Gift Guide, Day 22

December 22, 2012

Making great pie may be the ultimate test of a cook:  so much can go wrong.  That’s why Evan Kleiman’s wonderful new easy as pie app is such a thoughtful (and inexpensive) gift. Who wouldn’t want this? 

Kleiman, hosts the always interesting Good Food on KCRW radio (if you love food and aren’t listening to this show, you’re missing out on something great). She’s a passionate food person and a generous interviewer with a slew of fascinating guests.  A former restaurateur (her beloved Angelli Caffe was one of the first really authentic Italian trattorias in the country), Kleiman is extremely opinionated about pie, and she walks you through the process. beginning with crusts (flour, graham cracker, easy cream cheese, etc.) and ending with toppings (meringue, whipped cream, various crumbles).  There are 20 different pies here, enough to interest even a veteran baker. Classics include a serious apple, lemon meringue, deep dish berry and the decadent banana coconut cream. Savory suggestions include a rather decadent butternut squash, apple and bacon concoctioin as well as a cherry tomato pie with a cheddar cheese crumble top that I'm planning on making tonight.

From the very first moment, when Kleiman joyfully splahses flour across a board, you know that you’re in very good hands. I challenge you to come up with a better gift for less than two dollars. 

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