19 April 2014

Weekend Cooking: Teeny's Tour of Pie by Teeny Lamothe

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Teeny's Tour of Pie by Teeny LamotheTeeny Lamothe grew up in a family of pie bakers. No matter the season, there was almost always pie in the house. And as her mom or grandmother baked, Lamothe would be right by her side, patting out her own miniature ("teeny") pie with the leftover crust and a 5-inch pan.

All grown up and living in Chicago, Lamothe was once again bitten by the pie bug, eventually deciding to become a professional baker. Without much more than a lot of gumption and a desire to learn, she set off to apprentice in pie bakeries all around the country, learning both kitchen skills and how to run a business.

In 2011, Lamothe began documenting her experiences on a Tumblr blog called Teeny Pies. Thanks to her year on the road, "hopping from pie shop to pie shop," Lamothe was able to realize her dream. Today she sells her Teeny Pies at markets in Washington, D.C., and has shared her experiences and recipes in the newly published Teeny's Tour of Pie cookbook.

Teeny's Tour of Pie has a fun retro design, but don't let the 1950s look fool you. The recipes in this book are cutting edge, with gluten-free and whole wheat crusts and modern flavor combinations. Lamothe's chatty and personal style made me feel as if she were a friend recounting her adventures. I loved reading about the shops she visited, the people she met, and the techniques she learned.

The book is adorned with gorgeous photographs and cute line drawings. All the pies look so good, it's hard to decide what to bake first! Because Lamothe advocates fresh ingredients, the recipes are arranged by season, which makes it easy to find just the right pie for everyday eating or special occasions.

I especially appreciate the copious extras: storage information, tips, and troubleshooting. Whether you're experienced in the kitchen or new to pie baking, don't skip the introductory chapters, which explain techniques, equipment, and ingredients and give step-by-step directions for making a variety of crusts and toppings.

One of the fun treats in Teeny's Tour of Pie are Lamothe's directions for Teeny Pies: almost all the recipes can be converted to 5-inch cuties, which are perfect for one or two people. A variety of little pies would brighten a children's party, and they're the perfect size for a savory entree.

The recipes are straightforward, easy to follow, and use common ingredients. They range from traditional, like sweet potato pie, to unusual, like grapefruit and pomegranate. There are sweet, sweet pies, like shoofly, and hearty potpies, like pork and apple. I love Lamothe's flavor combinations, such as kale with chicken, beet with goat cheese, and strawberry with basil. If you're not that adventurous, no worries; take a look at her lemon meringue, Georgia peach, pumpkin, and French silk pies.

The first pie I'm going to make is the strawberry rhubarb pie, shown in the scan. Don't you just love the holey crust? Mr. BFR wants the bacon bourbon pecan pie, and we both want to try the breakfast pie with its hash brown crust. (Note: the photo was scanned from the the cookbook; all rights remain with the copyright holder.)

If you were to own only one pie book, you couldn't go wrong with this one. Whether you're drawn to standard pies or Teeny pies, whole wheat crust or graham cracker, fruit filling or savory, you'll find your slice of pie heaven in Teeny Lamothe's Teeny's Tour of Pie.

Instead of a recipe this week, I want to share Lamothe's advice on pies and friends:
How to Make Friends with Pie
  1. Make pie every day for one year.
  2. Move to a new city where you have no friends.
  3. Bake half a dozen pies
  4. Invite potential new friends over for a pie party.
  5. Eat pie and drink whiskey.
  6. Friends!
Published by Workman, 2014
ISBN-13: 9780761173366
Source: Review (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


rhapsodyinbooks 4/19/14, 6:32 AM  

I love that list you included! And pie and whiskey? Never occurred to me, but I'm not opposed!

Tina 4/19/14, 7:17 AM  

Pie and whiskey, I' m in! Yea for the fact there are gluten free pie recipes. Everyone loves pie. I don't know a soul who doesn't love pie. Very cool book.

Jackie Mc Guinness 4/19/14, 9:00 AM  

I agree with pie and whiskey too!
Not a big pie fan but my husband is.

Louise 4/19/14, 9:01 AM  

I love that list on how to make friends with pie. Although I can't imagine making pie every day for a week, let alone a year. I'm sure that strawberry and rhubarb pie will be wonderful- I make a strawberry and rhubarb crumble that is delicious- actually I haven't made it in a very long time, perhaps I should make it again soon (although it is autumn here). Australians love pies- but they're typically savoury pies, rather than sweet.

(Diane) bookchickdi 4/19/14, 9:21 AM  

i wish I had known about Teeny when I was in DC last week; I would have searched out her pies. They sound so delicious.

bermudaonion 4/19/14, 9:23 AM  

That sounds like a great cookbook! I LOVE the idea of a pie party!

Beth S. 4/19/14, 9:24 AM  

Bacon bourbon pecan pie? Yes please!

Beth Hoffman 4/19/14, 10:04 AM  

One of my girlfriends is always making pies. I'll have to get this book for her!

When we go to Happydale would you make a strawberry rhubarb pie?

Tea norman 4/19/14, 11:11 AM  

Really enjoyed the pie post. She did have a dream to come true. I noticed the holey crust immediately. It's cute. Have yet to do a plaited crust yet. Enjoy your pie days.

Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves) 4/19/14, 11:23 AM  

The strawberry/basil and beet/goat cheese pies sound delicious! I love the more interesting combinations.

Sheila (Bookjourney) 4/19/14, 12:28 PM  

A pie party! That's a fun idea. I do not bake a lot of pies but I like the idea of the individual pie... you may be giving me ideas for Easter ;)

Joy 4/19/14, 12:30 PM  

I love the idea of 5-inch pies. I could make that work in my eating style and our small household.

Joy's Book Blog

Carole 4/19/14, 3:20 PM  

Wishing everyone a happy Easter weekend. Thanks for hosting... again! Cheers from Carole's Chatter

jama 4/19/14, 5:01 PM  

How could I resist a baker named Teeny? Must get this book and also seek out her pies in the DC area. Thanks for the mouthwatering review. :)

maria helena 4/19/14, 8:32 PM  

That sounds like a great way of making friends :)

maria helena 4/19/14, 8:33 PM  

That sounds like a great way of making friends :)

Peaceful Reader 4/19/14, 9:22 PM  

That sounds like a sure way to make friends. I love pie and I really like the idea of a 5-inch pie. Just perfect for our smaller family.

Cecelia 4/19/14, 11:25 PM  

I'll definitely be looking up this book - I love reading about pie! (and making & eating it!)

Laurie C 4/20/14, 7:04 AM  

I love homemade pie. I haven't had any in ages! Strawberry-Rhubarb is my favorite. I love the idea of the recipe for a teeny pie for each one, too!

Tanya @ Moms Small Victories 4/20/14, 4:08 PM  

I love "how to make friends with a pie" though I've never met a pie I didn't like! Thanks for hosting this fun linkup!

Trish 4/20/14, 4:41 PM  

Whiskey IN pie is also especially good. Oh wait, maybe we use bourbon. I'm going to stop talking before you realize I don't know the difference. ;) I don't make pie very often but Scott LOVES strawberry rhubarb. Yum.

Alice Audrey 4/20/14, 6:24 PM  

My potential new friends tend to be on the internet. Cyber pie?

Sue Jackson 4/20/14, 7:15 PM  

Oh, yum!! These all sound yummy, and her story is so interesting! My husband LOVES pie - it's his favorite kind of dessert.

Happy Easter!


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Julie P. 4/22/14, 7:34 PM  

Strawberry rhubarb pies are one of my favorite foods in the whole wide world. My husband even bought me 2 rhubarb plants for mother's day one year.

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