Cookbook Reviews: 'First Prize Pies' Takes A Blue Ribbon

"First Prize Pies" by Allison Kave Pie is arguably the most classic, homey sort of dessert there is. Almost nobody doesn't like pie, but let's be honest -- the traditional standbys of apple and pumpkin can get a little...

"First Prize Pies" by Allison Kave
"First Prize Pies" by Allison Kave

Pie is arguably the most classic, homey sort of dessert there is.

Almost nobody doesn't like pie, but let's be honest -- the traditional standbys of apple and pumpkin can get a little old after awhile.

Enter "First Prize Pies" by Allison Kave.

Kave, a lifelong baker, wrote her cookbook after realizing that people like her innovative recipes and unexpected twists on old favorites.

Kave, who has a pie shop in New York City, takes classic recipes that somehow fell out of favor, like Shoo-Fly Pie, and reintroduces them to a new audience. She also riffs on well-liked favorites; her Mint Julep pie is an interesting variation on Key Lime. Others, like her Chocolate-Salted Caramel Pie, were invented to appeal to modern tastes. She likes to tinker with unusual ingredients (i.e. a crust made from crushed-up pretzels) and has a unique flair for surprisingly delicious flavor combinations.

Some of "First Prize Pies'" recipes get a little out there (Candy Apple was, for me, a little too much of a good thing, and I haven't worked up the bravery to try Avocado), but the nice thing about this cookbook is that it offers a wealth of interesting and unusual recipes, so you can try out ones you think you might like and use them to impress your friends at your next fathering. Sure, one or two will strike you as a little odd, but skip those ones and focus on the many that are sure to be hits.

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