Making pies easier than you may think

They will give you a real sense of achievement, author says.

The book: “Pie”; 192 pages, $24.99, by Angela Boggiano. Published by Mitchell Beazley, Octopus Publishing Group, 2013.

In her own words: “Making a spectacular pie will give you a real sense of achievement … pie making is not something to be scared of, and I hope that’s what you’ll find with this collection of recipes.”

What you get: More than 100 recipes of savory and sweet pies. There’s an invaluable intro on pastry making, with instructions for making shortcrust, cheese, potato, hot-water, wheat-free, food processor and other types of pastries. The photographs are beautiful, and we want to try “Vegetable and Rice Picnic Pie” (Page 61); “Cornmeal Crust Chili Pie” (P. 71); Chocolate-filled Pear Puddings” (P. 135); and “Whiskey-laced Mince Pies” (P. 170).

What we made:


Makes 6 turnovers

For the pastry:

1 pound ready-made puff pastry

For the filling:

½ cup cream cheese

Grated zest and juice of ½ lemon

½ ounce fresh chives, chopped

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

6 thin slices cooked smoked ham

1¼ pound asparagus spears, trimmed

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to form a sheet 1/8 inch thick. Now cut it into 6 even-sized squares.

Place the cream cheese, lemon zest and juice, chives, and most of the Parmesan in a bowl and mix together well. Season with a little salt and ground black pepper. Divide the mixture between the 6 pastry squares, spreading it out a little, then lay a slice of cooked ham on the cheese. Place a few asparagus spears diagonally on top of the ham. Now fold the bottom corner of each pastry square over the base of the spears, leaving the tips exposed. Brush the edges of the pastry with a little water. Fold over each side of the pastry to form a pouch, pressing down gently to seal.

Brush the top of the pastry and asparagus tips with the oil and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Bake for 20 minutes until the pastry is golden and puffed and the asparagus spears are tender. Serve immediately.

Our assessment: Wow! These turnovers look beautiful and taste gourmet. You’ll want to serve them right out of the oven to enjoy the meltiness of the cream cheese. From start to table, this recipe took us about 40 minutes to prepare and bake, and is easy enough for inexperienced cooks. Definitely put this recipe in the impress-your-guests file.

Tip: Be sure to flour the surface well when rolling out the dough and trim off the rough edges of the rolled-out dough before you cut it into even-size squares.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in

He does what? Dogs’ quirks fit them to a Q
He does what? Dogs’ quirks fit them to a Q

Just like their human counterparts, dogs have quirks. Those strange and sometimes unexplainable habits. Dog’s quirks befuddle and amuse their owners. ››MORE PETS: Painting with your dog At the next party you attend, start up a conversation about you dog’s funny habits. It won’t take long for others to describe...
Medical debt relief is coming
Medical debt relief is coming

After more than two years of delays, new rules granting consumers some relief from the harm medical debt can do to their credit will finally go into effect. Beginning Sept. 15, the three main credit bureaus will enact rules they agreed to back in 2015 that require them to provide a 180-day cooling off period before any medical debt goes onto a credit...
50 local restaurants serving up a week’s worth of special deals next week
50 local restaurants serving up a week’s worth of special deals next week

Get your forks ready. The Summer Restaurant Week promotion runs July 23-30 offering meals from nearly 50 restaurants across the Dayton area ranging in price from $20.17-$30.17. The restaurant week promotion was established more than a decade ago as a way to generate interest traffic to local restaurants and help give diners a chance to explore the...
Today’s heroic movies raise lots of super questions
Today’s heroic movies raise lots of super questions

First off, I don’t understand why people call him “Spidey.” They don’t call Superman “Supey.” Or Batman “Batty.” And yet just about everybody, up to and including a headline in The New York Times about the latest Spider-Man movie, referred to the adolescent superhero as “Spidey.” Leaving aside...
Envelopes can fix your budget

There are so many people who’ve tried every budgeting tip and trick in the book but still can’t seem to figure out how to handle their money by themselves. It’s just not a natural tendency for most people. If you’re in this situation and maybe have been for a while, there’s a “scared straight” kind of technique...
More Stories