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Mrs. Rowe's Little Book of Southern Pies
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About the Author

Mollie Cox Bryan is an award-winning writer, essayist, and columnist. She has written for GRIT magazine, Relish magazine, Taste of the South magazine, NPR's "Kitchen Window," the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Sun-Times, and parenting magazines across the country. The author of Mrs. Rowe's Restaurant Cookbook, she is also a family life columnist for the Daily News Leader in Staunton, Virginia. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Waynesboro, Virginia.

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Writer and poet Bryan follows up 2006's Mrs. Rowe's Restaurant Cookbook by zeroing in on the Virginia establishment's highly lauded desserts. Bryan's compilation of 65 recipes hits all the sweet spots, offering reliable standards like peach, blueberry, coconut cream and sweet potato pies, as well as caramel coconut, german chocolate and watermelon variations. Though most of the recipes are basic, achieving the perfect crust isn't; Bryan offers patient tutelage and step-by-step photos, but acknowledges that Mrs. Rowe's technique took years to master. Even experienced pie makers should pick up a trick or two; Virginia's Almost Impossible Coconut Pie, for instance, has no crust--the custard filling creates a firm outer layer when baked. Those looking to tweak their crust might want to consider cream cheese, which makes a tangier product than butter and flour alone. Bakers stymied by weeping meringues, meanwhile, will be comforted by the restaurant's "weepless" version, bolstered with salt and cornstarch. Seasoned pie pros and newbies will both find this ode to southern desserts a helpful and lasting resource. (July)
--Publishers Weekly, 6/8/09

"Those pies! Man, oh, man. Like no other. She made a butterscotch pie that we would buy whole and take up to my granny's in Bluefield, West Virginia. I can taste it now." --Kendra Bailey Morris, "Accidental Chef" columnist, Richmond Times Dispatch

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