Two recipes in two weeks from the same book? Crazy, I know. First, let me start by saying that I am choosing to review this book and was not asked to. They did however send me an unexpected copy the weekend I had my wisdom teeth pulled, like a gift from the  Tooth Fairy, so that and the Percocet may have effected my opinions of this book.

Conquering pie dough was on my list of things do to for the blog this year so receiving a book all about pie was about the best kick in the pants I was going to get. Pie is one of those mythical foods that only appeared at Thanksgiving. Pumpkin and apple. They were stunning and took hours of preparation but in a family where no one eats much fruit, there was no reason for pie the rest of the year.

Pie it Forward is the book that was going to change that for me. I was going to make it be. Strawberries and rhubarbs be damned – I am going to make some pies. Now, will someone tell me what a rhubarb is.

Pie it Forward, by Gesine Bullock-Prado is the follow up cook book to Sugar Baby which was out last year. I had heard wonderful things via the interwebs about Sugar Baby but I did not break down and purchase it myself. After my initial glossing over of Pie it Forward, I was already regretting now owning Sugar Baby. Why? Read ahead to see.

Technical Level: Spending time in the kitchen creating a buttery flaky dough from scratch may not be for everyone. There are obvious easier options. Pie it Forward is for those people that want to bake – the cooks that are looking to master golden brown deliciousness. If you are a pop open the can and unroll the biscuits just to find burnt bottoms every time, skip this one. If you are an aspiring baker who finds the appeal of mastering your own puff pastry and is not afraid to get a little butter under the nails, then give this one a try. 

Graphic Design: Pie it Forward is part of this new generation of exceedingly beautiful cookbooks. No longer overly crowded pages riddled with small fonts and hard to manage indexes, the carefully spaced pages featuring only one recipe often highlighted with beautiful graphics and top notch photography. The dough section even having step by step pictures. Everything sparkled off of the pages and made me, a fruit hating freak of nature, want to sink my teeth into every pie, tart and galette featured.

Recipe Quality: The recipes featured in Pie it Forward run the gamut. Classics like apple pie are featured and then dressed up with maple and cheddar. There is a a section for sweet, broken down by fruit type, creamy and  Bullock-Prado (clearly after my own heart) even has a section dedicated to savory. The book starts with an entire chapter for the different doughs referenced in the rest of the book. I have made both the Meyer Lemon Pudding Pies and this Sugar Pie already and am already anticipating the cheese strudel and blueberry brown butter tartlets.

Personality: Pie it Forward bounces off the bookshelf with personality. Each recipe features an introduction by Bullock-Prado that had me laughing out loud. My boyfriend was humored to find me sitting in bed late one evening engrossed in the pages of Pie it Forward as if it were the forth volume of The Hunger Games and finding my awkward laughter hard to explain in the late hours of the night. Bullock-Prado seems like the kind of woman who would be a blast to know and her personality is reflected within the pages of this great book.

Why I’d Buy: If you have read my above notes, you can see that this is an easy one to add to the cart. Sure, being able to try it was a bonus, but Pie it Forward sold me on itself instantly, I will be going back for Sugar Baby and busting out my own hard earned Washington’s. Pie it Forward will hold a place in my mind for future gift giving opportunities to my foodie friends. Great photography, killer recipes, witty writing – this book is a solid addition to any cook book collection. 



Sugar Cream Pie

From Pie it Forward


  • 1/2 batch Simple Tart Dough
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teas salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teas vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tbs unsalted butter, cut into very small pieces
  • 1/4 teas nutmeg


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. To make the crust, line a 9-inch tart pan with the dough and freeze for 20 minutes. Line the crust with parchment, fill it with pie weights or dried beans, and bake it for 15 minutes more.  Remove the parchment and pie weights and bake the crust for 5 minutes more, or until the bottom loses its raw-dough sheen.

Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan, whisk together both sugars, the cornstarch, and salt. Add the cream, milk, and vanilla, and whisk over medium-low heat until the sugar has melted. Increase the heat to medium high, continuously stirring, until the mixture thickens. Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust. Dot the top with butter and sprinkle it with nutmeg. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the pie is set and golden brown.




Simple Tart Dough


  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
  • 1 teas salt
  • 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 egg, at room temperature, lightly beaten


In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, pulse together the flour, butter, and salt until the mixture resembles cornmeal.

In a small bowl, whisk together the condensed milk and egg. While pulsing, slowly pour this into the flour until the dough just comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently turn over a few times until it is smooth, the dry ingredients have been completely integrated, and the dough holds together. Take care not to overwork it.

Shape the dough into a loose circle, cover it with plastic wrap, and allow to rest in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.


To enter to win a copy of Pie it Forward

Leave a comment here telling me your families signature pie.

Earn Extra Points by doing the following and leaving me a comment saying you have:

  • Following Pass the Sushi on Facebook 
  • Joining the Email Subscription
  • Following Pass the Sushi on Twitter
  • Tweeting about this giveaway including @passthesushi
  • Subscribing to my RSS Feed
  • Give this post a thumbs up with StumbleUpon!
  • Pinning this post

Entries accepted through April15th at Midnight EST. Winner will be announced on 4/18/12.


  1. Ours is, and always has been Damson Plum Pie. It was my dads favorite and I still get a little teary-eyed when it comes out of the oven.

  2. Oh yum, that sugar pie looks good! Great book review, I appreciate the “technical” and such.
    My family is Mediterranean, so not much pie – but since immigrating to North America, my father has the most absurd addiction to dutch apple pie – that crusty wonder of apple gooey goodness that is popular with the Mennonites that live just west of us. He loves it so much my mother actually bought a Mennonite cookbook in order to stop him from traveling over there every weekend!

    Thanks for The contest! 🙂
    – I follow you on FB (name is Ammy Pereira)
    – Have an email subscription

    Ammy 🙂

  3. Ha! Our family signature pie has been recently upstaged by the newly discovered Coconut Pie … that’s the one for now 🙂 What a great name for the book!

  4. Our family’s favorite is peanut butter pie and fresh peach pie when in season

  5. I like Pass the Sushi on Facebook

  6. I subscribe to your RSS feed

  7. I’ve been making a chocolate pecan pie for T-day for years now. And I’m 30. I wish my Czech g-grandmother had written down her recipes. big loss.

  8. Our favorite pie around here is banana cream.

  9. I follow you on Twitter!

  10. I retweeted about this giveaway on twitter.

  11. My most favorite food in the world!

  12. amy marantino says:

    our family pie is an Italian Ricotta pie.

  13. amy marantino says:

    i follow you on twitter

  14. amy marantino says:

    I’m subscribed to your RSS feed.

  15. Heather Greeson says:

    The best sugar cream pie I have ever made is such an easy recipe. I have tried recipe after recipe and this is as close to the original Mrs Wicks i have ever found:
    Grandma Ruth’s Sugar Cream Pie
    3/4 C Granulated Sugar
    2 Cups half & half
    1 stick butter
    1/4 cup corn starch
    1 tsp vanilla
    nutmeg to sprinkle
    baked pie crust
    cook first four ingredients over medium heat until thickens
    stir in vanilla
    pour into cooked pie crust
    sprinkle with nutmeg and place a few pats of butter on top and place under the broiler in your oven only until butter melts and the top bubbles

    I usually refrigerate this one! and stir with a whisk to help eliminate lumps..

  16. Wow, I’m never interested in these give-aways but this one I WANT! 🙂 I want that pie, too. 🙂 So:

    My signature pie is apple with an all butter crust that makes my man very happy.
    I was already doing half the things on your list but just to confirm:

    Facebook stalker – yes
    Email stalker – yes
    Tweet stalker – yes
    RSS stalker – yes
    Stumbled and thumbed you – yes
    Pinned you – yes

    Geez, this is starting to sound criminal and violent. 🙂

  17. My mom’s apple pie for sure. I won’t even disclose the recipe 🙂 I love the recipe you’ve posted. I have added it to my “must make” list!

  18. I joined your email subscription!

  19. I don’t think my family has a signature pie but if I had to start the tradition, I would have to choose the bourbon apple pie I made for Thanksgiving last year!

  20. For my family it’s my dad’s pumpkin pie, made from fresh pumpkin puree.

  21. This cookbook looks awesome! 🙂 My family’s signature pie is lemon meringue, in honor of my great-grandma who was the expert at making it…now we make it and remember her!

  22. Great review, and I love the cover of the book! 🙂
    Looks like one deliiiicious pie. Nomnom.

  23. Melissa C. says:

    Coconut Cream Pie!

  24. Melissa C. says:

    Sorry… this is my correct email address

  25. I am starving after this post! I would love to have this wonderful book!

  26. I think you and I should start mailing each other goodies! You can start by sending me this pie! …like right now!

  27. We don’t have a signature pie, per say. But everyone seems to always request key lime pie if given the option. So maybe I should MAKE that my signature pie… hmmm…there’s an idea…

  28. Mike Wascher says:

    I follow you on Facebook

  29. Mike Wascher says:

    I subscribe to your RSS feed

  30. I am semi famous for my peach pie. I’ve never posted it on the blog because one day it will make me rich and totally famous. True story!

    I see no disclaimer saying Canucks can’t enter so I’m running with it.

  31. I just found it I was not following you by email but now I am. Damn foodbuzz, I always think I follow everyone but then I do contests and realize I’m a loser.

  32. I am following you on RSS, see previous comment about being a loser. Nuff said.

  33. I also pinned ya.

    Okay I need a nap now after all this. I better freaking win after all that. I’ve got my eye on that prize. I am not above taking out the kneecaps of my competitors. After my nap of course.

  34. My mom makes my grandma’s famous rhubarb custard pie. It is never the same as grandma’s according to my dad but he still eats every last bite.

  35. This books looks amazing. When I was little my signature pie was the small jam tarts I made from the left-over dough my grandma had when making one of her famous apple pies. Now I would have to say it is my banana cream pie – made with a pastry crust since I am not a big fan of graham crackers.

  36. At Masunaga Family (my Mom’s side of the family) gatherings, everyone looks forward to Aunty Lani’s Chocolate Pudding Pie!

  37. Pecan pie is our favorite pie.

  38. Apple pie – with the apples coming from our tree!

  39. I make an awesome spiked apple pie. However, if I’m not spiking, I love apple pie with a cheddar cheese crust.

  40. Our family signature pie is chocolate cream.

  41. I follow you via email subscription~love it.

  42. Our favorite is Buttermilk Pie – and it’s so easy to make!

  43. I follow you on Facebook

  44. I just subscribed to your RSS feed. Love the blog! Found you through Pinterest…

  45. You know, I’ve never really been a huge fan of pie. I just always liked cake more.

    But that book looks like so much fun AND this pie looks so delicious I suddenly feel the urge to go bake a pie! 😀

  46. I really love the look of this pie. I usually eat pies with fruits but never had a pie this simple. It looks gorgeous! I’m not much of a baker (although I love eating baked goods), so please give other people more chance. I happily pinned your post because of beautiful photograph and delicious recipe. I already follow you everywhere too. Have a great weekend!

  47. I think it would have to be the apple meringue pie for me and my family! Yum! Ps I am about to make this pie for breakfast – because pie is healthy right?

  48. Sounds like my kind of book! I’ve been on a bit of a sugar cream pie kick lately (a dangerous kick to be on!) – I made a recipe from Gourmet Live a few weeks ago and also tried the Momofuku Milk Bar crack pie while I was in the NYC. Twist my arm, I’d love to try this one too!

    My family loves homemade chocolate pudding pie. 🙂

  49. I’ve had a sugar cream pie recipe bookmarked forever but this one looks better! I need to make it.

    Our signature is custard pie. My dad requests it for his birthday “cake” every year and it’s at every family function.

  50. It would have to be rhubarb custard.

  51. I am an email subscriber.

  52. Ziona Bates says:

    My signature pie is a rhubarb and plum pie. There’s a secret ingredient that makes it irresistible.

  53. The pie looks delicious, Kita!

    My family’s signature pie is a toss up between good ol’ apple and banana cream!

  54. Apple cranberry streusel is our best pie!

  55. My grandmother’s apple pie recipe is a family staple – it wouldn’t be a Fall family gathering without it!

  56. ours is Apple pie – either with two crusts or Dutch apple

  57. I already follow @passthesushi

  58. I follow you on facebook, dutch apple pie is one of our favorites. But wealso love many others…..we love baking.

  59. Apple cranberry-ribbon pie! We got the recipe from Bon Appetit ten years ago and make it every year for Thanksgiving AND Christmas. It’s tart and sweet and absolutely delicious.

  60. Does cheesecake count as a pie? My mom makes the same chocolate chip cheesecake every Thanksgiving and it’s one of the things I miss most about living so far away.

  61. We aren’t terribly creative pie makers so this book would be super helpful. My family’s signature pie is a pumpkin pie recipe from my great grandmother.

  62. Pecan pecan pecan. I simply cannot have a Thanksgiving without it.

  63. Tikvah Underwood says:

    I like you on Facebook

  64. Tikvah Underwood says:

    My family’s signature pie is a rich apple pie with a super buttery, flaky crust.

  65. WOW. I may just need to find me a copy of this book. – Ever since I visited Montebello Quebec and fell in love with “sugar pie” I have wanted to find that recip – this could be it!! Can’t wait to try it out!

    My family’s “pie” – Pumpkin. There is a several generations long debate on who makes the best one, and just recently, mine (eeek, the younger of the generations) has gotten into the running. We all have just 1 or 2 “secret” ingrediants or processes that make each one just a tad bit different…no one willing to share…yet. haha

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