FRONT BURNER: Kat Robinson’s newest ‘Pie Book’ a feast of recipes and information

The front cover of "The Great Arkansas Pie Book" by Kat Robinson (left); Robinson at Little Rock's Main Street Pocket Park (Courtesy of Kat Robinson)

Kat Robinson's 12th book revisits the topic that she's known best for: pie. And this book delivers what we've all been wanting since Robinson's first pie book was released more than a decade ago: recipes.

And deliver it does. The book is jam packed with more than 240 recipes.

There is literally a recipe -- often accompanied by a photo -- for just about every kind of pie one could imagine. Sweet pies made with fruit, nuts, chocolate, custard. Pies piled high with meringue. Fried pies. Savory pies filled with meat, poultry, cheese, spinach, tomatoes, even rabbit. An assortment of crusts, including a gluten-free crust. Modern pies. Classic pies. Even one pie from the 19th century. Pies I'd never heard of -- Dog Tick Pie! -- and pies I've been eating my whole life.

They're all here.

If you're looking for a slick, glossy cookbook you won't be afraid to dribble a little melted butter on, "The Great Arkansas Pie Book: Recipes for the Natural State's Famous Dish From Our Favorite Restaurants, Bakeries and Home Cooks" may not be the book for you. But if you can look past the dull, matte-finished paper (and a surprising number of typos), you'll find this book is an incomparable source for pie recipes, both unique to Arkansas and common throughout the South, as well as origin stories and mini profiles of bakers around the state. (Unfortunately, the paper stock just does not do Robinson's beautiful photos justice.)

Beginning pie makers may find themselves a bit befuddled as some of the recipes are written from the standpoint that the cook knows her way around the kitchen, while others break down every step with easy-to-follow instructions. So, kind of like the recipes that appear in Idea Alley. The recipes range from beginner level -- no-bake fillings in a prepared graham cracker crust -- to more involved, multi-layer affairs like Kelli Marks' award-winning purple sweet potato and cream cheese pie.

This is a book I can see myself using in my kitchen and referring to professionally for years to come.

The book was released May 9 by Robinson's Tonti Press in hardcover ($39.99) with a paperback edition ($29.99) coming in September. For purchase information, store.tontipress.com/

  photo  Inside "The Great Arkansas Pie Book" by Kat Robinson (Courtesy of Kat Robinson)