Soulful Baker – Julie Jones – Review, Recipe & Giveaway

Julie Jones hits a grand slam with Soulful Baker: From Highly Creative Fruit Tarts and Pies to Chocolate, Desserts and Weekend Brunch. Using natural and colorful ingredients, interesting flavor combinations, and a designer’s nod toward decoration, Julie’s recipes are not only pleasuring to the eye but also to the palate.

The author learned to cook from her mother whose dishes were always packed with flavor but nothing that could be labeled fancy. When her mother was diagnosed with dementia, Julie began baking with her as a form of therapy to benefit them both.  Soulful Baker is a tribute to her mom as well as a testament to the power of recreating food memories that can heal the soul.

The pastry work shared in this book is extraordinary – the White peach and nectarine tart; the Strawberry firework tart with candied pistachios and chocolate flowers (from the cover), and the Apple rose tart – are all showstoppers. There are recipes for focaccia, bread, bars and muffins as well and, of course, they are perfectly unique in their presentation. The Charlotte royale would wow even the Royals.

Soulful Baker is an exquisite book that will serve as inspiration and motivation to all to return to the kitchen and bake with someone you love.

Special thanks to Jacqui Small Books for sharing the recipe for the Deep-filled apple pie with our members today and for providing three copies of this book in our contest open to members in the US, UK and Canada.

Deep-filled apple pie
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Apple pie is one of those things that most people feel nostalgic about. I have many happy memories of eating apple pies drowned in custard round at my Nana’s house. She was a great baker and made pastry often, with plate cakes, fruit pies and custard tarts amongst the highlights. Oh, and the fat squares – leftover pastry cut into thick portions that were later covered in butter! Homemade custard will always be my first choice to serve alongside apple pie, a recipe for which can be found on page 137. However, I know opinion will be divided on this one, so do go ahead and use your favourite accompaniment.

Serves 8

Use a 23cm (9 inch) round, 3cm (1¼ inch) deep tart tin

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  • 345g (12oz/2. cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 185g (6⅓oz/. cup/1. sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and diced
  • 75g (2.oz/. cup) icing (powdered) sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (optional)
  • 1 1/2 egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp milk


  • 4-8 cooking apples (depending on size)
  • 100g (3.oz/. cup/1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 100g (3.oz/. cup) soft light brown sugar
  • 100ml (3.fl oz/generous ⅓ cup) water
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (optional)

To finish: 1 egg yolk, demerara sugar

Make the pastry as instructed on page 15, adding some vanilla as a flavouring if you want to. Using one half of the pastry, line the tart tin (pan), blind bake, cool and trim, leaving the cooked pastry in the tin (pan) to be filled and finished later as instructed on pages 13-15. Keep the remaining half of pastry in the fridge to be used for covering and decorating the pie.

Peel, halve and core the apples, then roughly chop into large chunks. Place the apples, butter, sugar, water, a squeeze of lemon juice and the allspice into a pan and gently cook for 10 minutes or until the apples are just starting to break down, the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Gently mix to combine, taste and add some more sugar if the apples are too sharp. Transfer to a bowl, leaving the juices in the pan and leave to cool. Add the vanilla to the reserved juices, if using, and bring to a simmer. Leave to bubble and reduce for 5-10 minutes, until thickened. Stir this back through the cooled apples and fill the blind baked pastry case (shell).

Remove the remaining pastry from the fridge and roll out between 2 sheets of non-stick baking paper to about 3mm (⅛ inch) thick. You could either cover the pie with one whole sheet of pastry, crimping the edges together and making a little hole in the middle for the steam to escape, or you could roll up your sleeves, relax and get creative!

Use pastry cutters, braids, lattices, pastry flowers, balls or cut outs to decorate your pie as you wish. There are some tips on shaping and decoration on page 19. When you are happy with the decorative pie crust, transfer the pie to the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C/400°F/gas 6. Add a few drops of boiling water to the egg yolk and gently brush over the pastry as evenly as you can – sometimes using your fingertip is easier for covering the more intricate parts. You can sprinkle over some demerara sugar if you wish (it gives a lovely crunch to the finished pie) or leave as it is.

Bake for 30 minutes, remembering to keep an eye on the crust during baking as any smaller raised pieces of pastry may catch and burn easily. When golden, remove from the oven and serve either hot or cold with your favourite accompaniment.

The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the UK, US and CA.  One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won’t be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on December 5th, 2017.


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  • bettinab  on  October 29, 2017

    Deep filled apple pie

  • heyjude  on  October 29, 2017

    Rhubarb and Almond Galette

  • rchesser  on  October 29, 2017

    Grape & thyme focaccia!

  • ravensfan  on  October 29, 2017

    My mother's carrot cake

  • StaceyR  on  October 29, 2017

    Deep filled apple pie!

  • Titch  on  October 29, 2017

    I would choose to make the Apple rose tart because I love apple pie & this would be something a little different

  • Shelley.b  on  October 29, 2017

    Deep filled apple pie

  • stef  on  October 29, 2017

    Celebration cake

  • tmcginty  on  October 29, 2017

    Carrot cake!!

  • Lesliehauser  on  October 29, 2017

    Lemon tart and anything with frangipane!

  • lpatterson412  on  October 29, 2017

    Triple Chocolate Celebration Cake!!!!

  • kmn4  on  October 29, 2017

    Chocolate mousse

  • eileen2015  on  October 29, 2017

    Carrot cake. My favorite

  • matag  on  October 29, 2017

    Salted caramel and chocolate tart

  • smartie101  on  October 29, 2017

    Deep Filled Apple Pie

  • trudys_person  on  October 29, 2017

    Delizie al Limone – love anything lemon!

  • JJWong  on  October 29, 2017

    My Mother's Carrot Cake & the cream cheese frosting

  • lgroom  on  October 29, 2017

    Blackcurrant scones

  • jezpurr  on  October 30, 2017

    Coffee & walnut mini loaf cakes!!!^_^

  • kelliwinter  on  October 30, 2017

    apple rose tart. although i could never make anything as pretty as she does!

  • annieski  on  October 30, 2017

    Trampoline bread because I have never heard of it and the very name gave me a laugh this rainy, Monday morning.

  • catescates  on  October 30, 2017

    The strawberry firework tart with candied pistachios and chocolate flowers sounds incredible!

  • AGENT99  on  October 30, 2017


  • Siegal  on  October 30, 2017

    I want to make classic Victoria sponge with strawberries and cream

  • Kristjudy  on  October 30, 2017

    Rhubarb and almond galette

  • jifar  on  October 30, 2017

    Plum and oat bars.

  • sarahawker  on  October 30, 2017

    Salted caramel & chocolate tart

  • sipa  on  October 30, 2017

    Grape & thyme focaccia

  • ebs  on  October 30, 2017

    Triple chocolate celebration cake of course

  • Suzw  on  October 30, 2017

    Chocolate & aubergine (eggplant) brownies

  • verorenee  on  October 30, 2017

    Roasted plum and frangipane tart

  • lapsapchung  on  October 31, 2017

    Grape and Thyme focaccia

  • size_27  on  October 31, 2017

    Straight to the Classic lemon tart with limoncello strawberries, please!

  • bibliophile02  on  October 31, 2017


  • ktwalla  on  October 31, 2017

    classic lemon tart with limoncello strawberries

  • Cathyvelleca  on  October 31, 2017


  • sgump  on  November 1, 2017

    The white peach & nectarine tart would be lovely for next summer!

  • terrestris  on  November 1, 2017

    Chocolate twist loaf

  • RoseMGenuine  on  November 1, 2017

    Grape and thyme focaccia

  • Shelley.b  on  November 2, 2017

    Carrot cake

  • vinochic  on  November 2, 2017

    Rhubarb Almond Galette

  • jemans  on  November 3, 2017

    autumn crumble, for sure! how fitting

  • ennsee  on  November 3, 2017

    Dipped lemon madeleines

  • t.t  on  November 4, 2017

    Dipped lemon madeleines

  • Livia  on  November 4, 2017

    It has got to be the Chocolate twist loaf

  • hillsboroks  on  November 4, 2017

    I would love to do the deep filled apple pie.

  • Vspriestersbach  on  November 5, 2017

    Apple rose tart! Or the dipped lemon madeleines!

  • lynneskip  on  November 6, 2017

    Chocolate Twist loaf

  • nicolthepickle  on  November 6, 2017

    The Coffee and Walnut Mini loaf cakes sound amazing.

  • skipeterson  on  November 6, 2017

    Strawberry firework tart with candied pistachios & chocolate flowers

  • motherofpearl81  on  November 6, 2017

    Hot cross 'hearts & kisses' buns

  • madelainelc  on  November 6, 2017

    Rhubarb and almond galette. One of my favourite flavour pairings

  • lindaeatsherbooks  on  November 7, 2017

    I would like to try making the Swedish cinnamon buns (Swedish kanelbullar) first.

  • RSW  on  November 7, 2017

    Bookmark Classic lemon tart with limoncello strawberries

  • FireRunner2379  on  November 7, 2017

    I'd like to try the recipe for My Mother's Carrot Cake and the Braided Challah.

  • FrenchCreekBaker  on  November 8, 2017

    I would gladly try the roasted-plum–frangipane-tart.

    Thanks for the good review. This cookbook sounds wonderful!

  • ncollyer  on  November 11, 2017

    The deep filled apple pie- the decoration looks amazing!

  • lucychhu  on  November 11, 2017

    I will try the Classic lemon tart with limoncello strawberries first

  • juldum  on  November 11, 2017

    The dipped lemon madeleines sound wonderful.

  • cecrofts  on  November 11, 2017

    Her mother’s carrot cake. 🙂

  • astcolorado  on  November 11, 2017

    Strawberry firework tart with candied pistachios & chocolate flowers

  • jterry  on  November 11, 2017

    Deep Fried Apple Pie sounds wonderful

  • chimpbob  on  November 11, 2017

    Triple Chocolate Celebrate Cake

  • readers  on  November 11, 2017

    Deep filled apple pie

  • Julia  on  November 11, 2017

    Black currant scones.

  • BMeyer  on  November 11, 2017

    peach and nectarine tart and apple and rose tart

  • Alexandria2  on  November 11, 2017

    hi would love your book would try the carrot cake yum ! sound great have a happy thanksgiving thanks for the chance bye

  • sequoia55  on  November 12, 2017

    Plum and oat bars

  • kennethjohngilmour  on  November 12, 2017

    the Strawberry firework tart with candied pistachios & chocolate flowers found on page 28 sounds pretty good

  • TanyaD  on  November 12, 2017

    Chocolate flowers! Mmm…

  • skichick  on  November 12, 2017

    White peach and nectarine tart

  • Curlyfatkins  on  November 13, 2017

    Swedish cinnamon buns (Swedish kanelbullar)

  • RickPearson54  on  November 13, 2017


  • JenJoLa  on  November 13, 2017

    Coffee & walnut mini loaf cakes

  • chasteph  on  November 13, 2017

    Deep filled apple pie for me!

  • joyosity  on  November 13, 2017

    The apple rose tart sounds intriguing!

  • tararr  on  November 13, 2017

    Blackcurrant scones

  • VeryVigario  on  November 13, 2017

    My mother's carrot cake

  • InAHealthyKitchen  on  November 14, 2017

    apple rose tart

  • sdg8trgrl  on  November 14, 2017


  • AnnaZed  on  November 16, 2017

    Deep-filled apple pie

  • silversand  on  November 16, 2017

    Swedish cinnamon buns

  • Katiefayhutson  on  November 17, 2017

    Strawberry firework tart

  • Scotsman61  on  November 20, 2017

    Rhubarb and Almond Galette

  • klrclark  on  November 22, 2017

    Charlotte Royale

  • lhudson  on  November 22, 2017

    Caramel bread

  • LaurenE  on  November 23, 2017

    Grape & thyme focaccia

  • Soosie  on  November 23, 2017

    I would make the deep-filled apple pie because nothing evokes autumnal days better than the smell of freshly baked apples and sweet, crumbly pastry, perfuming the house with a homely aroma.

  • DesiKim  on  November 25, 2017

    Coffee & walnut mini loaf cakes

  • dbielick  on  November 28, 2017

    Swedish cinnamon buns (Swedish kanelbullar)

  • orchidlady01  on  November 29, 2017

    Deep-filled apple pie and Swedish cinnamon buns (Swedish kanelbullar)

  • Sfgordon  on  November 30, 2017

    I would try the white peach and nectarine tart or caramel bread. Also intrigued by the chocolate and eggplant brownies…

  • auntietina  on  December 1, 2017

    Strawberry firework tart with candied pistachios

  • matwell  on  December 1, 2017

    Crumpets! I've never made them before but would love to try.

  • Maefleur  on  December 1, 2017

    This deep filled apple pie will be the first!

  • Laura1  on  December 1, 2017

    carrot cake

  • milgwimper  on  December 2, 2017

    Strawberry firework tart with candied pistachios & chocolate flowers

  • jc214a  on  December 2, 2017

    Blackcurrent Scones.

  • rosalee  on  December 2, 2017

    Roasted plum & frangipane tart sounds divine!

  • Sladea86  on  December 3, 2017

    Black current scones has to be with clotted cream

  • laffersk  on  December 3, 2017

    Carrot cake

  • lauriesk  on  December 5, 2017

    I would try My Mother's Carrot Cake recipe first.

  • jmay42066  on  December 6, 2017

    Carrot cake

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