Authored by Karlynn Johnston
Appetite by Random House, 2016, $32.95
This book definitely has a retro feel toit, much like the author’s fabulous Pyrex collection. Johnston has taken many long-forgotten baked goods classics, occasionally revamping them, and paired them with incredibly enticing photographs. Not every family has a collection of recipes, but this is hers from a prairie farm background including a grandmother who was all about the pies! Johnston’s always had a love of baking, but her Famous Buttercream Icing recipe became an instant hit on her blog (thekitchenmagpie.com) in 2010.
She says her catalyst for writing this book was “The (Almost) Lost Prairie Pie”on p.21; I didn’t grow up in the prairies, and was totally unaware of this decadent custard pie otherwise known as Prairie Flapper Pie. Johnston is upfront about her baking. Fancy cakes are not her thing, but butter, sugar, eggs and cream are, making all her pies, squares, doughnuts and cakes as delicious as they look and sound. Who knew Poke Cake gets its name from holes you poke in the top of boxed cake mix cake toallow for a pudding or Jello filling? Johnston makes her Poke Cake (p.156) from scratch, and itsounds infinitely more appetizing.
For those novice bakers out there, this book is a treasure trove of hints and confidence boosters. Try the “Perfect Pie Crust” onp. 26, or the “Better-than-Cooking Spray Homemade Cake-pan Release”on p.20. So whether or not you grew upon a prairie farm with a grandmother who baked pies, this book will make you wish you did.
Now you too can reminisce about Johnston’s baking for generations to come!