Appetites’ Easy as Pie turns novices into baking pros

Nov 30, 2011
Shine

Whether you’re on Team Cake or Team Pie, the holidays are the perfect time to expand your baking repertoire (calories don’t count in December, do they?) If you’re new to pie-making, or looking for some updated recipes, Appetites’ Easy as Pie for universal iDevice is a great jumping-off point. Although the app boasts its share […]

Whether you’re on Team Cake or Team Pie, the holidays are the perfect time to expand your baking repertoire (calories don’t count in December, do they?) If you’re new to pie-making, or looking for some updated recipes, Appetites’ Easy as Pie for universal iDevice is a great jumping-off point.

Although the app boasts its share of issues — crashing and some questionable interface choices, primarily — chef Evan Kleiman presents a master class in the ins and outs of crusts, fillings and toppings through five hours of step-by-step video.

Kleiman’s teachings are rock solid, and her explanations should make baking the perfect pie accessible to even the most novice baker. I couldn’t find an equipment list in-app, though, so I’d recommend reading your recipes carefully before starting, to make sure you have any tools you’ll need on hand. There are a good variety of pies to choose from, including both sweet and savory options, such as chai spice pumpkin, cherry tomato and apple cider maple. I definitely get a seasonal feel from this app, so I’m hoping additional recipes appear for summertime.

My biggest problem with Appetites’ Easy as Pie is that the interface of the app is anything but easy. There’s no way to see what a recipe is unless you tap on a photo, and doing this autoplays Kleiman’s overview narration. This is fine on initial views, but becomes tiresome when you’re looking for a specific dish. You also have to download each recipe individually. This isn’t a quick process, and although I didn’t experience any crashing, I was constantly prompted with a connection error, even when I had Wi-Fi enabled.

After you’ve downloaded a recipe, you’ll be able to view an ingredients list (and email to yourself), and then follow the recipe’s steps with corresponding video. The video helps ensure you aren’t making a mistake, but I didn’t like that the text steps are not always complete (many end in …), and favor the video use. There’s no pause on the video, but you can replay the audio. I think it would be hard to mess up a recipe with the level of instruction included, but again, it seems developer Clear-Media favored form over function.

I’d definitely recommend using the app on iPad over iPhone if you have the option, but, even with its problems, Appetites’ Easy as Pie makes me want to hit the kitchen.

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