Monday, 11 November 2013


This post has been on the back burner for a while. I was sent a copy of Dean Brettschneider's Pie to review. At the time I was concentrating really hard on eating clean to reduce anxiety in the run up to Yarndale  and when the book arrived I instantly began drooling over the amazing recipes and photographs. The promise of lashings of pie after the event kept me on my healthy path and Pie was the first thing I reached for when I re-entered the kitchen.

I'm not massively familiar with Dean's work but I think we caught a glimpse of him making a fancy pizza twist thing at the Cake & Bake Show in Manchester back in the Spring. The book is nice and simple - no fluffing of his ego - and there are technique tutorials for how to make the different kinds of pastry (of which there are many) at the back of the book as well as tips on venting, glazing, blind baking etc.

I have to admit that when I usually make pie it's to use up left overs or quite a lazy meal that I throw together with a bit of gravy or a quick sauce. This book made me think more closely about flavours and using a range of different pastries.

making pie
Edited to clarify that that is an upsidedown P, there was nothing sinister about the contents of my pie!

There's a good range of recipes in the book from meat, seafood and vegetarian pies to sweet pies and things that are Not-quite-a-pie like tarts, pasties, sausage rolls and whoopie pies. The photos are really drool-worthy and along with classic recipes like bacon and egg pie there are some fresh ideas to get stuck into.

The first thing I went for was Smoked Paprika, Chicken and Bean Pot Pies (although I did it as one big pie) made with a Chilli Polenta Pie Crust. We really enjoyed the spicy mediterranean flavours mingling with the almost creamy texture of the melt-in-your-mouth crust.

Smoked paprika, chicken and bean pot pies

Next we moved on to Chicken, Cranberry and Camembert Pies (again, I made it as one large pie rather than little individual ones) this time using Olive Butter Puff Pastry.  There's no denying that making your own puff pastry is a faff and these recipes work fine with shop bought pastry if that's all you have time for but, as a weekend project perhaps, making your own puff is something I think every avid cook or baker should have a go at at least once.
This pie was rich and dreamy. It would be a perfect Christmas party recipe if done in miniature size.

chicken cranberry and camembert pie

And then we began to move house and there was no time for pastry making in the midst of box packing. However, this weekend I revisited the book and made Mince and Cheese Pie (on the cover photo above) which have an easy to make but complexly flavoured gravy with beer to accompany the mince and a layer of cheese that goes melty in the oven inside it's Butter Puff Pastry sprinkled with sesame seeds.  It was nothing short of amazing on a rainy weekend afternoon. The best kind of homemade comfort food.

pie ready to go into the oven

If you fancy getting stuck into pie-making this Winter then this book will keep you nice and busy (and stuffed!) without ever getting bored and I have a special reader offer for those that don't or can't use Amazon (where it's much cheaper):

To order Pie at the discounted price of £20.00 including p&p* (RRP: £25.00), telephone 01903 828503 or email and quote the offer code APG18. 

Alternatively, send a cheque made payable to: 
Littlehampton Book Services Mail Order Department, 
Littlehampton Book Services, 
PO Box 4264, 
Worthing, West Sussex 
BN13 3RB. 
Please quote the offer code APG18 and include your name and address details. 

*UK ONLY - Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.

What's your favourite kind of pie?


  1. Hmmm hard choice between leek, squash and goats cheese pie or leek and mushroom pie :)

    The book looks great but as a mostly vege household it probably has too many recipes that would not get cooked!

    1. Those both sound delicious! I don't think you need a book ;o)

  2. I have to ask about 'eating clean'...... ???

    The book looks interesting :)

    1. Eating clean means something different to everyone at different times. For me, when I want to decrease the chances of my anxiety getting out of control it's about avoiding things like refined sugars and flours, dairy, gluten or anything that has a bad effect on my general health.

  3. Beautiful book, I love a good cook book too. As much as I love a good pie (or die lol), I don't eat many of them because of my own "clean" eating efforts, that sees me combining food* for good digestion as much as possible. It has had a profound effect on how I feel. Still, it's raining, snowing and sleeting outside right now, and if you offered me a home baked pie I'd eat the lot!

    *I generally avoid protein and starches eaten together. See here for more info.

    1. Snowing?! It's barely frosty here so far.
      Thanks for the info on food combining :o)

  4. ohh this global baker is a Kiwi! I am amazed he didn't fluff his ego as he tends to when on the tv here, lol. but his food does always look amazing and now I want his pie book!

    1. lol I haven't seen him on tv, I'm not a fan of "celebrity chefs" at all. The food does look good, though.

  5. wow, I'm so hungry reading this. I'd love to try them I know I'd love them but not sure it would be kids favourite. But it all sounds so wonderful down to making a pastry, oh.

  6. favorite? oh, my, I don't think I've ever met a pie I don't like!!!! YUM


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