, or thereabouts, you are in for some exciting baking. The pastry doughs and crunchy shells are worth the price of admission, because once mastered, your only limitations for mixing up shells and ingredients are your own imagination.
Carole Walter may have written the greatest liberation text of the year. You shall overcome any residual fear you might have of trying your hand at pie and tart baking if you follow this book from page one to the sweet, sweet end. -- Schuyler Ingle [via]