Discovering Recipes

Discovering Recipes

What resources do you use to find pie recipes?

There are many options, but are they all useful? When using the web or streaming apps, I find that some sights are too fussy, too wordy or have over-the-top complicated recipes that I am not convinced are worth the effort. If the site is chock-full of advertisements and distracting unrelated content, I just move on.

You would think that with so much on-line content, cookbooks would be a thing of the past. But that is not the case. I do find that there are useful pie recipe cookbooks that have a nice mix of simple to complex recipes. However, any cookbook that is full of oil painting quality pictures and recipes that have ingredients that I will never use again, are not going into my library. And if the word “gourmet” is in the title or description,  I don’t even bother to open it up.

So let’s break down some of the sources that I am familiar with and review their pros and cons.

We start with NYT Cooking, a recipe site owned by the New York Times. The site contains thousands of recipes with a decent number of pie recipes. On the pro side, the site has a clean design, tons of content, how-to videos, and recipes written by major food authors. Additionally, there usually is an abundance of user comments that bring useful context to the recipe. Perhaps the only con is that a subscription is needed to access the site. However, in my opinion it’s money well spent.

Instagram is overloaded with recipe content authors. Perhaps it is a generational thing, but many times the posts seems very noisy. To keep the noise in check, you can limit content by using filters that display content and authors that are only of interest to you. There is quality content combined with good video that can be very informative. Some of my favorite authors are emcdowel, zoebakes, kingarthubakingbaking and inagarten. So if streaming is your thing, Instagram can be a good resource.

I admit that I still like to use cookbooks, particularly older cookbooks such as the Better Homes and Garden Cookbook from the 1960’s. Perhaps I relate to them because they have recipes that I grew up with. To me, the recipes don’t really feel old-fashioned, but rather represent tried and tested down-to-earth recipes.

The goldmine for me is old church cookbooks. Where I grew up in the Midwest, every self respecting church authored a cookbook. What I find fascinating about these cookbooks is the way the recipes are written. Part of the fun in reading and making these recipes is filling in the blanks in relation to baking instructions. Care was taken to accurately provide measurements, but how you assemble the ingredients is not always completely clear. The recipes were written with the understanding that the reader was not a first-time pie baker but rather was written for an audience that had experience and skills.

I imagine that any serious pie baker has their library of favorite pie bibles. For me a cookbook that falls into this category is “Pie”, authored by Ken Haderich. A veritable tome of recipes with great annotations on the origin or author of the recipe.

Finally, I will make a pitch for this site, the Upper Krust. My goal is to collect interesting pie recipes that are not necessarily fussy and are both a delight to make and eat.  I know this website will not be the only place that you will look for new and interesting pie recipes. But I do hope that the Upper Kust will be a valuable resource in your hunt for the next exciting pie.

So where do you go for your pie recipe inspiration? Let me know in the comments.  I am always looking for personally recommended resources.

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