Ever since the Pilgrims brought their favorite family pie recipes to American, the pie pastry has come to assume a lofty position in our culinary culture. There are few things as comforting as a slice of warm, bubbly pie.
That’s why we love having it as a dessert. The delicious aroma and flavorful fillings fill us with warmth and comfort. It’s also the reason why there’s always a pie contest in a country fair somewhere. It’s great for social bonding. The best pie cookbooks cover a range of styles and recipes.
The early pies were generally meat pies. But when the colonists came to the New World, they adapted their recipes to the ingredients and techniques that were pointed out to them by the Native Americans. And when they moved westward, American regional pie recipes began to develop.
Today, pie-crafting is both an art form and a science. One can get creative with the many ways one can decorate the crust. But because pies have to be baked, it also demands technical expertise in the ratio of ingredients and the application of dough techniques. So one has to be precise as well.
That’s why pie camps are popular all over the country. In these workshops, master bakers teach techniques and secrets in order to make the best pies. But for those who don’t want to attend a workshop, there’s always a pie cookbook to depend on.
There are many pie books in the market, but the best ones are those that have recipes that are fool-proof and easy to follow. Because you should never have a soggy bottom in your pie.
These recipe books should also have step-by-step photos in order to help illustrate the process. They don’t have to be lavishly photographed, although it helps with the book design, because who doesn’t want to see more food porn?
In this list, I’ve selected a variety of cookbooks that will appeal to your every taste. If you’re looking for a pie book that’s both coffee table and cookbook or a book that’s a distillation of a popular pie workshop, you’ll find that here.
Here are my top ten pie cookbooks on Amazon.
Best Pie Cookbooks
- Pie Academy: Master the Perfect Crust and 255 Amazing Fillings, with Fruits, Nuts, Creams, Custards, Ice Cream, and More
- The Book of Pie: Over 100 Recipes, from Savory Fillings to Flaky Crusts Hardcover – Illustrated,
- Art of the Pie: A Practical Guide to Homemade Crusts, Fillings, and Life Hardcover – Illustrated,
- The Book on Pie: Everything You Need to Know to Bake Perfect Pies Hardcover
- The Perfect Pie: Your Ultimate Guide to Classic and Modern Pies, Tarts, Galettes, and More (Perfect Baking Cookbooks) Hardcover – Illustrated
- The Pie Room: 80 achievable and show-stopping pies and sides for pie lovers everywhere Hardcover
- The Pie and Pastry Bible Hardcover – Illustrated
- Pie Camp: The Skills You Need to Make Any Pie You Want Hardcover – Illustrated
- Martha Stewart's New Pies and Tarts: 150 Recipes for Old-Fashioned and Modern Favorites: A Baking Book Paperback – Illustrated
- The Pie Book: Over 400 Classic Recipes Hardcover
1. Pie Academy: Master the Perfect Crust and 255 Amazing Fillings, with Fruits, Nuts, Creams, Custards, Ice Cream, and More
This book is a collection of recipes from the popular Pie Academy blog. It features 25 different crust recipes and 255 fillings that range from dessert fruit and custard pies to traditional savory pie classics.
Much like the blog, there’s a step-by-step Perfect Pie Dough tutorial in this book, along with detailed step-by-step photographs. The book is written in a conversational tone and includes suggestions for essential baking equipment and troubleshooting techniques.
Readers liked this book because it’s geared for both newbies and professionals. The beginner home cook will find the detailed introductory sections very helpful, while the experienced ones will be able to pick up a lot of new tips and tricks. One reader found that this book’s list of pie crust variations are extensive and impressive.
If you’re looking for a book that doesn’t only give you the best pie recipes but also teachess you how to create a lattice pattern, flute the crust or blind bake perfectly, then this book is an essential read.
2. The Book of Pie: Over 100 Recipes, from Savory Fillings to Flaky Crusts Hardcover – Illustrated
This is an independently published cookbook that presents a timeline of pie history while also featuring recipes for dessert and savory pies.
The book opens with a section on making crusts and the rest of the chapters are organized by fillings. It has a comprehensive index and a list of metric conversions. There’s also a special chapter on trendy hand pies like whoopie pies and empanadas.
Recipes are easy to follow and some include vegan and gluten-free options. Each one is accompanied by a large color photograph. There are also tips and techniques to ensure a fail-free result each time.
Readers liked this book not only for its recipes but also for its informative presentation of pie history. One liked it because the recipes require 30 minutes or less prep work.
3. Art of the Pie: A Practical Guide to Homemade Crusts, Fillings, and Life Hardcover – Illustrated
This book features the craft of pie-making as taught to thousands of pie enthusiasts at various Pie Camps nationwide. The author is a home baker who learned the craft from her grandmother and her popular pie workshops have taught bakers to be confident and successful in making pies.
More of an instruction manual than a recipe collection, this book will teach you her secrets for making a great crust as well as detailed descriptions for ingredients and methods for making delicious and savory fillings. The sections are organized by type of fruit, style of pie and there’s a good mix of both sweet and savory pie recipes, including some British pie classics.
Each recipe is explained in a simple and conversational manner and are accompanied by color photographs. Readers said that the fruit pie instructions in this book are spot-on. One mentioned that the all-butter crust recipe is foolproof and won’t disappoint.
4. The Book on Pie: Everything You Need to Know to Bake Perfect Pies Hardcover
This is a lavishly produced cookbook that seeks to be a comprehensive handbook on making the perfect pie. While it's geared for an intermediate-level pie baker, there are enough recipes here that are straightforward and simple for the newbie baker.
The first section of the book is devoted to the basics of pie making: how mix pie dough for extra flaky crusts, how to store pies, recipe size conversions and tips for styling. The second part of the book features 200 recipes for all kinds of pies: fruit, custard, cream, chiffon, cold set, savory, and mini.
Recipes are easy to follow and are accompanied by photographic guides. It also features vegan and gluten-free options. The pie pictures are lavishly photographed and the recipe measurements are already converted into grams and cups.
Readers found the comparison photos of under, over, and perfectly cooked crust and fillings for each recipe type to be very helpful. One also liked the fact that all of the recipes have been kitchen-tested and perfected by the author so there’s no room for failure.
5. The Perfect Pie: Your Ultimate Guide to Classic and Modern Pies, Tarts, Galettes, and More (Perfect Baking Cookbooks) Hardcover – Illustrated
Edited by the American Test Kitchen (ATK), this cookbook features 180 easy-to-follow pie recipes that follow the ATK format. The recipes are a mix of the traditional and modern and there’s a wide variety of pies for any occasion.
Each recipe starts with a short note on why it works and is followed by a list of ingredients. The directions are written down in the number bullet style to make it easy to follow. There are also step-by-step illustrations of the technique accompanying the recipe. Some of the recipes include a gluten-free option for the crust.
There’s an index to help you find the recipe by name or ingredient easily. It also comes with nutritional info for the recipes.
Readers like the large amount of information in the book. One said that it had great product and ingredient recommendations. Another said that the practical tips and explanations of best practices were very useful.
6. The Pie Room: 80 achievable and show-stopping pies and sides for pie lovers everywhere Hardcover
This cookbook is a compilation of London baker Calum Franklin’s pie pastry recipes. It features a mix of sweet and savory, veggie and meat pies, including some British classics like hot pork pies, cheesy dauphinoise and caramelised onion pie, and the ultimate beef Wellington.
The introductory pages contain basic info, including what essential equipment is needed and the techniques that go with making pies. These pages are then followed by a section on how to make pastry doughs before presenting the recipes. Because this is a cookbook by a British baker, the measurements are all in metric.
Readers liked the preparation instructions because they are very detailed. One also liked how the technical process of making dough was presented in a very easy-to-follow format.
7. The Pie and Pastry Bible Hardcover – Illustrated
This cookbook presents more than 300 recipes, 200 drawings of techniques and equipment, and 70 color pictures of all kinds of pies. It also contains detailed information on ingredients and equipment that was previously available only to professionals.
The recipes are easy to follow and include a lot of tips that can solve any pie problem, including soggy pie bottoms. It also features an extensive section on decorating techniques which any newbie or experienced baker will find very useful. There’s also a separate chapter on how to make foolproof flaky, tender, and original crusts for any kind of filling.
Readers liked the book for featuring a lot of techniques. This is, however, not a simple, beginner-level cookbook. It’s for anyone who wants to go deep into learning how to make perfect pies.
8. Pie Camp: The Skills You Need to Make Any Pie You Want Hardcover – Illustrated
This book is a follow-up volume to McDermott’s Art of Pie cookbook. This is a technique-focused cookbook that presents 12 master recipes that, once mastered, will allow you to experiment and create your own perfect pies.
This book will teach you how to how to decorate pastry with braided crusts, troubleshoot a custard that won’t set, or perfectly thicken your fruit filling.
Recipes are written with step-by-step instructions and are accompanied by over 100 color photographs. It features gluten-free crust options for every pie and also includes recipes for easy homemade ice cream and pie-lets for one or two.
9. Martha Stewart's New Pies and Tarts: 150 Recipes for Old-Fashioned and Modern Favorites: A Baking Book Paperback – Illustrated
This cookbook presents a variety of recipes from savory to sweet and simple to fancy. This book will teach the basics and techniques for creating flavors and textures while also giving you a lot of options for making fillings and crusts.
Each recipe is accompanied by a gorgeous four color photograph. The instructions are user-friendly and include tips for decorating crusts and finishing techniques. The Basics section of the book features a complete list of tools, pantry staples, and dough recipes along with make-ahead tricks to make the whole process convenient.
Readers found the book well organized and the directions clearly written and reliable. One noted that the recipes for making pate sucree and pate brisee were excellent.
10. The Pie Book: Over 400 Classic Recipes Hardcover
This is a reprint of a classic that collects some 400 tasty US-style sweet pies. It’s the most comprehensive recipe book on this list, featuring a wide selection of pies – among them, eight versions of pumpkin pie and at least 25 types of apple pie.
There are sections here on how to select flour, how to prepare fruit, and how to turn out a flaky, golden-brown crust. Another chapter deals with the use of toppings and glazes, with a variety of complete recipes for making meringues, glazed cherry topping, almond paste, cheese topping, and many other finishes.
There are no photos in this book but readers liked this book for its useful “hacks” on pie baking. One noted that the recipes in this book are given for both single 9″ pie, and a more commercial batch of 5. Get this book for the number of recipes provided.
THE BOOK ON PIE: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW TO BAKE PERFECT PIES by Erin Jeanne McDowell
This is a great cookbook for both the number and variety of its recipes and for its lush photography. Unlike some pie books which feature pies that have the same base recipe, this one features a diverse selection of crust recipes to choose from. And the photos are informative, and not just decorative.
Newbies will like this because its introductory section on the basics of pie making isn’t too loaded with technical information that might overwhelm them. Experienced bakers, meanwhile, will love all the expert tips and tricks that McDowell generously shares in the book.
If you’re looking for the right mix of instructive techniques, great photography and delicious pie recipes, then this book is just the one for you.