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Pies cookbook review and giveaway

Holiday baking can either be a joy or a chore (or a little of both...), but trust-worthy recipes make all the difference when you're juggling a higher than usual number of dishes around the holidays.

A new Canadian cookbook has come to the rescue of home cooks with a gorgeous new resource focused around the most festive of desserts - Pies by Josée Fiset & Dominique Boué. These two chefs are famous for their traditional Quebecois bakery, Boulangerie Première Moisson, and this new cookbook blends traditional Canadian recipes with innovative new ideas.

This cookbook is first a feast for the eyes, with gorgeous photographs of all 60 pie recipes, so realistic and colourful you'll want to lick the pages. I really like that the book starts with a heart-warming foreword from Josée as she talks about the connection she has with pies. She then speaks directly to the home baker, saying of the cookbook that "...our greatest hope is that it gives you an insatiable appetite for making pies and inspires you to invent news ones. Inspiration allowed. Go for it and enjoy!".

The cookbook covers all the different styles of pie crusts from traditional to sweet puff pastry and shortbread crusts. Step-by-step instructions with photographs of what each step should look like take all the guess work and stress out of the recipe, and I whipped up a sweet pastry tart crust in ten minutes with ease.

The cookbook has a great combination of easy to make and complicated recipes, which I liked. It's nice to be able to eyeball something easy like a crumble or fresh fruit tart to make in a hurry, or spend some time getting fancy in the Creative Pies section of the book. The recipes have great names too, like Intense Coconut Extravaganza and Indecent Praline & Chocolate Duo on a Brownie.

I used the Jardiniere Fruit Tart recipe to make a Raspberry Mango Tart for a friend's birthday and, while my rushed fruit placement needs some work, I was really pleased with the easy to follow instructions and the resulting flavour, especially since it was the first time I had made this style of tart crust and vanilla pastry cream.

There's an huge bonus at the end of Pies that I wasn't expecting, which makes this book all the more useful - a comprehensive selection of additional recipes and helpful information. There's a two page spread of recipes for left-over dough, a section on how to make decorative garnishes for your pies, and instructions on how to create Petit Fours mini desserts. There are recipes for sauces, coulis and creams as well, including caramel sauce and raspberry coulis.

The cookbook ends with an information section with descriptions of ingredients (ie. what kind of chocolate to chose and why, how to turn egg whites in meringues, etc.). There's also a breakdown of all the different kitchen equipment, baking vessels and hand tools that come in handy when making pies. Such a valuable extra for this book and very helpful in upping your 'pie' game.

I could go on and on about how much I appreciate this cookbook, it's comprehensive without being overwhelming and so encouraging and inspiring for the home baker. Pies will make a great holiday gift for anyone who loves baking pies, eating pies and encouraging others to do the same.

Pies by Josée Fiset & Dominique Boué retails for $22.95 and is available at North America bookstores and online book retailers.

Pies Cookbook Giveaway!

The publishers of Pies, Fitzhenry & Whiteside Publishers have kindly provided a free copy of the Pies Cookbook for one lucky Devour & Conquer reader. Contest ends December 1st at 12 pm and the winner will be contacted via the email address you provide, good luck and happy baking!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this cookbook for review, but have not been compensated for this post and all opinions are my own.

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