weekly wrap up

weekly wrap up + a year of pies book giveaway!

by Stephanie

Nothing makes me happier than watching great people get to live out their dreams and share them with others. D*S contributor and all-around amazing woman Ashley English has brought her love of all-natural baking to the rest of us with a beautiful new book called A Year of Pies (Lark Books 2012). Ashley has shared countless delicious recipes with us over the years, but this book really does her mission, style and cooking proud. A Year of Pies serves up 60 seasonal, natural recipes for pies and tarts (both sweet and savory) that will keep you and your family happy and well fed year round. With around 15 recipes per season, there’s bound to be something tasty to please everyone in your family. Or if you’re like me, just 15 different ways to treat yourself to something good after dinner.

In addition to the amazing pies, what I love most about Ashley’s new book is that each chapter includes two guest recipes by some of our favorite bloggers (and past In The Kitchen With contributors) like Aran Goyoaga of Cannelle et Vanille, Tim Mazurek of Lottie and Doof, Jessie Oleson of Cake Spy, Kate Payne of The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking, Beatrice Peltre of La Tartine Gourmande and Amanda Soule of Soule Mama. Along with this talented crew’s offerings, Ashley presents her own recipes (I’m holding out for the hand pies — my favorite), as well as a full basics section that covers six essential pie crust recipes, crust troubleshooting tips, instructions for creating various decorative pie and tart crusts, tips for selecting seasonal ingredients and much more. Also — this goes a long way with me — almost every recipe featured has at least one full-color photograph. I hate not being able to see what something is supposed to look like when you’re done, so I really appreciate the extra photo love Ashley gave the book.

To celebrate Ashley’s book, she’s sharing a delicious recipe for a Peach and Plum Tart with Mint Walnut Pesto (along with the Basic Pie Dough recipe needed), as well as giving away 5 autographed copies of A Year of Pies! Nothing makes me happier than seeing the books of team members on my shelf, and now that I have this one, I can say that you definitely want it on yours. To enter, just leave a comment in the comment section below telling us about your favorite pie experience. It could be a hilarious baking disaster, a particularly delicious pie on a road trip or something you’ve always wanted to try. Leave your comment by next Thursday, August 9th at 12pm EST, and Ashley will choose her 5 favorites to receive autographed copies. Thanks so much to Ashley and Nicole at Lark Books for sharing all of this with us today. And of course, a huge, huge congratulations and virtual hug from all of us here at D*S to Ashley on her beautiful new book. xo, grace

Below is a summary of this week’s highlights:


The full post with both recipes from A Year of Pies continues after the jump!

All recipes below are reprinted with permission from A Year of Pies © 2012 by Ashley English, Lark Books, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.

Peach and Plum Tart with Mint Walnut Pesto

I adore the stone fruits of summer. Nectarines, peaches, and plums are a pie-maker’s dream, with their fragrance, juiciness, and gem-like beauty. This tart uses another summer crop: fresh mint. This, with the addition of walnuts, renders a sweet pesto.

Makes one 11-inch tart

You will need:

  • 1/2 recipe Basic Pie Dough (BELOW this recipe)
  • 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom


Fruit filling:

  • 1 pound peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 pound plums, pitted and sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch


Mint pesto:

  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt



  • 1 tablespoon (packed) light brown sugar



1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. Prepare the crust: Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and fit it into the tart pan. Trim the overhang to 1 inch, then fold it inside the tart pan, pressing it against the pan’s fluted sides. Prick the bottom of the crust 6 or 7 times with a fork, then place the crust in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

3. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill it with dried beans or pie weights. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, then remove from the oven, leaving the oven on and reducing the temperature to 375°F.

4. Remove the dried beans or pie weights and parchment paper from the crust, and cool it completely before filling.

5. Prepare the fruit filling: Combine all the ingredients for the fruit filling in a medium-size bowl. Stir with a large spoon until the fruit is fully coated with sugar and starch.

6. Cover the bowl with a kitchen cloth and set aside while you prepare the mint pesto.

7. Prepare the mint pesto: Place all of the pesto ingredients in a food processor and puree until a paste is formed, about 1 to 2 minutes.

8. Assemble the tart: Spread the pesto evenly across the bottom of the tart crust. Top with alternating slices of the peach and plum mixture, arranging the fruits in concentric circles. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the filling.

9. Set the tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the 375°F oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until the fruit becomes juicy and the brown sugar topping turns golden brown.

10. Cool at least 30 minutes before serving, first removing the sides of the pan.

Variation: Substitute pecans for the walnuts in the pesto.

Basic Pie Dough (Shortening-and-Butter Version)

Why use shortening in a piecrust? The general thinking is that shortening aids in creating flakiness, while butter imparts flavor. This recipe creates a crust that is just that — full of tender flakes and rich in flavor.

Makes enough dough for one double-crust pie

You will need:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 3/4 cup vegetable shortening, chilled and cubed
  • 3/4 cup ice water



1. Mix the flour and salt together in a medium-large bowl.

2. Using a pastry blender or two forks, cut in the butter and shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal (you should still have some rather large bits of butter and shortening when you’re done).

3. Slowly drizzle in the ice water and stir with a large spoon until the dough begins to clump.

4. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and, using your hands, fold it into itself until the flour is fully incorporated into the fats. The dough should come together easily but should not feel overly sticky.

5. Divide the dough in half, shape it into two balls, and pat each ball into a 1/2-inch thick disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

6. Proceed according to the pie recipe instructions.


Basic Pie Dough (All-Butter Version)

This all-butter crust is unrivaled in terms of flavor. It’s also quite flaky, despite having no shortening. The secret is to work with very cold butter. I keep all of my butter in the freezer, transferring it to the refrigerator overnight or several hours before I intend to make pie dough. Work quickly, with cold hands on a cool work surface, and you’ll end up with a crust that’s as flaky as it is scrumptious.

Makes enough dough for one double-crust pie

You will need:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 3/4 cup ice water



1. Mix the flour and salt together in a medium-large bowl.

2. Using a pastry blender or two forks, incorporate the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal (you should still have some rather large bits of butter when you’re done).

3. Slowly drizzle in the ice water. Stir with a large spoon until the dough begins to clump.

4. Transfer the dough onto a floured work surface and, using your hands, fold it into itself until all of the flour is incorporated into the fats. The dough should come together easily but should not feel overly sticky.

5. Divide the dough in half, shape it into two balls, and pat each ball into a 1/2-inch thick disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

6. Proceed according to the pie recipe instructions.

Suggested For You


  • My favorite place to eat pie is at 4 & 20 Blackbirds in Brooklyn. We like to go for breakfast and share 3 or 4 different kinds. I’d give baking my own a shot if I had this book, though.

  • My hubby & I have discovered a delicious strawberry rhubarb pie at a local eatery. It is delicious & has definitely converted this chocoholic into a pie lover!

  • Back in my young-baker days when I had little to no experience in the kitchen, it was blackberry season. I wanted so badly to make a delicious blackberry pie! So with a little help from my mom, I found a recipe that looked good. I wanted to do it by myself so I didn’t let my mom help much. I worked my way through the crust with decent results, and when it came time for the filling, I realized we didn’t have the apples the recipe called for! “Mom cooks all the time on the fly; leaving things out, adding things in – forget the apples!”. Well, when that pie came out of the oven, steaming with the most delicious aroma, I thought I had done well. I cut that first piece and upon lifting it out, the bottom crust flopped open soggily and all the filling rushed out! If that wasn’t bad enough, the filling from the rest of the pie started to seep into the empty space where that unfortunate first piece had been. I learned my lesson and we ate it in bowls, but my little brother forever refers to it as my “berry-mush-pie”!

  • My first trip ever @ my friends house they baked a simple blueberry vainilla cream pie, it was heaven!

    Every time i see blueberries here the smell of the pie cames to my mind and i feel a little bit nostalgic about those amazing memories.

  • My Mema (my Mom’s mom), makes a delicious Chocolate Chess Pie. She brought it over for every special occasion and I would basically eat the entire thing in one sitting. One afternoon, I went over to her house to learn how to make it.
    My Mema has an old oven, and though it’s extremely temperamental, she knows exactly how to use it. I’d even bet that since she understands the Oven, it honors her and makes her food outshine everyone else’s. I, on the other hand, curse the Oven, so it’s not as sweet to me.
    Mema showed me how to roll out the crust, how to melt the chocolate over a double broiler and her secret ingredients. With her help, I had done everything right, and I cautiously slipped it into the oven to bake. Well, of course with her oven being her oven, 10 minutes later a horrible stench came from the oven. I rushed to open the door and the pie had overflowed and was burning!
    Needless to say, I leave the Chocolate Chess Pie baking to my Mema.

  • I am not a fan of pies. But I LOVE making them. That lovely little contradiction is probably my favorite thing about making pies and pies in general. I’d love to get my hands on a copy of this book to try even more recipes for my loved ones!

  • I don’t know if I particularly have a favourite pie moment, but I definitely have a favourite pie. My grandmother makes the best apple pie and I’ve never been able to find one that can come anywhere close to match. Of course, I’m sure I’m biased. Everyone says their grandmother makes the best apply pie ever, right? But it truly is perfection and for the reason of pie alone, I look forward to Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, and the chance to over indulge in PIE every year.

  • The only pie I can make is Pumpkin! Mainly because it comes from a can… Sin among sin. But the crust is hand made, and delicious. I do love pie, though. Tasty tasty pie.

  • My friend and I decided to make our first ever apple pie together. We neglected to put a tray under the pie. The smoke that came out of the oven was so intense that we opened every window in the house, all the doors, and places fans on every countertop. It was ten degrees outside. The pie was delicious.

  • I love pies. And not just because they’re delish, or just extraordinary in their own right. I love them because it reminds me of being a small girl in the kitchen with my grandmother who raised me. Whenever we did any sort of pie we always used the fork to make those fun little creases along the edge, and as she did it my grandma would make an open and close motion with her mouth. Last Thanksgiving I made her pie crust and as I crimped the edges what did I find myself doing? You guessed it, opening and closing my mouth. I’ve now decided that makes the pie taste better. I cannot wait to finish my house renovation so I can get back in the kitchen creating delectable treats for my family to enjoy and this book would be a great place to start!

  • The Elegant Farmer in Mukwonago, WI makes delicious apple pies. They bake them in brown paper bags and they have a crunchy sugar cookie-like topping. This place has gained some notoriety but it still feels like a down-home country place. We like to pop up the orchard every fall for some apple picking and pie.

  • The best pie I ever ate was the strawberry-rhubarb we had last July 4th. It was made by my future mother-in-law to celebrate her son and I becoming engaged on that day! She used tiny ginger-bread people cookie cutters on the top crust, with a heart encircling them. Tasted like heaven.

  • My grandmother taught me how to make pies. I cherish all those moments with her. My favorite was chocolate cream of course!!

  • My favorite pie still comes in a bag. I bake every two-crusted pie in a clean paper grocery bag, never burn the house down and enjoy the sweet smell of cinnamon, apples and brown paper throughout the house.

  • Last weekend I had the great fortune to accompany an old friend to pick peaches from his “adopted” tree in Fresno, CA at the Masumoto Family Farm organic peach & nectarine orchards. It was a glorious day of learning and sharing with many other adoptive families about the nuances of peach harvesting.

    Needless to say, besides being fulfilled by the natural beauty of being outdoors and picking peaches, I came home with a box of fruit of our labor (no pun intended) and was able to make a fresh peaches & cream pie. Nothing can compare to the pureness of flavor in something that is ‘just picked’.

  • Love this! My grandfather’s favorite dessert is Lemon Meringue pie. When I was a kid, my mom would always make it for his birthday and we would carefully place it in the back seat of the car by me so that the meringue would not be disturbed. On more than one occasion, I admit, I forgot it was there. I’d hit it accidentally or let it slide under the seat when I fell asleep; but, there was one time, klutzo here, fully stepped into the pie on my way out of the car. It took a lot of talent and patience on my mom’s part to get it back to looking like a pie. We still laugh about it.

  • I am a big believer in the advice to never apologize to your guests for your food because they usually won’t notice the mistakes that we are so critical of ourselves. I took this advice when my lemon meringue pie didn’t set up properly. I scooped it into pretty bowls and served delicious lemon meringue soup, which was a big hit! HA.

  • Congrats Ashley!
    My fave pie memory was about 5 years ago when my husband and I were hosting our first “grown-up” (Canadian) Thanksgiving together. He’s the cook and I’m the baker, and he specifically requested a pumpkin pie, something I’ve never really liked, so hadn’t tried to make. But it’s his FAVOURITE, so I wanted to abide (the dudette abides…).
    I found a suitable recipe, but decided to snazz it up a bit with a whole wheat crust instead of white, and by using maple syrup instead of sugar. Also, I thought I’d get really crazy and toast some pecans to line the bottom of the pie crust. Well, according to my husband, this was the absolute greatest pie he had ever eaten, even better than the ones his mom makes (!!!) and the pecans turned out to be the key. They kept the pumpkin filling from sogging out on the crust bottom for too long, so the crust was nice and crisp and there was a lovely flavour of toasted pecans in every smooth bite of pie!
    To this day, whenever I have to make pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving or Christmas, he asks me to make AT LEAST one extra for him to eat on his own. I know he’ll always love my pumpkin pie best, which has made me even start to like it a bit!

  • Yay Pie! My favorite pie memory is without a doubt winning my high school’s pie eating contest 4 years in a row with my best friend. Our senior year we made t-shirts that said “Pie or Die” and we devoured the competition. :) Congrats on the book!

  • I was a baker for about 14 years, working in pastry kitchens from Portland to New York. I’ve made more pies than I can shake a stick at, personally pumping out around 60 each holiday season. But somehow, after all that work, pie is still my favorite thing to bake. Nothing beats the delicate labor that goes into rolling out the crust and sculpting it beautifully around your pie tin. Then the rewards of that flaky crust, layers of butter and the crunch of the crystallized sugar on top. I adore it (and could talk about it for hours). I come from a pie loving family. My mom indulges in pie for breakfast, a tradition I’ve undoubtedly started to partake in as an adult. When I was a young girl, my mom made the best pies. The mixed berry pies were always the biggest hit in my family. Growing up in Oregon, we’d walk down the country road and pick all our marionberries and pluck the blueberries and strawberries growing in our garden. She’d let me stir the sugar coated fruit together while she rolled out the pie crust next to me. Then, like magic, we’d use the leftover pie dough to make pastries sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and rolled up in spirals for breakfast. It was heaven. A heaven I can return to as often as I please, now that I’m a grown up. But it still makes me feel like a giddy child, and that’s why I love pie so dearly.

  • my mom always made a home made chocolate cream pie for my birthday, I’m 60 now and she still does it. My dad always gets banana cream pie and she makes a lemon meringue for my husband.

  • My favorite pie experience is making “funny pie” with my grandmother. She always had them when we’d come in to visit. Sometimes I’d help her make them. It’s a Pennsylvania Dutch recipe that has been passed down through the family. It’s delicious, but not as wonderful as the memories it brings back when making/eating.

  • One of my proudest nouveau-cook accomplishments: making apple pie often enough that I no longer needed to refer to the recipe!

    OK, OK, I was using frozen crust and only four ingredients — but still! :-)

  • My favorite pie memory is this – I had been with my boyfriend for almost a year when he (not so subtly) let me know that the real way to his heart was pumpkin pie – the out of a can version no less. Obviously, I obliged, but I’m thinking this year I’ll make a completely homemade pie for his birthday. Let’s hope he thinks it’s a notch above the “dump and combine” kind!

  • First of all, a sweet pesto is a great idea! I’m going to try making that tart soon.

    My best pie memory was winning second place for savory pies in KCRW’s first annual pie contest in 2009. I (frantically) made a mushroom and goat cheese pie (it kind of looked like the one on the cover of the book) and brought it to a fancy mall in the valley and laid it out with the other 100+ entries. It was fun to watch all the judges go around and taste the pies- the judge that tasted mine took a whole piece, not just a bite like most of them did! It was great fun to win a ribbon and then have the chance to go and taste all the entries.

    I entered again last year, but didn’t win anything. I’d love to be inspired by this book and try my hand again!

    Here is a link to an LAist story about the contest http://laist.com/2009/11/16/kcrw_pie_contest.php#photo-1

  • I have yet to bake a successful pie so my favorite pie experiences come from trying to bake. And trying again. My baking attempts always fall short, especially if they involve a homemade pie crust. When my Nana gave me her peach pie recipe I was excited to recreate it in my kitchen. That was two years ago and I have yet to bake a successful pie, peach or otherwise. The enjoyment comes in thinking about Nana making this pie for her kids and for me when I was young. She had to start somewhere, and so do I.

  • Pie is my absolute favorite thing to bake. I am a huge sucker for fruit deserts, but sadly my husband likes chocolate exclusively. It doesn’t deter me though… I’ll bake a pie, have a slice and then bring it into work. I would absolutely love to have this guide on seasonal pie baking so that I could get the best use of all the amazing ingredients that go into pies. I am sure my co-workers would greatly appreciate some new recipes coming their way!

  • Growing up, Apple Pie was my favorite dessert such that I chose it for my birthday cake rather than a cake – much to the disappointment of most of my friends. My mom always made a point of using at least four kinds of apples, most of them tart since the heat breaks down the sugars and makes a great complex flavor. I’ve always loved the decorative art to pie making too; it’s much like ceramics in that you have to set your design before you bake it, but once you do, that’s it! Lattices, cookie-cutter shapes, hand-pinched sculptural pieces – you can do so many things. My favorite as a kid was to take whatever left over pieces of pie dough at Thanksgiving, re-flatten it, make a cinnamon and brown sugar filling, roll it up into a spiral, and make cinnamon swirl pastries. I thought I was a genius for “inventing” this recipe; it was my sister’s and my specialty.

    As an adult, I’ve now made my own pies and loved it. I was really caught off guard to learn my boyfriend’s dad refuses to eat anything called a pie. No pumpkin, apple, pecan, chocolate mousse, key lime, pudding, NOTHING! The family tricked him into eating pie once and he was irate to learn after the fact that the dessert he enjoyed was a pie. With him being 70 years old, I have no hope that I’ll be able to convert him with my awesome pie talents, but miracles do happen… Having this book may be the trick to that!

  • Ok, so I’m not a pie fan. More of a cake girl. But after my husband and I started a community orchard in Cleveland Ohio, we are beginning to harvest tons of fruit. Just last week my love made 2 peach and 3 blackberry pies by himself. Picture a big burly urban farmer making pie for the first time! They turned out great , but I figure we need all the help we can get. So bring on the pies and book! Maybe I’ll be a fan after all!

  • My very first pie experience, which paved the way for me to become a pastry chef, was when I was 9 years old. My dad was a pretty gruff dude when I was little and I knew that the way to his heart was paved with three things–a love of baseball, The Three Stooges, and shoefly pie. I didn’t like baseball and already showed my love by watching endless showings of Curly and the gang, so making a pie was my only other option.

    It was the messiest, biggest shoe fly ever created. It took forEVER to bake and half of it spilled on the oven floor because I had mistakenly made ONE pie using the recipe on the back of the Turkey Table Syrup that was supposed to yield two! But it was delicious and made with love. and my dad still talks about that pie 33 years later.

  • One of my favorite memories from childhood is of my Grandma making her famous homemade apricot fried pies. Watching her simultaneously fry, roll dough and fill the next batch is something I’ll never forget. Luckily, someone finally convinced her to write out a recipe for a local newsletter. A few people in my family have tried to recreate the magic since she passed but they never taste exactly the same. I think grandmas just inherently know how to make everything a little bit better. At least mine did! :)

  • My husband is actually the pie-baker in our house. One Thanksgiving, when we were still dating, he volunteered to make a pie for dessert. I think everyone was more than a little surprised at the offer, and when he whipped up a lemon meringue pie we were all even more surprised at how delicious (and pretty) it was! Later he told me that he had gotten the recipe from his mother in hopes of impressing me with it. He totally succeeded.

  • We served a selection of pies at our wedding reception instead of cake. The pies were made by a bakery in our neighborhood, except for the pie we cut that my friend made – a blueberry pie for our bride and groom rubber ducks to sit on top.

    My favorite reason for why we had pie instead of cake – when my family gets together at Christmas there is a large selection of pies and we stand around the kitchen island trying various types or returning only to our prior favorites.

  • While engaged to my present husband, I spent an hour or so with my mother-in-law as she instructed me on how to make the family’s apple crumb pie. I was intrigued with the whole process. The exact measuring of the ingredients, her skilled wrist movement in the whipping of the crust, and her gentle yet confident placement of the crust into the pie shell all intimidated this young, inexperienced baker. And if that wasn’t enough to take in, there was the art of making the topping. The only assistance I could provide with confidence was peeling the apples, but it turned out that even that task needed a little constructive criticism from her. I am thankful for her careful instructions that day and I think she would be proud not only of all the apple crumb pies I’ve made in the past 32 years, but also the apple crumb pies my own daughters have made. And yes, they experienced the necessary intimidating demonstration and instructions that I had to endure! It’s an art that will be passed down from generation to generation.

  • I recently made my own crust, successfully, for the first time with no major disasters. I’m a good baker, but I’ve never thought the fuss was worth it and always reached for the Pillsbury. I finally tried an all-butter, vodka-based dough recipe from SmittenKitchen and it was awesome. I even successfully made a lattice top with it! It was the 4th of July and I celebrated my pie success by running around my kitchen shouting USA! USA! USA!

    I love pie.

  • I don’t think that my pie memory is that special, but it’s something that I remember fondly from visiting my grandparent’s home as a child. My grandparents lived about 2 hours away and each summer, my brother and I would get to spend an entire week there, having a special “just us” vacation. Each time we would arrive, we’d be greeted with hugs, kisses, and my absolute favorite: fresh strawberry pie. My grandmother knew it was my favorite, so I always expected each time I would visit. She’d always say to me, “Come see what I have in the kitchen for you!” and lead me to the kitchen where the famous strawberry pie would await! It has always been a fond memory and, to this day (now that I’m almost a quarter of a century old), a strawberry pie is in store when I visit my grandparent’s home. I guess it is a pretty special story after all. ;)

  • My favorite pie memory is an amalgamation of different summers spent on Martha’s Vineyard, where they have side-of-the-road pie stands. Drive by, and buy a pie! All of the summer’s bounty transformed into the delicious combination of flaky and gooey, sweet and salty, golden and berry-black. Just the thought transports me to an island summer…

  • My spouse an I are total foodies and adore cooking and baking. Yet when we tried to put together a pear pie at the in-laws (a family tradition), it was as if neither of us had even came close to a kitchen before. The dough was a sticky mess, glued to the kitchen table… And if one of us managed to lift it, it would break apart and tear instantly. Finally Mother in law shooed us from the kitchen and painstakingly managed to salvage the dough and put the pie together. And my spouse wonderful family ate our dried, cardboard tasting pie in good humor and much giggle.

  • Growing up, Mom didn’t make desserts, especially nothing more complicated than something from a box. This has one very stark exception (which proves the rule): squash pie. My father despised vegetables when he was a little boy and his mother (and grandmother) came together to create something that would convince this persnickety kid to eat his squash. It is the lone recipe that my mom has gotten from her recipe-hoarding mother-in-law. Squash pie has the consistency of pumpkin pie but a taste that is indescribable, somewhere between cheesecake and flan, but not quite that either. It’s a strange family favorite, but something we all agree on (which explains its short shelf life!). Squash pie will always remind me of home.

  • First, I must say that these pies look delicious and I’m excited there is a cookbook only about pies!
    I went to college in Rolla, Missouri at Missouri University of Science and Technology. There is a little place called “The Slice of Pie” wedged into a corner next to a laundromat. It is a small town, local pie shop “Open 10 to 10 daily”. They sell pie by the half slice, whole slice, half pie or whole pie. It’s a favorite of college students and locals. They have every kind of pie and they all are freshly made, some topped with homemade whipped cream. I would regularly go there with friends for a delicious treat, for birthday parties, after dates, before tests, and just because. My last semester before graduation I decided that I’d attempt to try every pie on their list (I think there were around 40 kinds). I didn’t even get close. I think I only had about half of them, but I tried. My all time favorites is their French Silk Pie and their Peanut Butter Swirl Pie.
    Now, about twice a year I travel past Rolla for work. Every time, I have to stop and bring a half pie home to my hubby, who also craves some “Slice of Pie”.
    I’ve made a few pies in my time, but nothing can compare to what they have.
    Yummm….now I’m craving pie!

  • I definitely want that book! I recently made a really good blueberry pie…but the crust fell to pieces when I was placing it, so the pie didn’t exactly look perfect. Oh well, my family enjoyed it all the same!

  • Minnesota is the home of pie in my opinion. My favorite pies come from Keys Cafe in Saint Paul, MN or this amazing blueberry pie from Betty’s Pies on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Both have a lovely diner feel and both amazing pie, alamode if you wish, however, at Betty’s you get a glorious view of the lake that I fantasize about on a regular basis. Other than that I make a mean Strawberry Rhubarb pie, classic and irresistible.

  • Every year for Thanksgiving I try a new pumpkin and pecan pie recipe, in search of a favorite that that can become my signature. Last year I found the perfect pumpkin cream and I can’t wait to make the same pie for 2 years in a row!

  • Pie is my absolute favorite dessert! I’m a big fan of blueberry and pumpkin, but would love to learn some new recipes and variations.

    My favorite pie memory has to do with pie crust. The crust is my favorite part and my Mom always made “pie crust cookies” with the leftover dough. They were rolled up like cinnamon rolls with cinnamon sugar and butter inside. I always lurked around the kitchen while she was making pie to get my hands on those cookies!

  • This Peach and Plum Tart with Mint Walnut Pesto recipe may even tempt my SO to try something new! He’s vegetable and fruit challenged on a grand scale. It’s worth it for the photo along. Can’t wait to make it!!!!!

  • When I was younger, my parents started a garden in our side yard. Surrounding the garden they planted about a dozen blueberry bushes. While as an 8 year old I hated that they made me working the garden, pulling weeds, and towing, I remember at the end of the summer, I knew it was all worth it when those blueberry bushes finally started to come to life. I felt a little like I was in that book “Blueberries for Sal.” Anyone remember that? Anyways. While I could eat my fair share of raw blueberries, one summer my great grandmother was in town and she showed me how to make her famous blueberry pies. I even got my own pastry knife for this endeavor! When she first pulled out that can of crisco for the crust—oh man— I knew I was in for it. I learned from her how to make a perfect crust to surround our family’s favorite pie, and this learning experience is one that I cherish to this day (and I try not to think about that can too hard). While I haven’t been the biggest pie maker over the years, that particular pie-making experience opened me up to the world of cooking and family tradition that I have worked on almost every day since. I think I have here special gene, and blueberry pies will always remind me of that inherent gift of the love of cooking that she gave to me all those years ago.

    Congrats on the book Ashley!

  • When I lived in Stockholm, Sweden for a semester there was a coffee shop near Gamla Stan (The old Town) that made the most DELICIOUS raspberry pie. I still dream of that and their hot chocolate. Used to love to go and read literature and while away the day there.

  • Ooh I love the typography on that cover.

    I’m Malaysian and we don’t get mince pies here. But when I was young, I read about them in English storybooks and for years dreamed of how they would taste. One fine day, a friend brought some from the UK and I excitedly bit into one. I spat it out right away because, to my horror, it was sweet! I had always thought mince pies were made from minced beef or pork. I hadn’t expected it to be sweet. Till today, no mince pies for me thank you. Give me a chunky beef pie any time :)

  • At the end of last month, I moved into my very first apartment of my own. Since I’m on a bit of a shoe-string budget until my new job kicks in later this month, that meant leaving behind my parents’ gorgeous, expansive kitchen and all the tools I’d grown used to using in my baking and trading them in for a tiny galley kitchen and a handful of bare essential utensils. So I’ll admit that my first baking endeavour in my kitchen — a key lime pie that used a ripe mango as a replacement for some of the sweetened condensed milk — was a very proud achievement for me. Even though it meant “grinding” up graham crackers (to mix with toasted coconut) for the crust with a fork, a pastry cutter and lots of persistence. The two guests I was baking it for — one who’d never had a key lime pie before and one who claims it as her favourite dessert — absolutely loved it and demanded the recipe before they left. One pie to properly break in my kitchen and properly feel at home, and I definitely don’t regret my choice.

  • One time my uncle was sent out to get a pie because he forgot to pick up something sweet for a little family party. Knowing him, he just grabbed the first thing he saw at the store, a pie, and ran out with it. When he got back, walking through the door unwrapping the pie, and handed it to a cousin of mine who started cutting it. He noticed that it sorta had a weird consistency for key lime pie and went to smell it.

    Unfortunately my uncle had not picked up Key Lime pie. It was spoiled chocolate creme pie. It was the grossest looking thing I’ve seen at the time. Thankfully nobody had a bite before it was noticed. I can never look at Key Lime the same ever again.

  • This last year I made it one of my goals to learn how to make a decent pie crust and I succeeded with some help from a family friend. Now I have the confidence to be a pie making maniac!! A Year of Pies looks like it’s full of amazing recipes for every kind of pie every imagined!

  • The book looks so beautiful!

    I’ve always been more of a pie girl than a cake girl, so when I was growing up my mom would always get me a birthday pie – always lemon meringue – instead of birthday cake. There was a local bakery that made the best ones. Several years later, my brother got a job working at the same bakery and he’d bake my pie.

  • I recently discovered that the peach jam I can every summer makes adorable little bite sized pies when stuffed into store bought pie crust. I bring a batch to parties now and everyone thinks I slaved away in the kitchen all day!

  • My baking disaster:

    I went to an all girls high school and took home ec as an elective. For extra credit, I tried making pumpkin pie for my family and neighbors. Little did I know, my dad grabbed the can of raw pumpkin instead of the one with the spices already included. As we finished dinner, everyone took a slice and went on their way. They were raving about it, “oh, the crust is amazing..!” I went to the kitchen to grab my own slice and walked out on my mom saying that it was the worst pie she had ever had. She scrapped the filling out and ate the crust. Wooops!

  • I love making pies with my little man (aged 2.5). Our latest pie was strawberry rhubarb- a family fave – and we had so much fun decorating the top crust using tiny cookie cutters. It’s great to pass on family traditions like this!

  • Not exactly a pie story, but my biggest kitchen disaster was the Great Latke Fiasco of 2002. I was the can’t-boil-water type, but because I happened to be a girl, my guy friends hit me up for the biggest contribution to their frat-boy Hanukkah party. (I should mention that I was the only one with a functional kitchen.)

    Being on a health kick, I tried to make “baked” latkes. So I shredded potato and patted it into round piles resembling cakes, adding absolutely nothing else, and put it in to bake.

    Imagine my surprise when I ended up with bits of charred potato scattered randomly around my pan!

    Sighing, I turned to frying. Potato bits in mounds, but this time drenched in Crisco. I spilled some on the burner, but that’s OK, right? I mean, it was just liquid.

    I then learned more than I ever wanted to know about grease fires, scorch marks, fire alarms, and losing security deposits.

    In the end, I bought some latkes from Whole Foods and passed them off as my own.

  • I love baking pies – sweet, fruit, savory – I consider quiche a pie! A couple of years ago on 3/14 I made 20 hand pies to bring to work for Pi Day. Every year my husband grows a pumpkin in our garden and I make a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. There is something so perfect about dough and filling!

  • Ooh, pie! I have so many favorite experiences, but my absolute favorite is when I learned why my dad always ate his pie crust first. As a kid, his favorite aunt taught him to do that, so that he would eat the “healthier” part before eating the berry part!

  • eek! i love ashley, & would LOOOVE to have another of her cookbooks on my shelf! my favorite memory was making my first pie with my step mom when i was 9 or 10. my dad & step-mom lived in california, and i remember the strawberries being perfect, ruby red through & through, sweet, & incredible in my first strawberry pie.

  • I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to rival my grandmother’s iconic Thanksgiving day pie selection or quality. I would love to try my hand at some of these fantastic-sounding recipes and carry on my dear grandmother’s legacy :)

  • Do tarts count? Nothing surpasses my baking a tart from freshly picked raspberries and creme Fraiche while vacationing in Sweden. An aesthetic experience.

  • My best pie experience has to come from countryside of Ireland. At my ex-bf’s house, his mom made the most perfect beautiful apple pie I ever tasted. I never came across a more gorgeously delicious pie.

  • I love pie so much; every pie experience is my favorite! Thanksgiving pies are probably my most memorable. Last year, I got to try a rich pumpkin pie sprinkled with green pumpkin seed powder and juicy, tart hibiscus leaves. It was the prettiest pumpkin pie I’ve ever had.

  • Learning the secret to the flakiest pie crust from my Nana and then making crusts together…..in her opinion it’s lard.

  • my pie story happened last summer when my band played a wedding. it was one of those barn-chic weddings, all cute with cowboy boots and strung up lights. they had delicious pies instead of cake, which we got to taste on a break. but hours later, we were playing the last song, which was most likely “hurt so good” by john cougar mellencamp. the bride and groom were dancing on haybales and all. after strumming the last chord, the singer and i threw off our guitars and ran like fat kids to the pie table, where they still had sweet potato left, all lovely and brown sugary. i haven’t been able to find a sweet potato pie like that since.

  • Oh, that peach and plum tart is ridiculously gorgeous!

    My most emotional attachment to pie comes, of course, from childhood.
    Here in upstate New York we have a small town, Naples, perched alongside Canandaigua Lake. Growing up in the area meant visiting both sets of grandparents who lived within a short drive of this grape-obsessed hamlet, with yearly trips to the Naples Grape Festival. You can see where this is going, right? Grape pie. You can’t survive autumn in the hills of the Finger Lakes without devouring at least one grape pie. They’re slung by the stack at roadside stands, boxed up briskly but lovingly by church ladies all over town.

    As an adult I lived all over, but finally moved from NYC back home to upstate NY to raise my own family. We still make the hour’s drive to Naples, winding through country roads dotted by fallen leaves, to get that grape pie. Is it my favorite pie? Unquestionably, no. But it’s my favorite way to enjoy pie, wrapped in a memory of childhood and led by tradition. When the leaves begin to fall, I know it’s time to make a day for pie.

  • my best pie experience is every time i make pie, feed it to a friend, and make the friend happy. pie kicks cake’s butt. i hope i win!

  • Pie was the first thing my fiance and I made together! We used one of his family recipes for a mixed berry pie. I remember sitting in front of the oven with him watching it bake, being completely nervous that it wouldn’t turn out right (I’m the baker; he just loves pie). Thankfully it turned out perfectly. Now we’re planning a wedding and he insists on having pies in addition to a small cake. I’m hoping to enlist the help of some (very kind) aunts to help me make them. It would be so fun to flip through this book with my fiance to pick which ones to make!

    Thanks for the giveaway. The pictures from the book are gorgeous :)

  • My co-worker was telling me about a new pie shop in town. I hadn’t seen a pie shop in a very long time, and I said to her:

    “Is Pie the new Cake?”

    She looked me square in the eye and replied,

    “No, Pie is the new Pie.”

    She was right. Pie isn’t about being a trend– it’s about being a delicious dessert (or even a savory snack).

  • I made a berry pie one day out of all the berries left in the fridge. I guessed on all the ingredients and made a crust from scratch. It was the first pie I made and may have been the best one I’ve ever eaten. Thinking I was the pie queen after that first victory, I have successfully failed at every pie attempt since. But my pie-lover mom willingly eats every single one that comes out too runny or horribly soggy. I’d sure love to have a good book with some tips for making better pies.

  • This book looks delicious! I’m a pie fanatic over here =)

    My favourite pie memory or experience is from when I was a kid. My mom has always been a baker, and she passed the love of baking onto me at a very young age. We decided one day on summer vacation when I was about 7 or 8 to have a pie making day. So we made an apple pie, blueberry pie and cherry pie. I thought it was so funny that they spelled out ABC! After that day I referred to that experience as the “ABC pies”.

    I know I don’t need 2 stories, but other favourite one is more recent. I spent a day making peach pie with my husband and his grandma when we were just dating a few months. We must have made 2 dozen peach pies at her house and it was a day filled with laughter and lots of love. I felt like I was a part of the family once Grandma invited me to make her famous peach pie with her!

  • My favorite pie experience is any time my mom makes lemon meringue. It’s one of my favorite kinds, but I literally have to beg for it since it’s so much more work-intensive than apple or pumpkin (which are much more common varieties in the house). But my proudest pie moment was learning to make the perfect pie crust with my mom. It was the most perfect pumpkin pie ever.

  • Honestly, whenever I think of pies, I think of the movie Michael with John Travolta and Andie Macdowell. They go to a diner and order 2 slices of every pie the place has – filling the table with pie and scoops of vanilla ice cream. Whenever I even imagine that part, all I want is warm fruit pie with ice cream. Andie Macdowell plays an amateur song writer and sings “Pie, pie, me oh my, nothing tastes sweet wet salty and dry, all at once, oh well it’s pie!” So much love for pie and the nostalgia it brings!

  • Last summer, a group of my friends decided to do a fast from sweets. I received an email the evening before the fast would officially begin and immediately regretted not having an opportunity to indulge in some of my sweet favorites. While at work the next day, right at the beginning of my sweets-fast, a coworker of mine and I decided that our office should begin a celebration of pies (because pies deserve recognition and are best when shared). My coworker and I decided to make every Thursday our office Pie Day–coworkers would take turns bringing in their favorite pies to share over lunch. I emailed my friends who were fasting from sweets and told them that Pie Day was just created at my office–and I was an accomplice. How could I not partake in Pie Day? Because my sweets-fasting friends also shared a deep appreciation for pies, they gave me Thursday-Pie Days as a break from my sweets-fast! I kicked off Pie Day with my all-time favorite, the classic apple pie. Others that followed and were recorded on our office “Pie Chart” were: key lime, berry, shepherds, strawberry, mac-nut, sweet potato, lemon meringue, pecan, and banana cream. Since then, our office has tried to celebrate other things (like cheese), but Pie Day remains the longest-running themed celebration in our office and of course our hearts.

  • For my 20th birthday my roommates got me a coconut cream pie. I was rearranging the contents of the fridge when I accidentally dropped the pie on myself. Not to be deterred, I sat there and ate it off myself with a fork. Happy birthday to me!

  • I’ve always been a bit afraid of making pies, pastry always seems a little too hard!my favourite ‘pie experience’ has to be the ‘pie for Mikey’ last year. I thought the way the whole food blogging community joined together to offer their condolences and support to a family in amidst of hell was one of the most beautiful out pourings of global love, and it made leprous to be part of such a wonderful community.

  • I’m remembering the first time I made a perfectly rolled, perfectly flaky pie crust. The strawberries that filled it were just the “icing” on top! My husband is so happy that I no longer dread fighting pie dough.

  • Pie is my all time favorite dessert! Growing up, at Church bake sales, I would always go straight for the table with pies for a piece of peanut butter pie which is still my favorite. It is so easy to make, so I have it for too often! (I need to branch out!)

  • I was making a surprise apple for my boyfriend because it was his favorite and he was having a hard week. I went all out, getting his favorite apples, and all organic fresh ingredients. I spent an hour braiding a trim for the crust and carefully cutting different leaf sizes out of the dough for a beautiful presentation. I used my great grandmother’s recipe that I only break out for special people. When he came over later that evening I was dumped, dropped like a bad habit. On the counter sat my grandmother’s pie circled in beautifully browned braids and he never noticed. He walked out the door that night and I sliced into the pie to console myself. Luckily, he was a legitimately bad apple that I’m happy to have lost from my life. But, oh boy, that night, those were some definitely good apples… that was the best pie I’ve ever made and I’m so happy it was all mine ;)

  • Pie is delicious, but it is also steeped in tradition. My favorite pie has to be my Pop Pop’s Meat Pie. A twist on tradition, it was actually my Pop Pop (my dad’s father) who cooked for us all on Thanksgiving. He made his Meat Pie from scratch, from a recipe in my Meme’s (my great-grandmothers’) cookbook. One day that cookbook will be mine, but I couldn’t wait that long for the recipe so my grandmother carefully wrote it out for me on an index card :) Trust me, even though we use it as a “side dish”, it’s so good- you forget that turkey exists.

  • Such a huge congratulations to Ashley! Writing a book is truly a labor of love. The cover is incrediable — made me want to pull out a fork! So my favorite pie story–when I was a kid, my two sisters and I decided to “surprise” our parents with a pie. We started to mix the inside stuff (the shell we bought). As we went to add the sugar, 2 cups needed, unknowingly, we grabbed the salt (I mean, white is white, right?). After proudly mixing it all together, we tasted it. We spat it out immediately — then proceed to dump it out the kitchen window (don’t ask me why –still, to this day, don’t know why). Then we mixed everything back together again, not understanding what we did wrong. AGAIN…picture three little girls spitting it out and scrapping the contents of the bowl out a window! Well, we ran out of sugar (I mean, salt — can’t believe my mother had that much salt in the cupboard) and, alas, couldn’t make a “surprise” pie for Mom and Dad. But at least we didn’t have a squirrel problem out the kitchen window for months :)

  • the highlight of summers as a kid were roadtrips up to visit my great aunt and uncle who lived on a lake house on the oregon coast. my aunt deanna IS the world’s best baker (although i learned at a later age that she abhors cooking but is so hospitable she can’t get around it) and makes a mean blackberry pie with a rich butter crust. to entice her to do so, my brothers and i would set out to pick buckets full of wild blackberries along a lazy stretch of country road that we fondly called the “spider patch”. i’d love to have those days back.

  • I have a delicious recipe for a caramelized pear, pecan and gorgonzola pie. A few years ago I made it early in the morning before my son’s brit mila ceremony and left it in the kitchen to cool while we were all in the sitting room for the ceremony. When my mom came into the kitchen to fetch the pie, she found a friend of ours had come into the kitchen and eaten the entire pie on his own. Needless to say, we are still friends but I now hide everything I make.

  • I like to cook but I LOOOOVE to bake pies. A quiche is actually the first thing I ever learned how to make by my self! My mom used to make this autumn-vegetables-pie that quickly became my favorite dish. Of course I would drive my mom crazy always requesting it so she said that if I wanna have it all the time, then I would better learn how to make it myself. I was about 11 and I even learned how to make the most delicious homemade dough/crust, that I still use to this day as a base for all my pies! I must admit that the first quiche I made wasn’t perfect but by the second one I was already a pro. Nowadays I try out all kind of recipes and I even make a killer smoked salmon end chives pie for the pub where I work. I’m proud when costumers come and ask me for the recipe.
    I don’t have many cookbooks but I would love to have this one!

  • Like many others, my first pies were made by the side of my Nana. Her recipes, carefully copied, make me smile with measurements including a small quart of milk and enough salt to fill all the wrinkles of your hand. But my most special memory is when my daughter, as a little girl, asked to make a ‘real’ pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. And so we embarked on a farm-stand trek for a pie pumpkin, searched recipe books for directions and learned how to roast and puree the squash. Nana’s tender crust provided the finish for the wonderful pie. Now, with a home of her own, my daughter still reminds me each Fall, that it’s time to find pie pumpkins for our special pumpkin pies.

  • Six years ago friends were hosting a birthday party for our pal Chris and we were all asked to bring a pie – ideally a cream-type pie as we were told that these were Chris’ favorite. After several hours of fun and festivities at the party our hosts brought out one of the 20+ pies at the party, and we all sang Happy Birthday to our chum. As he blew out the candles one of our hosts smashed a banana cream pie into the birthday boy’s face and yelled “Pie Fight!” What ensued was probably the most fun I’ve ever had at a party as a grown up. Everyone grabbed the nearest pie from the dessert table and we hurled pie at one another until the floors were a goopy, though tasty looking mess. It turns out that Chris had always wanted to be in a pie fight and so our hosts had planned this surprise weeks before. And don’t worry, not a tear was shed over the home-baked goods that went uneaten, because the pies were still the source of a fabulous night and an unforgettable experience as they flew through the air. Pie fight!

  • I LOVE PIES! I love the movie Waitress and am inspired by how the character’s love of baking permeates each creation.

    I have tried crusts and never been able to perfect them. I recently purchased a food processor with the hope of perfecting my crusts. I have not yet given up, but i have yet to realize flaky, bakey success. I am inpired to PERSEVERE!!!

  • My mother, sister and I make chocolate pie from the same tattered recipe on a little piece of note paper kept in a book at my parents’ house that we have used my entire life. It is labeled “Granny’s Chocolate Pie.” Yes, we could transfer the recipe onto a new card, but it wouldn’t be the same.

  • My partner’s mom, who is a vegan, once made a “vegan” pie/crumble…except she accidentally used a store-bought crust where lard was one of the main ingredients. She did not realize this until she asked us “Wait, is lard vegan?” after serving the pie. Whoops.

  • As a Brit, pie is quite a different thing over here. But my american mother made sure I knew what a good american pie was too! Aged 8, I took a bite into my mom’s delicious and very sticky pecan pie. However, I managed to leave my wobbly front tooth in it! After getting cleaned up, I went back and polished off that piece of pie. Delicious! AND the tooth fairy came that night too. Double win!

  • My knitting group decided to have a bake off, using pies as the measuring stick for our prowess. It was all in good fun and we would all get to taste each of the pies everyone had made. I knew I’d have to enter if I wanted to get my tastebuds on any of their pies! But I wasn’t feeling all that confident, my pies are often hit or miss, but usually presentable. So I put in a call to my mom to get some hints on crust recipes. She suggested 7-up or vinegar or maybe both? I was pretty confused by the end. I started making a crust with butter and ran out, so then had to further substitute with Crisco. Then I proudly sliced up apples from the Pike Place Market, that I had procured by asking for baking apples. I got a variety, some of which I’d never heard of before. I popped the whole thing in the oven and said a prayer. As soon as I pulled it out of the oven I knew it’d gone terribly wrong. The cruse looked lumpy and leaden, the apples had baked unevenly and some had gone to complete mush! I didn’t want to show this pie to anyone! But I said I was competing and I still wanted to eat some GOOD pie, now more than ever, so I took it in to the competition. My friends are kind hearted and tried to tell me it wasn’t so bad, but I know it was. It really was. At least I was cheered up by their delicious pies that day!

  • I literally have dreams about delectable books like this! A big congrats to Ashley for creating such a gem! Can’t wait to try out these yummy looking pies.

  • My all-time favorite pie was my Grammas’ homemade rhubarb pie. She made it all spring and summer long when the rhubarb grew. There was always pie dough in a bowl in the fridge (which we would all sneak raw dough from) at the ready for the next pie. And when there wasn’t enough dough to make extra pies she would make “jelly roll-ups”. They are just pie dough in a strip with jelly or jam smeared inside rolled up into a fat snake and baked alongside the pie. You could eat the jelly roll up whenever you wanted, first come first serve but the pie was always for dinner and breakfast leftovers!

  • Every holiday season, my mom, Grandma and I would bake all the pies for our family dinners. Considering our family holiday dinners could easily be over thirty people, it was a lot of pies :). My Grandma passed when I was only 13, but everytime I make a pie, I remember her weather hands mixing the dough and how she had to use her favorite marble rolling pin that I still have.

  • My first solo baking experience was making a molasis – brown sugar pie called “shoe fly pie”. The recipe was from this little amish cookbook I bought for myself on a school trip. I had no idea what I was doing or making. I just thought the name was funny. I’m so grateful my mom let me take over the kitchen and experiment. The pie turned out great, and I treasure the memory of that first experience.

  • Who else remembers the Sesame Street skits that would start out with a baker at the top of the steps saying “One banana cream pie!” and then the baker would fall down the stairs? Well, my mom once made a banana cream pie, my brother carried it into the dining room quoting the baker, then dropped the pie on the floor. Accidentally, he swears.

  • My favorite pie story is actually from my daughters 1st birthday. We had a cake but we also had a strawberry pie and she loved it. It was hilarious, she had pie everywhere. It was even in her hair and eyelashes. That was such a good memory that I will never forget it. (she is 10 now) Thanks for the wonderful giveaway and Congrats :)

    fattybumpkins at yahoo dot com

  • When I was in grade school, we would also participate in our small town picnic. We all helped volunteer – dad in the beer tent, mom plating (the best roast) chicken dinners, my older sisters helping in the picnic games and me, with the little old ladies, plating pies. Every year I looked forward to carefully slicing pieces of blueberry, cherry, apple and other fruit pies. It’s where I was introduced to rhubarb. It made me question mincemeat. It was also the only time in the summer when pumpkin pie just felt so right. We would set aside the most delicious homemade pies and I’d get to taste all the deliciousness. I can’t eat slice a pie without thinking about my time in the pie tent.

  • I don’t know if I have a favorite memory involving pie. I just know that we had pie at every single family gathering, and we always had my mom’s family’s recipe for custard pie. It was great, and I still haven’t ever met anyone who’s had custard pie before I make it for them.

  • My grandma was a fabulous pie baker. My sister and I decided when we were in college and not able to come home one Thanksgiving that we would duplicate her Thanksgiving. Everything turned out pretty well, but the best things were the seven pies that we made- to eat between ourselves!

  • My son has been a fussy eater since babyhood. When he was 11 months old, after a bad case of pneumonia, he refused all baby food and table food and ate nothing but milk and Cheerios for 6 months. I was frantic. Eventually he began to eat again and slowly increased his food repertoire. Pumpkin pie became one of his favorites. “My favorite vege-bil is pumpkin pie,” he’d announce to shocked new acquaintances. I made pumpkin pie spring, summer, fall and winter, sneaking in whatever vegetables and fiber I could get away with until I was sick of pumpkin pie. Nowadays we are finally at the point where pumpkin pie is once again a special dish for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I’ve never stopped tossing in whatever extra vegetables are lying about.

  • My best friend’s family has a pie contest every year, which I have now had a standing invitation to for nearly 15 years, since we met in Freshman year of high school. About the time that we were 15 or 16 some of the kids started getting good enough at baking pies that we might just beat a grown-up. In very undemocratic fashion, it was decided that you had to be 18 to win the prize – mostly because there were a few adults that had not won yet. We were so excited to make our pies in our 18th year of life – hoping very much to take the trophy (an old bowling trophy with a porcelain pie where the bowler once was) for the year. We got a bit ambitious – there was crème fraîche involved – we had this idea that we’d make two variations on a theme and share the title. It was delicious, but hideous – Could have really benefited from a top crust, or at least a lattice. There was no trophy in it for us that year (a savory macaroni and cheese pie, which was truly fantastic) won instead. But – we decided then that ugly but delicious food should always be referred to as “homestyle” and it is made exponentially better if we put on our Julia Childs voice and say, “It will still taste good!” So – that story is a bit about pie, but a lot more about friendship, and family. I cannot wait for us to have families and institute our own pie contest, and then spring the “you must be 18 to win” rule on the youngins right after they all become proficient bakers. Hahahaha. :)

  • I’d love to have a go at some of these pies. I don’t think pies are such a big thing over here in the UK – except maybe steak & kidney pie, but I’m not a fan of kidneys!! This would be a really inspiring book to own.

  • My favorite is baking apple and pecan pies with my bonus mom for Thanksgiving every year. The two of us in the kitchen (everyone else gets kicked out ;)), sharing stories from the last year and our current lives, baking for our family and creating memories!

  • My favorite pie moment in time would definitely have to be tasting key lime pie for the first time, as a married woman, in Key West with my incredible husband! :-) We were one week married and on top of the world and every day since that moment has been sweet. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity for a trip down pie-lined memory lane!

  • I’ve been promising my husband a homemade pumpkin pie for the better part of a year and have yet to make one. I convinced him to let me purchase a beautiful, white ceramic pie dish in anticipation of said pie and it has not graced my kitchen since. There’s still hope!

  • My son, Ben, came home from his first day of 5th grade and exclaimed with a grand gesture, “We must have PIE! A different pie every night, starting with cherry pie, and then chocolate cream and then berry. We will try a new pie every night!” For weeks, we sampled every type of pie we could find at nearby bakeries or ones that I thought I could bake myself, but our repertoire soon ran dry. This year, Ben starts 6th grade. I’d love to surprise him with a book signed by Ashley English and the inscription: “New pies to try because WE MUST HAVE PIE!” By the way, I think his 5th grade teacher had a picture of a pie in the class room that must have made his mouth water all day long until he came home to satiate the craving. Perhaps all one needs in life is a little pie a day to keep the blues away :)

  • My favorite pie is my Mom’s lemon meringue pie since even thinking of how it tastes reminds me of my childhood where I’d eat the pie that she’d made and swing my feet under my chair since I couldn’t yet touch the floor. She loves this pie.

  • I received a copy of a Kentucky pie recipe similar to Derby Pie (from Kerns Bakery). Basically it’s a pecan or walnut pie with chocolate and bourbon. Sooo good. When I was in grad school I had a pie bakeoff with another grad student from Kentucky to see who’s recipe was the best. I won by like one vote! I was in Kentucky recently for a cousin’s wedding and bought one of the infamous Kerns Derby Pies, so now I can have a bakeoff of my recipe versus theirs. :)

  • My first pie baking experience was at an apple pie baking contest. My husband decided to help me by dumping WAY too much sugar into the pie crust and then walked away without knowing what he’d done. Needless to say we didn’t win the contest, but it is my favorite pie memory :)

  • My mother is an incredible cook and baker, and I consider myself fortunate that she fostered a love of all things culinary in me from a very young age. As soon as I was old enough to balance my little chubby legs on a step stool, she stuck my hands in a bowl full of dough and the fascination has continued ever since.

    During the holidays – when my teen years rolled around – I would watch my mother churn out mass quantities of food out of our tiny kitchen. I wanted to help, but my mother had this sort of thing down to a science, and really didn’t need my assistance. “Alright she said,” seeing my eagerness to contribute, “You can make dessert.” This is when my love affair with pie began.

    My first pie was a fall harvest pie, a Martha Stewart recipe. I fussed over my pate brisee, and chopped apples and pears and cranberries for what felt like an eternity. I nervously put it all together, and apprehensively watched the whole thing bake. My worries were unfounded, as it was a rousing success with my family, and became a point of pride for me. I felt that I had contributed to our family’s celebration – I felt that I was starting my own tradition.

    Many pies have come and gone since that first pie. A tart cranberry pie served with egg nog ice cream, maple custard pie, chai spiced apple pie, peach raspberry and so on and so forth. Different pies for different occasions happening in different seasons. Now I am known as THE family pie baker.

    I love making pie, because a piece of my heart goes into every one. I know that the finished product will make someone that I love smile, and that knowledge makes my heart swell. I feel a profound connection to food that I prepare for my family and I feel that some sort of love and positive energy is transfered from me to each pie as I gather the dough in my hands, a little happy infused in every swipe of my French rolling pin. I look forward to the day when I can stand my niece and nephew (maybe someday my own children) up on a step stool with their wobbly, chubby legs and say “Let’s make some pie.”

  • So I’ve baked a decent amount of pies in my day (I sound so old phrasing it like that *snicker*), but I must say, my fondest memory is eatingone of my husband’s grandma’s pie. Is it me or do pies from grannies taste so much better? We woke up one more while visiting and sure enough, there she was in the kitchen and I was greated with, “Mornin’, I baked five pies already.” And she sure did…they were delish!

  • My boyfriend tried to bake a lemon meringue pie for me while I was away because he knew I loved them. I came home to a hot lemon pie with an egg white omelet on top. I still tried some. It was interesting…

  • When I was younger, apple pies in the oven excited me, not because of the prospect of eating the pie hours after, but because my mom would roll out the remaining dough, sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar and make it an afternoon snack for my siblings and I. Delicious.

    I have yet to figure out my mom’s pie crust, so I look forward to trying out Ashley’s!

  • I will always remember my Grandma’s custard pie. She would make it for me for my birthday instead of a birthday cake every year; even put a candle in the middle. I love every kind of pie, but custard just has so many memories it will always be my favorite.

  • The first time I ever baked a pie was the pumpkin pie I made for thanksgiving. This is particularly memorable because my family never does traditional american dinners. Our background is vietnamese so thanksgiving is usually filled with vietnamese cuisine. However, as a teen I really wanted just an all american dinner so begged my family to let me cook one year. We bought the turkey, made mashed potatoes, etc, etc and of course I made the pie.

    The pie (with the help of my sister) turned out so well that my family has agreed to doing a traditional american thanksgiving meal every year as long as we baked the pumpkin pie.

    The pie, I’d like to believe, was the start of a family tradition. Now I never look back at thanksgiving with resentment because I was eating a bowl of pho while every family got to have a feast. It’s now the time I get to bake a pumpkin pie and share with my family, because after all, isn’t baking about sharing the pleasure with others?

  • Favorite Pie Experience: I brought my friend’s Carolyn and Andy up to Massachusetts for a fall weekend at my parents house. After a gorgeous hike we bought some apples and Carolyn was eager to try her hand at homemade pie crust. She made the crust, Andy and I worked on the filling, and we all took breaks in front of the fire to play board games (no TV at my parents house). When the pie was finally ready at around 10 PM, we pulled it out of the oven – and Carolyn was just so excited that her crust worked. Probably the most delicious pie I have ever tasted!

  • This book is just what I need! This is a tad embarrassing but I have never baked a pie before! I’ve always enjoyed my Grandma’s pumpkin pie, but I have not carried on the tradition of pie making. It wasn’t till about a year ago that I became interested in baking and this book with be the perfect addition to my collection and will be a great reason to start making delicious pies!! Can’t wait to see what recipes Ashley has in store :)

  • Peanut butter pie with a Nutter Butter crust – delicious! It tastes delicious, but I mostly love making it because it reminds me of my younger brother, who would request said peanut butter pie each year on his birthday. He passed away three years ago but I still enjoy making peanut butter pie on his birthday.

  • As pies are American pastries, I have never eaten one here in Germany. But I’m planning to bake one as soon as the plums in our garden are ripe enough. So if I won this book I would even have a great resource of pie recipes!

  • My mom’s staple desert is pie. An excellent cook, she loves swapping things and constantly changing recipes. She especially loves making things healthier (i.e. with whole wheat, wheat germ, flax seed, oil, and sugar cuts). So her pie today barely resembles the pie it started as. One week we all took a bite of her pie and paused, “Mom did you forget to add the sugar?” Apparently not-she left it out deliberately!

  • I know it might sound corny, but my favorite pie memory is as a kid – learning how to make homemade pie crust from my dad. We lived in an old house with a bright yellow 1950s oven that, no matter what, baked pie to perfection every single time. I no longer remember what type of pie it was, but what i will always cherish is the feeling of family and love that the pie represented.

  • Pie! Who doesn’t love pie!! I spent an entire summer testing pies and doughs to find the perfect recipe to enter into the VA state fair. Having never even been to a state fair before I was pretty excited to get my feet wet and took it all very seriously- but I apparently didn’t read the 30 page submission booklet close enough to see that there was a registration deadline about 2 weeks before the fair! To be honest, I was a little devastated but I went to the fair anyway, had a blast and can now make a killer caramel apple pie. So I guess it all worked out really :)

  • My roommate and I tried to make individual banana cream pies once. She loves pie and I love bananas so we thought why not. What resulted was the answer to why not. The flavor was okay, but the texture and consistency and everything else was just plain weird. Still not sure what we did wrong …

  • I love Pie! After a long weekend of outdoor adventure, my husband and I – thoroughly worn through from rafting down rivers and freckled from the sun… saw an unsuspecting diner on the side of the highway with one neon lit sign that certainly sealed the deal: PIE. The best meal (hungry tummies easy to please) and the BEST PIE! Crust buttery flaky bits of heaven, and the title alone was a savory pre-lim to the actual mouth watering slice. Fruits of the forest, with rhubarb, berries, blackberry, strawberry and raspberry. Hats off to the Summit Lake Lodge in Alaska.

    Your book looks like just the thing to promote this gals love of pie. You must feel similarly about pie, and the singular joy it brings those you share it with!


  • I do enjoy making pie, and would love to add this book to my shelf, next to _The Little Pie Company Cookbook_.
    Favorite pie these days = apricot. I freeze a bunch of filling (in pie pans so they’re the right shape and size) during apricot season and bake them in the winter: soooo lovely!
    But the best pie I ever had was a raspberry pie from a restaurant in Atlanta (have now forgotten the name) back in 1992: I’ve been trying ever since to recreate that experience… and I think I’ve gotten close, but am still short of the mark. Sigh.

  • When I was 12, I tried my hand at making an apple pie from scratch for the first time. When I got ready to knead the dough, I floured the counter and threw my ball of dough down on the counter – I think I’d seen someone on TV do that once – and flour went EVERYWHERE, even on me. Oops. Luckily, my mom was laughing too hard to be mad at me. :)

  • OMG I just remembered the biggest pie fiasco of my Summer of Pie! I don’t know if anyone remembers the most beautiful and jaw-dropping pie on the cover of Bon Appetit last summer-

    A lime curd, blackberry compote with red wine, Meringue and fresh blackberry monstrosity that I KNEW I had to make IMMEDIATELY. I spent an entire day making all 85 of the different elements, chilling them, assembling the pie and finally torching the meringue. it was a thing of beauty. My family was in awe. I was so proud. My mother and brother took the first bite and gave each other a look, hoping I might not notice. They took another bite and silently agreed something was off. “Claire,” my mom said “I think your pie tastes like…. fish?” I took a bite. She was right. And then she slapped her hands to her mouth having just realized that she had bought, just that day, some sushi grade tuna and left it on a plate, unwrapped, in the fridge, while the grill was heating up for dinner- all the while my lime curd sat in that same fridge, in a bowl, uncovered, while it was chilling. Clearly the two had met and mingled. The whole pie was a bust but it did look quite spectacular.

  • For my son’s first birthday, I decided to bake pies, instead of the traditional cakes. I made two apple pies, six miniature pear pies with a chocolate crust, two large peanut-butter-chocolate-banana cream pies, and on the side were salted-brown-butter rice krispy treats and chocolate chip cookies. But the best part was the miniature peanut-butter-chocolate-banana cream pie I made my little guy in his own small ramekin. When the time came to sign and blow out his candles, he cooperated and stuffed his face into the whipped cream top. It was perfect! I will always remember that day.

  • I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A PIE LOVER!!! I rarely eat cake…it would have to be super-moist before I will try a bite. BUT pie….I’ve been making them since a teenager…a young teenager. It was my responsibility to make my Dad’s favorite, Apple pie, whenever we had family or company over for dinner…or whenever Dad was craving apple pie.
    I’ve taught my daughters to bake pies too! One daughter won a championship ribbon at our county fair for her apple pie! Fun times.
    Your recipe for that peach and plum tart looks absolutely fabulous and I PINNED it IMMEDIATELY!!!! I would LOVE to read your other recipes! Thanks for giving away five copies…that is gracious!

  • My favourite pie experience was an annual event of picking my own apples and making a fresh autumn pie years ago when I was fortunate enough to live near a u-pick orchard.

    No disasters thus far, knock on wood, but my wonderful cook mother had one as a new bride: she though the holes on the tops of pies were just for decoration and had one “blow up” in the oven. My father has never let her forget it. :)

  • I moved to Chicago about a month ago. Soon after I arrived, I got an email from a dear friend in DC: “what’s your daytime availability like over the next couple of days? I have a surprise for you to pick up, but would need to know if mornings or afternoons work better for you.” I replied that I could be free Friday morning. She sent me a mysterious address and I resisted the urge to Google what could be nearby. After a wild goose chase that Friday morning, I ended up at the wonderful Hoosier Mama Pie Company and received a full sized seasonal Cherry Berry pie that she had ordered and purchased from afar. Best housewarming/house-sweetening gift ever! It made life fragrant and delicious for days and days.

  • My mother is a very good cook and an even better baker. She was the star student in Mrs. Dunsmoore’s (sp) Home Economics class, at San Antonio Technical HS, in San Antonio, TX (ahem – in the 1940’s). When my mother talks about her the admiration and affection is palpable for all the knowledge she passed down to her students. Because of Mrs. Dunsmoore, my mother’s confections are always perfect; cookies, cakes, breads…., but it’s her pies that send me into a quiet revery. Her crust are always flakey and perfectly browned, never soggy. The fillings are the perfect consistency, sweetness or tartness. How grateful I am that the cosmos placed my mother under Mrs. Dunsmoore’s guidance.

  • I made a pumpkin pie for my first thanksgiving with my then boyfriend’s family. The whole crew was there: parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins. They loved the pie and a year later my boyfriend became my husband :)

  • My husband and I had pies and tarts at our wedding in lieu of wedding cake, including my favorite, Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. Everyone enjoyed them immensely and I would love to continue sharing my love of pies with others!

  • Being that pie is my most favorite dessert I have eaten many a pie in my…ahem…50 odd years…
    But my the pie that will forever haunt my taste buds is a French Continental Apple Pie or was it a Continental French Apple Pie… It has been more years than I care to admit to since I baked that pie…
    The recipe had been featured in our local newspaper and swiftly misplaced after the pie’s debut which would have received a standing ovation in more civilized company. But the custardy, cinnamony, streusally apple goodness will forever live in my memory.

  • My favorite pie experience took place during a visit to my dad’s (then new) home in Alaska. I was exploring the yard when I found raspberries growing wild. Of course my first thought was: P-I-E! My dad was convinced that there was no way I could possibly bake up a pie. (He lives in the middle of nowhere and we couldn’t buy ingredients.) I proved him wrong. A simple pie only uses ingredients that even a bachelor would have in his kitchen. The beauty is that many pies taste and look much more complex than their ingredients seem. Short story shorter, the Bachelor Raspberry Pie was born. And it was delicious. 

  • While traveling in Europe, an American friend and I taught a Norwegian guy how to make pumpkin pie. He’d tried it before, while celebrating thanksgiving with some Americans, and had loved it. He promised to give us the best espresso if we’d teach him. The pie turned out wonderfully (to our relief) and the espresso was just as delicious as promised.

  • My worst pie disaster? Thinking I could substitute bacon grease for lard in the crust—Hey! They both come from pigs!

  • I volunteered at a hospital as a teenager; every day I would head over to the cafeteria for chicken strips with bbq sauce, and this amazing chocolate silk pie. It sounds weird, but man, that hospital pie was good!

  • My favorite pie experience happened when I was in WEHO on vacation with my friends Annie and Lindsey. We were staying at our pal Werner’s place, which was a typical bachelor pad- fridge full of beer and not much else. At around 9:30 PM we had an intense and sudden craving for something sweet, and my friend Annie decided to take this opportunity to teach us how to make pie. So off to Ralph’s for the neccessities and back and we got started. She instructed us how to make a fresh and simple apple-berry pie. With the help of a bottle of wine and lots of laughter and singing, we had our masterpiece which was nothing short of spectacular. I’ll never forget that night, and of course the special ingredient- love and butter!

  • This looks like a beautiful and mouth watering book! My favorite pie experience has to be at our wedding reception. We had a tiny cake because I love cake, but my husband is the biggest pie fan! We ordered 20 or so delicious homemade pies from a popular bakery in the small town where we got married. They were absolutely delicious, and now we can go back to celebrate our marriage with the exact same desserts year after year :)

  • My favorite pie experience is truly one of my overall favorite life experiences as well. My grandmother taught me with love and patience to make pies from scratch using family recipes for crust and fillings. Everything we did was by hand–with a pastry blender, antique wooden rolling pin, and a crank sifter, she showed me the way she had been taught and I still believe that pies made with the conveniences of my food processor do not taste as good as the ones she made for us. (One of my most heart-wrenching memories was when I broke that rolling pin.) More than pies, she taught me love, patience, and a passion for food. Even now those lessons stay with me every time I compare anyone else’s pie to hers and I now that she has since passed I cherish the memories of her each time I make now.

  • One time a bunch of women at church went in on a huge order of fresh peaches from a local farm and an older woman mentioned a peach hand pie recipe she was dying to try. I’m usually shy, but randomly asked her if I could try it with her, so we set up a time and I went over to her house. The little pies were so cute and so delicious, but the best part was that in the long, involved process (we made a lot), we talked about so much and discovered we had a ton in common which would’ve probably never happened otherwise. It was so fun, we ended up making peach jam and dried peach leather, and then berry jam and apple pie and…

    Making great pie and a great friend = my favorite pie moment.

  • I do love pie, my mom is a fabulous pie maker, her crust is old school, (Cisco based) and oh so flaky and delicious. My favorite pie is fresh wild blackberry. My mom and I would endure the blazing summer heat in jeans and long sleeves as we ventured in to the prickly roadside bushes to hunt down and pick the little gems! They made the most amazing, juicy, flavorful pies! Such sweet memories!

  • My mother makes an amazing apple pie. I can’t duplicate it no matter how hard I try. I hate to ask her to make it, because she’s a very busy person. When I was 9 months pregnant with my third child, she came to stay with us and brought the pie! I was thrilled and *may* have eaten more than one piece. That night I went into labor and Emma was born early the next morning! We always say that Mom’s apple pie helped bring Emma into the world.

  • For my dad’s 60th birthday, I baked him 6 pies, one for each decade! He’s not a fan of cake, and his favorite dessert is pumpkin pie, so that’s exactly what he got. Since his birthday is in the summer, I made some other more summery pies to go alongside his pumpkin… blackberry/blueberry, peach, apple, etc. (and fresh whipped cream, of course) I am proud to say that making pies is one thing I love to do & seem to be able to do well :) Everyone loved it, and of course we all had to sample more than one kind!

  • I’ve never baked a pie in my life, never eaten a homemade one either. I may not be the funniest commenter but I’m certainly the one who needs to win the most!

  • Cooking has always been a way that my family enjoys spending time together. My favorite pie memory is when my aunt and I were visiting my parents when one was having surgery and the other was suffering from a long term illness. My aunt and I would would spend time combing through recipe books while sprawled across the sofa bed looking for comfort food to make for everyone, and we made the most delicious pie that was a pumpkin and pecan pie combo that tasted like every Thanksgiving and Sunday supper at my grandmother’s house that I could remember.

  • I do love pie and can’t pick a favorite place or recipe. But what I can say is I was in high school when the web videos Weebl & Bob came out. Ever since those videos I can never speak or think of pie without saying “Mmmmmmmpie”.

    For your viewing pleasure: http://www.weebls-stuff.com/wab/pie/

    When come back bring pie. Wanker.

  • My husband hates cake so every year for his birthday I get to make pie! some of our very favorites are Peach-custard, Shoo-flie pie and cinnamon pie. With all of this practice (we’ve been married 10 years) I think I’m finally getting the hang of crust, and making them actually look appetizing! :) Great, now I want pie.

  • My favorite pie experience has to be the very first time I ever made an apple pie from scratch. I remember feeling so victorious and accomplished afterward, because it was delicious! And it was the start of my baking obsession.

  • I was ten years old and it was the Jewish New Year. This translates to my entire extended family coming over to celebrate and eating as much as possible. My aunt Betsy’s partner at the time was known for her amazing pies – every occasion a different pie, each better than the last. I was so excited to see what she would bring and secretly hoped it was my favorite – the oh-so-delicious chocolate pudding pie with a homemade whipped cream topping. Yum. Eee.

    The doorbell rang and in walk Betsy and Carol. My heart skipped a beat. Betsy (the non-pie maker) was holding THE pie. There it was, perfectly white and whipped. My aunt apparently saw my eyes become larger than my stomach and approached me. “Wanna take a whiff?” She held up the pie and I closed my eyes taking in the sweet aroma. SMUSH. Right in my face. Betsy, being the adult child in disguise that she is, could not resist the urge to plop that beautiful pie right onto my cute little shnoz.

    The pie was delicious.

  • I’ve never made a pie because I’m scared of crust. I think my experiments in baking ended after I tried to make croissants – but ended up with bread sticks. This book sounds wonderful though. And even if I don’t make a pie, I can spend some quality time reading the recipes with a cup of tea.

  • My mom is a fantastic cook. She was (and still is) the Midwestern mom who made your after school snack from scratch, only now she packs a sack for my husband and I to take home with us when we visit. Needless to say our house was a pretty popular spot among the neighborhood kids, especially Shelby, who lived across the street. Her mom is the source of my favorite pie story. Shelby’s mom is an amazing woman with an endless list of talents, but nowhere on that list will you find “cook.” Doesn’t mean she didn’t try though. Each Thanksgiving Shelby’s dad would cook dinner, and one year, her mom decided to try her hand at dessert. She decided to keep it classic and stick with pumpkin pie. Her recipe? Frozen pie crust & canned pumpkin pie filling (when you think about it the “pie filling”label is a bit misleading…) . Open the can, scoop it out into the crust, and pop it in the oven and she was done. Who knew baking was so easy?

  • I’ve always wanted to make a pachyderm pie…it’s your basic (or your own special recipe) pecan pie, dusted with powdered sugar (once it’s baked and cool) and topped with a circle of [baked] elephant cut-outs made from leftover dough dyed grey. It’s fun and delicious!

  • After many conversations among friends as to which was better, pie or cake, My sister had a “pie vs. cake” party to definitively decide the matter. Each guest brought their favorite pie or cake ( homemade or store bought) and then we all tasted everything. Everyone was asked to go to a voting booth at the party to cast their vote for the best desserts of the evening and to vote on the larger issue of pie or cake! The best pie was a maple sugar hazelnut pie. Amazing!

  • In college, a friend and I were determined to make a pie, but living in a dorm at the time, we had none of the required ingredients. The whim became an all day excursion to find ingredients and baking supplies, but the end result straight from the tin was undeniably worth it.

  • I travel to Saskatchewan at least once a year for work, and have discovered that there is no better place to get amazing pie than small rural towns there! My boss and I will even travel out of our way to go to our favourite pie haunts.

  • Two good ones:

    When I was small, my mother played viola for a local production of ‘The Nutcracker’, and every year I would sit in the pews (pushed back from the stage, amongst the trombone cases and denim jackets) watching twirling sugar plumb fairies and dancing bears as the play unfolded (a bear fell into the pit once…too bad I missed it.) After rehearsals, (very late for a six- or seven- or eight-year-old) we would drive into town for a slice of pie at a bakery near our house–something about all that magic and theatre and butter rolls up into a sense memory that’s stuck in my brain ever since.

    More recently, I had a bunch of friends compete in a pie eating contest in the tiny rural Missouri town of Arrow Rock (pop: 70). In the sticky summer night, every competitor (including more than a few drag queens, runoff from another competition that night) ended up shirtless, covered in crust, berry goo, and mosquito bites, as they devoured slice after slice after slice…haven’t needed much pie since that summer, but maybe it’s time to try it again.

  • My favorite dessert (maybe my favorite dish of all time!) is heated raspberry pie with vanilla ice cream.

    I am 6 or 7. We are driving home from a farmer’s market in Toronto with a raspberry pie. That evening, the pie goes into the oven to be heated. I watch the pie and yell, “Look! It’s breathing!” The warm air circulating in the oven heats the inside of the pie, and the top crust gently rises and falls. On my plate, the raspberry filling spills out and starts melting the ice cream. Mmm. My mouth is watering.

    At different points in my life I have tried to replicate this experience — and every time I do it brings me right back. I would love to have the pie cookbook!

  • I have great memories of making Elderberry pies with my sister when we were in high school. We’d spend the morning and afternoon picking Elderberries along the edges of fields and woods in the countryside where we lived. We would end up with two or three garbage bags full. Cleaning and destemming the berries was quite a chore and always left us with purple fingers; but the end result was Delicious! I don’t notice Elderberries growing so much anymore.

  • Oooh, I do HEART pie!! When I moved to North America (I’m a “Dowununder” / Southern hemisphere gal) I really missed friends and family. It was hard to settle in and make new pals. My favourite pie memory is a Butternut Squash pie, made as a stunning, delicious alternative to the traditional Pumpkin. It was served by my kind friend, Ria, on my very first ever Thanksgiving. Made with love, served with cream, if felt like I finally “belonged”. That’s what a good pie means to me – warmth, friendship and sharing.

  • A tart Fruit Pie with a cup of black tea, honey and a touch of cream are one of my favorite things in life. A love affair started by my Dad. His favorite, and maybe mine, is ‘Nothin Fancy Rhubarb Pie’. I can nearly never make the same pie twice, always trying a new one. Some of my pies have been total failures, an experience that is NEVER easy to get over. Some absolute successes. Pie has soul. Thanks for the Pie Post! Hope I win:)

  • Baking pie intimidates me a bit, but I’d love to be better at it. I promise to keep trying! I grew up in Pennsylvania, so I’ve had a whole lot of shoo fly pie in my life. It just doesn’t get any better than that!

  • My friend Meg makes and amazing rhubarb custard pie from an old family recipe, the two of us spend all winter yearning for the first of springs rhubarb so that we can have pie.

  • Lemon pie is just my favorite. I found it when I was 12 in a maazine, just when my baking experiences where begining and for that point on it’s become MY trade mark. It’s the lemony meringue, or is it the creamy filling, or just crust, but everyone finds something they love at it. And I love to bake it as well, (of course)

  • my grandmother was the quintessential southern cook. her hand pies (not made of hands, but fruit—just wanted to clarify!) were the most delightful. they would be peach, cherry, apple, anything we wanted, as long as it stayed secure in the crust.

    the best thing about a hand pie is that you do not have to share, unless you want to. it is queen’s food and all yours.

  • When growing up, there was always an emphasis on the aesthetics of food in my house, so pies looked picture perfect. I now work in a rehabilitation center for the blind where the main emphasis is on independence. We teach pie making as part of the cooking classes and the apples are never quartered perfectly nor plums perfectly sliced, but I know that when our students get to put their own home baked pies on the tables for their families, they are so proud of their fruits of labor. Your recipes from your book may add to that too.

  • I love pie, and once it helped me move across the country! When my fiance and I moved from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., we decided to use the U.S. Postal Service to ship 24 boxes full of the stuff that wouldn’t fit into our two cars. We needed a friend to ship our boxes to. Our dear friend Roque let us mail the boxes to him and drove them to a storage unit for us. He was great about it, even though his mail carrier gave him a really hard time. Anyway, our friend wouldn’t let us pay him in money. He did agree to let us pay him in PIE! I’ve been trying out a new recipe every month to share with him as repayment for this awesome favor.

  • Pies are a great way to show family love. My grandmother was a great pie maker but as she got older was responsible for making only one pie for family gatherings. She always made a chocolate cream pie for my cousin, who was the only one out of 20 of us that really ate it. But he got it every time, without fail.

  • Brilliant. A pecan pie for my birthday 2 years ago was the spawn of a delicious scavenger hunt. turned almost goose chase, turned back into a what it was meant to be, a tasty treat for me;) It was ultimately, the little pie who could. My friends ordered a custom pecan pie for me at a local bakery and the dullard who worked there put it out and was sold. My lovelies traveled to 3 other bakeries in order to make my pecan pie happen and found and delivered one just before 11:30PM when my birthday was coming to a close. By far the best pecan pie I had consumed, sorry Grandma! XO

  • I never liked apple pie because my mother always tried to traumatise me by adding raisins as an ingredients. Raisins make my skin crawl for some reason! So I went on a great journey of trying to make apple pie more pleasant for me and the Apple Nutcracker was born. We have an amazing walnut tree in our garden and the harvest is more we can eat. All that nutty caramel apple goodness! But my mum still likes her recipe best.

  • Pie, Pie, Me oh my
    Nothing tastes sweet, wet, salty and dry all at once o well it’s pie
    Apple! Pumpkin! Minced an’ wet bottom.
    Come to your place everyday if you’ve got em’
    Pie, Me o my
    I love pie!
    It’s my favorite tribute to Pie! – the pie moment and song in ‘Michael’ and it’s one of my favorite things to do – visit the local coffee/pie joint and order pie! I’m going to cook my my through your book – baking and eating pies!

  • My great aunt used to make a chocolate pie every christmas, and we all looked forward to it. There is also this restaurant in the greater metro area of St. Louis, MO called “The Blue Owl” that is famous for their amazing pies. That is were I go for my pie fix.

  • MMMMmmmmm, pies! I love pies. All sorts of pies. But nothing comes close to topping a good old-fashioned pumpkin pie in the fall. It’s the first pie I remember eating. My mom never makes it out of a can. No. She finds a big ol’ candy roaster and splits that sucker in half to roast all day in the oven. I remember being a kid and thinking that it was a whole lot of work to make a pumpkin pie. It was! But it is so worth it.

  • Pie. Such a wonderful culinary invention. Here in Germany, they don’t even have a word for pie, and it seems to me not many other languages do. They have words for cake, and even tart, but rarely a word for pie. And it’s such a shame, because pies are truly one of the most fantastic desserts out there – my personal favorite!

    Since moving to Germany I have been making a lot of pies for my loved ones, many of whom have not had the joy of tasting one before. I am always on the lookout for new recipes, and, having joined the “local” and “seasonal” food movements a few years ago, this book would be the perfect addition to my kitchen!

  • Why cake at a wedding? I understand the logistical reasons for cake, but pie is so much more fitting for a wedding. Plus I don’t really like cake, well frosting really. I went on such a tirade before my wedding “why cake, let’s serve pie”. I didn’t win, but when we got back to our honeymoon suite a beautiful homemade strawberry rhubarb pie was waiting. I ate it in the morning.

  • Does the birthday girl always get cake? As a child, I preferred pie to cake. I was a June baby so I had a special request for my mother’s (and possibly my Grandmother’s recipe) Strawberry Rhubarb pie. To this day, I squeal excitedly when I see fresh Rhubarb at a veg/fruit stand (to the dazed and confused stare of my children-who are learning, trust me). I crave Strawberry Rhubarb pie every summer and especially in June.

  • We had moved to a new home and our neighbors invited to us to their Easter dinner where there were many other of their friends and family. I volunteered to take an apple pie. It was beautiful!! I was so proud. The color of the crust was perfect. It had a woven top and it looked full and fabulous. It was definitely magazine cover worthy. My neighbor cut it open – everyone was eagerly anticipating a slice – and I was happy to see it was juicy and the apples put on a lovely show. Unfortunately, it was completely inedible. I had used Granny Smith apples, but apparently no sugar. It was so sour it drained all our salivary glands. I knew those people would become fast friends when not one of them tried to lie and tell me it was good. We can still laugh about the Easter pie, however these days my husband makes all the apple pies.

  • Many interesting stories! Mine involves pregnancy, and what a girl will do for one more piece of pie before labor really kicks in. The year is 1971, and my now 41 year old son was finally ready to enter the world, 10 days late. Per doctor’r orders, I shouldn’t have filled my belly with pie, but there was an amazing pie store in Forest Hills called Four and Twenty Pies, and I just couldn’t resist. So off we went, our last romantic date before we became a family of three. It was a cold day in February…what better way to warm up than with a piece of pie right out of the oven!! I’ll spare you any jokes about the bun in MY oven. I still love pie, but after all these years pie crust still intimidates me. Maybe this book is what I need to impress my three grandchildren!

  • My absolute favourite pie to create in the kitchen is a dark chocolate pie with a short crust pastry. It’s incredibly rich and decadent, but each delicious morsel is completely worth the weight gain you undoubtedly put on after devouring a slice… or two… with cream (naturally). It’s an old faithful recipe which I love pulling out for dinner soirees, work bake-offs or when I’m just generally trying to show off a little. Happy baking everyone!

  • I am the baker and cook in my family, but a few months after I started dating my then boyfriend, now husband, he surprised me on my birthday after dinner with a key lime pie. He knew how much I loved them and secreted the recipe out of my recipe binder. The graham cracker crust was a bit off (too much zealous cracker smashing) but it was pretty lovely for a man who couldn’t bake.

  • My favorite pie story is one passed down from my mom. When she was young, and first dating my dad, she really wanted to impress his very proper parents. They were all getting together for dinner in the fall, and she knew that my grandfather loved pumpkin pie, so she decided to make one completely from scratch as a special dessert. Unfortunately, she didn’t know that there are special pie pumpkins meant for that purpose, and bought a regular old garden pumpkin instead. When they sliced into her pie, it was full of long, goopy pumpkin strands, and rather than a delicious pumpkin flavor, it tasted like raw squash. She was absolutely mortified, even moreso when my very proper grandparents tried to be as polite as they could and pretended to like it, even taking several bites of the pie just to be nice. She’s stuck to Libby’s ever since!

  • My dear mother would be over 100 if she were still around – but she used to tell the story that when she and my dad were first married, she was a terrible cook. She’d grown up in a large household, and her father (a well to do attorney with 11 kids) was able to employ a cook. When they married, mom was completely ignorant about cooking, but she knew her mother-in-law was a fabulous baker. As she attempted her first pie, dad decided to offer some unhelpful criticism, and mom, ordinarily a mild mannered sweetheart, picked up the whole thing and winged it at him. They managed nearly 50 happy years after that – and she did become the best pie-baker around.

  • Probably when I tried to substitute veggie lard with coconut oil, and it got rock solid cold in the frig. Ridiculous trying to roll it out!

  • In Montreal there is a place called Rockaberry’s and the pie is to die for! After I gave birth to my son by c-section he had to stay in the NICU for 2 days after we came home. My best friend brought me a Rockaberry apple pie and champagne to celebrate and cheer me up the first night we were home without him. My boyfriends mom was visiting when she arrived and had also brought a pie with her. She insisted we save the apple since it was fresher.
    Months later we were stopping by to visit my boyfriends aunt and decided to pick up a yummy lemon meringue pie from you guess it, Rockaberry’s. When we arrived they were warming dinner in the oven and the pie was seated on the counter. We hadn’t planned on staying for a meal and through a perfect storm of events we wound up heading home without getting a slice of pie. I was devastated! It had been the last pie and I had been craving it for days, which is why we picked it up in the first place.
    Without thinking I was relaying the story to my friend and telling her how bummed I was. “And it was the last one!”. She quickly chimed in about bringing the Rockaberry to me and my boyfriends mom serving her pie instead. Moral of the story, if someone is nice enough to bring you pie, be nice enough to offer them a piece!

    I must add that my boyfriends mom and aunt are lovely people. Sometimes these things just happen :)

  • I was on vacation in Montana and had just driven through Glacier National Park. At the end was St. Mary’s lake which was a beautiful vivid turquoise from the glacial run off. As you exited the park there was a cute little restaurant. It looked so quaint outside and the inside didn’t disappoint with chintz curtains, friendly waitresses and the most yummy home cooked food. It also had the most extraordinary selection of PIES! I don’t know if it was the fresh air, the beautiful landscape, or the quaint surroundings, but that was the best pie we ever ate. Everybody got a different kind of pie and we shared. Yum, yum and yum.

  • Growing up I always made pies with my mother on Thanksgiving. She would make something super grow-up like pecan or pumpkin, which as a child I despised (but love now). So I could still have pie for dessert, she’d let me make my own. It would always be jello pie aka a baked pie crust filled with red jello and chilled. No whip cream, no fruit added, just jello in pie crust. As a child, I thought it was the most amazing dessert ever, I wonder what I’d think of it today.

  • My favorite pie memory is when my husband and I had traveled to visit his family for Thanksgiving. His mom was making Thanksgiving dinner and asked me to help her make the pies! It was the first time I had ever made a homemade pecan pie, and it was delicious. I was so proud that I made a pie all by myself (almost)!

  • Watching my husband and son at their first attempt at baking an apple pie was great. It took forever but they were so pleased with themselves!

  • My boyfriend and I just moved 500 miles away from home leaving a lot of friends and family behind. I think his grandma and her baking is what we miss the most. She makes everything! Her pies, cookies, cinnamon rolls, bread, cakes, tarts… they’re all the best I’ve ever had. When we moved from Indiana to North Carolina I searched through her old hand written recipe book she had given my boyfriend in search for something I love and easy enough to make (I’ve never been the best baker). I came across her 150-year-old sugar-cream pie recipe that she had made me for my birthday. I slaved over this pie but it was worth it. It was so delicious and my boyfriend admitted it was better than his grandma’s! It makes me so happy to make something so well that reminds us of home every bite of the way. No one I’ve met since we’ve moved has ever heard of such a pie so apparently it’s a regional thing, which makes it even better to be able to make so well! When we start to miss home a whole lot, I make her sugar-cream pie and it’s just like being back in her kitchen!

  • My favorite pie making memory was helping my Mom cut rhubarb from our garden and making her homemade rhubarb pie. What a delicious summer treat!

  • Congratulations on your lovely book Ashley! Where I grew up, pie making at home wasn’t very big. But on special occasions like a birthday or Christmas, we’d buy an apple pie at a popular bakery. Each slice was served with vanilla ice cream…I can still taste it even if I haven’t had that pie in decades!

    When I moved to the U.S., I learned how to make my first apple pie through my mom-in-law. We made it after a day of apple picking, and the crust was made from scratch. We had a yummy dessert after a home-cooked family meal that evening.

    Every now and then, I make a savory pie (quiche) and a sweet pie, always making my own pie dough. It’s hard work, but the satisfied smile on my husband’s face makes it all worth it.

    And that’s what I associate pie with — a work of love, a slice of comfort, a reason for celebration.

  • Ah! I contributed a “Year of Pie” to my son’s school auction this spring! I’ve been making a pie a month for the school’s wonderful librarian (and parent of a soon to be 1st grader) ever since. The best pie that I ever made was the raspberry pie that I took to a fourth of July block party last year. I think that what made it was the berries that came from my garden and were picked moments before becoming pie. It was so good that we slipped it off the table and snuck it into my friend’s house and demolished it with spoons directly from the pie plate. We felt that the neighborhood kids couldn’t possibly appreciate it the way we could.

  • My grandma turned 99 this year and she taught me to bake her famous ‘lemon meringue pie’. Next week she will teach me to bake an apple pie. For me Grandma and Pie are synonymous!

  • Cherry pie was the first thing my grandma taught me – I still make as much of as mess as my 4 year old self, but I learned the secrets to a perfect crust. <3

  • My grandmother is quite famous for her pies (and crust) however, I have yet to make the leap to making anything other than an apple pie- which my husband adores. For me, pies and consuming them is somewhat of a love language. Every bite of grammas pies we ate as kids were dripping with love, and I’d like to be able to do the same for my family

  • I love baking and her pies look incredible! I always make sweet pies but have never attempted making a savory one before, this might be the perfect excuse to try my hand at it though!

  • I would love a copy of your book so I would have new recipes to try after watching Pushing Daisies. Watching that program with Ned the pie maker and his pie shop The Pie Hole makes me inspired to bake pies every time. I would like some special recipes to have on hand for the occasion. ( The movie Waitress is also pie inspiring.) The pie I get the most compliments on is my Dried Cranberry Pecan Pie. I took it to a Christmas dinner and my Aunt didn’t want to cut into it because the cranberries looked like little jewels. Everyone was happy she did though and I had to give out copies of the recipe to all of the bakers.

  • By far, my favorite pie experience was watching my oldest son (who is 13 months old) have his first bite of my lemon freezer pie (a recipe from my mom which is essentially key lime pie frozen instead of baked and made with, well, lemons.) His face alternated between sweet delight and not-too-sure lemony puckering but he ate his whole serving. Too cute! Love Ashley (a fellow North Carolinian), her blog and books. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • I have a thing about being a wonderful baker, unless I need to make something for a certain special someone (my fiancee). Every time, I fail miserably. One day, I find out that he’s never had a home-made pie before and I think – Hey! That is something I can remedy. I have an open faced peach pie that EVERYONE loves.

    Then I find out he doesn’t like peaches. So I decide to make this macerated lemon pie I saw that sounded delicious. I learned the hard way that there is a difference between the average grocery store lemon and a Meyer lemon. That pie was so sour it could suck the moisture out of your entire body.

  • My favourite pie experience is a classic on two counts: enjoying apple pie with cheese in the company of my late grandfather (who was a true classic himself). He’d say that apple pie without cheese was like a hug without a squeeze, and never served or enjoyed either without the other. The pie was my grandma’s, always made with Macintosh apples and shortening crust; the cheese, MacLaren’s Imperial cold-packed cheddar (creamy, sharp, and just the right crumble). A little slice of heaven, any time of year, and always a sweet memory :)

  • This librarian needs your book! My first and only pie baking experience was to impress a man, who’d mentioned that his mom’s lemon meringue pie was his favorite. Innocent that I was, I headed to the kitchen. My crust was tough, shrank down the sides of the pan, and did everything it’s not supposed to do. My sweet husband (who doesn’t waste anything) said (somewhat tactfully), “I think we’d better dump this.” It’s been frozen pie crusts and Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter jarred fillings ever since – not even touching meringue…

  • The pie book looks beautiful! And how generous to be giving away 5 copies of it! Congrats! I tweeted it. I’m a pie fiend myself. My favorite memory of pie was when my family took me out to this little log cabin cafe in the middle of the woods because it was famed to have the best marionberry pie in the whole county. You see, marionberry pie is my favorite pie, so they thought this would be a treat for my birthday. And it was! We loved it, especially warm with homemade vanilla ice cream melting over it! Yum, yum!

  • My pie baking is more along the quiche variety, along with custard and fresh strawberry pies. Would love to expand my repertoire, and this book sounds absolutely lovely. Thanks for the opportunity.

  • Favorite pie……ooooooo man…a rainy Memorial Day with friends, seeking refuge in a tasty BBQ restaurant…the best Apple Pie of my life…thank you Smokin’ Woody! Although I’m not sure any apple pie I have again will ever compare…

  • When I was a little girl we would vacation to my grandparents house in South Dakota. They lived on a huge farm with all the animals and a huge garden. The menu for dinner EVERY night was, steak, corn, potatoes, bread and for dessert, rhubarb pie and vanilla ice cream. I ate it for 2 weeks straight, my mother ate it her entire childhood and it’s still her favorite pie.

  • Welll….as peach season kicked in I couldn’t wait to make a pie! I shopped for the juiciest peaches, prepared the crust, mixed the filling, painted the egg wash and sprinkled the yummiest sugar on top. Into the oven it went. Checking along the way it was turning into a thing of beauty! Golden with juices bubbling, I took it out of the oven. Setting it down on the kitchen counter….it began to sliiiiiddddde off the cookie pan in sloooooooow motion onto the kitchen floor! Oh no! My son was standing and watching. I was devastated! I couldn’t throw MYPIE away. I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. So I got a long spatula and picked up a portion that separated in the splatter and ….I threw it in the trash. My son walked away. When he had left the room, I picked up the portion that remained intact and sat down at the table and inhaled the aroma of a freshly baked PEACH pie and dug in! Of course he caught me and will not let me live down that I ate pie from the kitchen floor. But he does not have the same relationship with deliciousness that is freshly baked PIE! Yummmmm!!!

  • We were hosting my family for Thanksgiving last year and I decided that I finally wanted to make a homemade pumpkin pie (I had never been responsible for the pie before and couldn’t wait to bake one from scratch). I also wanted to make homemade butter pecan ice cream – my mom’s favorite. In the chaos of preparing dinner, I put the pie filling in the refrigerator until I was ready to bake it. After we took the turkey out, I put the pie filling in the crust and into oven. Then, I put the ice cream mixture that was chilling in the fridge into the ice cream maker.

    The pie was weird… it took forever to bake and seemed like some kind of eggnog custard in a crust. The ice cream wouldn’t completely solidify in the ice cream maker, but I added the pecans at the end anyway. Both desserts were… let’s just say, it was a good thing it was my family (and that I had made cookie bars the day before too!) I didn’t know what was happening — I had made the ice cream many times before… All I could to was apologize to everyone for killing Thanksgiving dessert.

    You may have already figured this out, but I didn’t until the SUNDAY after Thanksgiving. My mom was trying to nibble on the frozen concoction that was supposed to be her ice cream and it finally hit me. It *helps* if you don’t try to BAKE ice cream and make ice cream out of pie. They were in the same kind of glass containers in the fridge and I had switched them by mistake. Laughing about it later might have been a better family memory than my dessert would have been…

  • Favorite pie memory is the PIE PARTY a dear friend and I dreamed up—all invitees had to contribute a pie, sweet or savory, to make a totally pie meal. It was a grand array from steak and kidney pie to all-American cherry. Definitely a challenge for some and opportunity for others. Altogether, though, a grand and unique gathering. This book could absolutely up the ante if we do a repeat!

  • I very proudly made a strawberry pie a few years ago. I baked it and let it cool at my apartment before bringing it to share for a bbq. I didn’t have a fancy carrying case or anything so a covered it with tin foil and placed it carefully on the back seat. I must have taken a turn to sharp along the way because when I got to the party i realized the filling had slowly been leaking out the side of my pan and all over my car seat. I ended up with less than half the filling but what was left was tasty!

  • This book brings me back to some of my most cherished childhood memories. Our family resided in a New York City apartment. My aunt and uncle, however, had a home with a nice piece of property in Connecticut. On this land, they planted vegetable gardens, and lots of different species of berry bushes. We would go for visits, especially in summer. All the plants were ripening or ready for use at the table. My uncle, being handy ,had built an outdoor stone firegrill/bbq. He also made an outdoor trellis,that was covered with growing leaves. Inside, a nice long picnic table and benches. Sometimes, we’d help harvest the bounty. Great fun for kids to go berry picking! My uncle would man the grill, while my aunt made the tasty sidedishes. Sometimes we’d have berry juice drinks,as well. Then came dessert. Several kinds of berry pies, offered plain or a la mode. Heaven on earth . Simple, beautiful, uncomplicated summer days and nights. Delightful!

  • I was one of those kids who grew up scraping out the filing and eating the crust (well, except maybe chocolate cream and banana cream filings). But, alas, my mom’s skills at crust and mine are not anywhere near the same. Perhaps this beautiful collection of recipes will be just the answer to my lack of pie-crust skills, not to mention the wonderful variety of fillings that I could share with my pie-loving husband. It seems (according to him) I don’t bake enough of them.

  • Nothings says love more than a pie made by your own hands! Best pie experience every year is harvesting fresh blackberries from the Northwoods in WI, rolling the dough, whipping the cream and savoring the sweetness at dusk with a million diamonds on the lake. I love summer pie.

  • Years ago, my sister and I owned a beautiful, old, classic yawl and sailed on the coast of Maine in the summer. At that time, the Dip Net restaurant, in Port Clyde, was a tiny little shack with the most amazing floor – glossy white with colorful lobster buoys painted on it. They made a coconut custard pie that was sublime.We would sail into the harbor, even altering course occasionally to go there, drop anchor, and take the dinghy in just to get that incredible pie. It was worth it!

  • This past Thanksgiving I was responsible for pumpkin pie and a side dish. When I finally got home from work I put the pie crust in to pre-bake, forgetting to add pie weights. Of course the crust came out mangled and I had to toss it. I resorted to store-bought crust and on the second pre-bake I forgot to line the crust with parchment paper so my weights were baked into the crust. I work late so it was well after midnight at this point and I obviously wasn’t thinking clearly (or at all). On my third attempt I dropped the pie pan. I called my mother crying and explained how I was out of crust and we simply weren’t going to have pumpkin pie this year. She sent my father over to pick up the filling I had prepared and was successfully able to assemble a pumpkin pie for us where I had failed. It was delicious but my first bite did taste slightly of shame….

  • There is this 50’s style diner close to where I live that has all kinds of homemade pies, just like my grandma makes them. It helps when I miss home. I love going there because they’re always different and always good. Plus, they’re very generous with the portions ;)

  • One of my favorite pie moments is probably the first pie making experience I had. I was over at a friend’s house and her mom had bought a ton of peaches which were all incredibly ripe. We went through the (what seemed like to me at the time – extremely arduous) process of peeling the peaches, slicing them, cooking some of them down, making the crust and then assembling the pies with whipped cream. At one point, we forgot to fork one of the crusts before baking it so there were all these bubbles in it, but no one cared because we were all enjoying being around each other and making food together. In the end, though, we had six gorgeous pies and it set me on the road to making pies!

  • Favorite: looking forward to my grandma’s pies every thanksgiving and Christmas! Most memorable: making her signature (lemon meringue) for thanksgiving while overseas and having it turn out awesome (!) and seeing a loaf of bread land on it and ruin the meringue . So sad!

  • Lovely book and recipe, thank you!
    I’m from Lancashire, England, and we’re all mad about pies there. There’s an art to eating an individual pie: first, use your fingers and break off the crusts outer edges and eat, tasting the rich, melt in your mouth, crust, Then with a fork, eat the top crust with the filling, and lastly (my favorite bit), with your fingers, roll up the bottom crust like a roly poly and savour the flavour.

  • According to my husband, the biggest hit of a pie I’ve ever made was a Tomato Pie using heirloom garden tomatoes from my own backyard, plus my own Genovese basil and red onions. Incomparable, although highly caloric! My current plants are beginning to bear well and i see another Tomato Pie on the near horizon.

  • There was this one time in Jerusalem where I was invited to a Thanksgiving meal with some American friends (I’m not American myself). The night was amazing; there was the delicious dishes, the Thanksgiving play (oh, college students teaching Thanksgiving to Europeans:), the hot cider, the games, the old man who kept telling me “Hairy Thanksgiving!” (his Alzheimer’s had obviously made him a bit confused), and… the pies. Seeing and tasting all these traditional American pies almost made me feel American! There was the apple pie, the pecan pie, the pumpkin pie…mmm! It was a great Thanksgiving night, one of the best nights in my life yet.

    I’m not saying I started making pies because of that Thanksgiving experience, but after I got back home, my pie production did indeed increase. Apple pie is what I make the most, and in June I tried a new recipe (Molly’s apple pie from David Loftus’ latest book). It was the BEST apple pie I’ve tried so far! I basically had a food moment, and I can only count on one hand all the food moments I’ve ever had. Pies are awesome!

  • My worst pie story is when my in-laws came to visit us for the first(!) time in our new home and i baked a lemon pie.
    And everyone loved it and complemented me on using real vannila beans (which i knew i didn’t…) but only later when washing the dishes i realized the “vannila beans” they refered to were teflon scraps i accidently scraped when i was mixing the lemon juice with the cornflour… In an old teflon pot ;)

  • i love pies. my favorite pies are definitely my mom’s. she learned from her mom, (and so on) and they make the flakiest most delicious crust. from scratch of course. :) i think the trick is the ice water. (?) for several years now i’ve tried to get her to open a shop, but i think she loves baking so much that she’s a little hesitant to do it for a living. we’ll see. i’m still working on her! so because i love my mom’s pies so much, i asked her and my aunt to bake a few for the dessert table at my wedding. the morning of my wedding she had a full blown pie station going in my husband’s (then, fiance’s) kitchen; black raspberry, and baked strawberry were my flavors of choice. they went quicker than my wedding cake! since then she’s baked pies for my best friends wedding, and others. i’ll always cherish the memories of my mom’s pies, for years to come. :)

  • I dream of my mother-in-laws lemon meringue pie. It was heavenly. Every time I try to make it, it is runny and yucky.

  • Hi Ashley,

    First of all, congrats with your Exquisite Book – Super!

    Thinking about ‘my favourite Pie Experience’ is not really easy and then again it is.

    But, to understand, you should know this. I have issues with eating, food and more. Not that I miss it, but I do seem to miss the feeling, the togheterness, the feeling of sharing and enjoying as I’ve been experiencing that one time I was with my mom in the city and for the first time and (little did I know then) for the last time as well, my mom and I treated ourselfs to the most sweetest chocolate tart ever.
    I do hope, and work hard, to get better. Especially for my mom and my boyfriend. I do not like to see them that worried. And thinking about little moments as those of the ‘tart’ sharing, can keep me motivated.
    Via this, I really would like to thank my mom and bayfriend for believing in me – maybe even more than I believe in myself.
    If ever I do get hold of the book, it will be hers. In that way we can not only enjoy sharing the ‘tart’, but the baking as well…

  • My father is a die-hard plain ole’ pumpkin pie fan. He requires one every Thanksgiving. One year I got creative and made a very yummy pumpkin and ginger pie with a crumbly topping which everyone except my father enjoyed after dinner because my mother made him eat his plain pumpkin pie that he so vehemently required she make. Catching him sneaking a piece of my pie later that night and getting him to admit there are some things just as good as plain pumpkin pie is a great memory.

  • I have 2 grown daughters who also like myself love to bake pies. They are our ‘thing’. We have always treated ourselves to pie when we could sneak in a girls night, without their two brothers or my husband. As soon as the males left the house, we would feel sneaky as we baked our pie, and savored eat bite together. We don’t waste a bit of the crust either,
    we always make the scraps sprinkled with lots of cinnamon and sugar, baked til crispy. Everyone, especially my husband, loves my apple pie, which is my grandma’s recipe. My mouth waters just thinking of pie!

  • I can’t make a pie. I am a decent cook and baker but I can’t make pie crust that I can roll out despite attempting every season. Pillsbury is my best friend

  • Many years ago when I was much younger and fearless, I entered a pumpkin pie baking contest at our local health food store. The rules were that everything had to be made from scratch, even using fresh pumpkin. Well, I had made a couple of pies before this, but never totally from scratch. I ended up getting first place – a blue ribbon and $25.00! It was pretty cool for a 19-year-old! I’ve made many pies since then. I’d love to see this book… I hope I win again!

  • For our first Christmas my husband and I lived in a rented flat in central Italy. I desperately wanted to make him his favorite Christmas dinner foods the good old American way, so, with limited availability of supplies I had a friend smuggle over the ingredients for a pumpkin pie. Lovely crust made, filling poured, oven preheating . . . And then, disaster. The power went out completely. About ten minutes later it went back on. I began heating the oven again. Again the power failed. Ten more minutes and it was back on again. This cycle continued for about half an hour until there was a knock at the door. It was the landlord’s son. “Are you using a lot of power?” “Just the oven.” “Well, every time you turn it on the breakers flip and all the power goes out in your house, our house, and my poor little grandma’s house and I have to trudge out to the shed in the snow and flip it. Can you use the oven at our house?”. So I gathered up my pie and stuck it in Riccardo’s oven, with my attempted instructions at testing custard doneness meeting his suspicious opinion of ‘pumpkin pie’. The pie was soupy, and we later found out it was the hundreds of ginormous Christmas bulbs Riccardo had strung in the trees that was causing the overload. We’d have been better off with a nice Pannetone!

  • We’d asked a couple friends to make pies for our wedding. Once the word got out that we were having pie brought in by wedding guests, everyone in my husband’s family ran to the nearest store and bought all of the pie they could! It was hilarious and endearing to watch person after person show up to the reception with a pie in their hand. Somehow the wires got crossed about our pie expectations, but we ended up having more than enough pie for everyone. Can’t complain about that!

  • When we were first married, I use to make a lemon meringue pie that called for sweetened condensed milk. One night we were invited to dinner, and I said I would bring pie. I only had evaporated milk but I thought – what’s the difference? I’ll just add a little sugar. Of course, it never firmed up, but I topped it with the meringue and took it anyway. On the way, we got hopelessly lost and very frustrated, jerking the car this way and that. When we arrived, both of us fuming, opened the car door and saw that the meringue had floated off the top and the pie had sloshed all over the car. Furious, as our hosts were approaching us with welcoming smiles, I scooped up the whole mess, threw it on the front lawn, and said, “there’s dessert!” Do I need to add that we were never invited back? No, I didn’t think so…

  • This book sounds fantastic! I LOVE pie!

    One of my favorite pie memories is when I was younger, learning how to make Sweet Pie (aka Italian Cheesecake which is a ricotta-based cheesecake in a pie shell with lattice strips on top). I learned how to make it with my grandmother and my mother a couple of days before Christmas as it’s one of our traditional holiday desserts. A few years later, just before Christmas, I lost my grandmother to cancer. But every year at Christmas when I share a piece of Sweet Pie with my mom we talk about our memories of my grandmother.

  • The first thing that popped into my head was Sunday dinners at my grandmothers… Grandma always had a pie for dessert. Always a different kind of pie, and always delicious!

  • When I think of pies I honestly have that traditional image of it sitting in the kitchen window putting off that delicious, flavorful scent to the passerby’s. Forget milkshakes, I would like a pie that brings all the boys to the yard. (And by that, I mean my two toddler boys …I’m a married momma.)

  • Last Thanksgiving was my husband (Jake) and my first Thanksgiving as a married couple. As we were preparing to host Jake’s parents, brother, and my mom for the family meal, my husband decides the night before Thanksgiving that we were going to make a homemade apple pie (recipe from Cook’s Illustrated’s Best Recipe cookbook). Mind you, I was thinking about the main meal, sides dishes, and getting the house cleaned, but decided to go along with my husband’s idea.

    Jake went to the crowded grocery store that Wednesday night, which took him about two hours to finally get through and finish buying everything we needed for the pie and other last minute items. We started making the pie at around 10 pm and it took us a total of THREE HOURS to finish baking it! However, I have to admit, it was definitely worth the time to spent on the delicious pie! On Thanksgiving day, we topped off our great meal with some warm apple pie and delicious french vanilla ice cream! My mom even praised it and suggested (jokingly) that we start our own pie business, selling pies for 30 dollars a piece (taking into account how much time we put into it). :)

    Overall, it was a delicious family gathering to share a great Thanksgiving meal with family, especially with some pie!!

  • This book looks so lucious and the recipes so tempting, that if I don’t win it, I will definitely buy it.

  • You know what is so great about pies? You can eat a piece(or two) for breakfast lunch and dinner and still want it for dessert. I feel like my roomate Emily and I look for excuses to make pies. And when we don’t have one… We make a pie anyway. And then if that’s not bad enough we can polish off the whole thing in a day. That’s why we always make two, so we can actually share with our friends. I did make a pie with some cherries from my moms freezer once and didn’t realize the pits were still in. It didn’t really stop my family from eating it, we just had to chew a little slower. In fact my family likes pie so much that my brother didn’t have any cake at his wedding only pies ! About 10 different kinds . My friend is an artist, a pie artist, her gift for their wedding was pies for the reception. I don’t think I actually at any of the food that day just PIE!

  • My mother-in-law makes an unbelievable fluffy chocolate pie. One recipe makes two pies. Without fail, when she walks in, this has been going on now for about 47 years, one goes on the dessert table and I hide the other one. Once or twice the hidden one is found, but most of the time it goes home with me. It is kind of a tradition now. Oh, and I also make sure I get a piece of the pie that isn’t hidden.

  • The last time my husband’s grandfather come to our house, I made a banana cream pie, his favorite. He passed away from bone cancer soon after that. Even though I didn’t grow up in a pie household (I come from an immigrant family), I’m so glad I was able to show him a little love with his favorite pie. And I’m so glad I went to the extra effort to make it from scratch! “Baba” was an amazing, extraordinarily patient man, and he will be greatly missed!

  • My grandmother (who I was named for) used to bake pies for her family for Thanksgiving and Christmas – about 12 at a time (they had a big family). She invited me to help bake pies a few years before she died and I will always treasure the memory. We only baked four different kinds of pies, but for me, it was a huge accomplishment. Her favorite pie was toutiere, a French-Canadian meat pie that was my dad’s favorite and I still have the recipe in her handwriting.

  • My mother had the gift of making perfect, light-as-a feather, flaky pie crust. One of the best things I inherited from Mom was the “flaky pie crust gene.”

    Mom once won first place in a pie baking contest at our town fair for a home made cherry pie. We were so proud of her – I think she won 5 silver dollars as the prize! (It was the mid 1970s)

  • Pies are our favorite desserts and it seems to have passed down thru our family. My husband’s father used to pretend to mark the calendar whenever they had pie at home and it was fairly often because that is what he liked best. Although, we don’t have than as often, my husband looks for the calendar to do the same thing. Our daughters, now grown, always request a pie for their birthday dessert and I love to make them…it ‘s all in the family I think.

  • I’m drooling just looking at the book cover… I love peach pie and I can’t wait to try the recipe. But, my favorite has to be sweet potato pie.

  • Try this for a really easy, really delicious pumpkin pie for the coming holidays: In a pie shell, spread mincemeat from the usual jar in a layer about 1/2″ thick before you pour your usual pumpkin filling in the shell. I brought this pie to a gathering of lady lawyers and you woulda thought I’d won a gold medal or something. That touch of mincemeat was really scrumptious.

  • Hands down, my grandmother’s cousin Mae’s rhubarb pie which I sampled only once (but two servings!) in 2002. My first cousins and I traveled from Dublin to Sligo to meet family (that only one of us had even spoken to) and see the homestead…and Yeats’ grave. We got off a bus and waited on the side of a deserted country road, save for a gas station. When one of our Irish cousins, a nurse, pulled up, she confirmed our names and then said, I’m so sorry I’m late! I was helping to deliver a baby and I said, love, you’ve got to push, the Americans are coming! When we woke up the next morning in our family’s farmhouse, I had the best breakfast of my life: eggs from the backyard chickens scrambled with tomatoes and chives and rhubarb pie. I’ve rarely eaten rhubarb since to preserve my memory of that stellar slice.

  • My favorite memories involving pies is teaching my daughter how to make them. She never liked cake. Ever. Her first birthday she had chocolate pie and she has been hooked every since. We are constantly trying new recipes. And the greatest part is that we make them together. Just the other day we were trying to decide on what to have for her high school graduation party next year and she was excitedly said let’s do mini pies for everyone. I have to admit I got a little misty eyee thinking about all the pies we have made as she has grown and how she will pass it on one ay to her children. That ia why I would like an autographed copy to give to her to start her own cookbook collection

  • My favorite pie experience is sinking my fork into a whipped cream and chocolate pie made with my great-grandma Villard’s recipe. Each bite feels like a hug passed down from from mother to daughter for four generations. When I eat that pie, I don’t feel so far from home.

  • My favorite pie moment(s) happen each time I go to Texas to visit my grandma. She always asks ahead of time what pie she can make me, and I look forward to the pie and grandma time all year long. I know one day I’ll be the grandma making those pie moments, and this book could help make them that much sweeter (and savorier!).

  • Once, when on a first date, my date asked me what kind of food I liked best. I answered, “Well, I have to say pie. I’m just really into pie.” Then I went on for several minutes about how pie was so delicious and versatile, how you could eat it for every meal, in such different variations, and you never get sick of it. He was looking at me strangely, so I asked him what his favorite kind of food was. He said, “Mexican.” I realized we had different interpretations of what that question meant. I’m always happy to affirm my love of pie!

  • I think my grandma was glad when I was old enough to bake pies. She sneakily shifted the Thanksgiving pie making responsibility to me one year in high school, I don’t even know how she did it. So now she still makes the pecan and I make everything from blackberry-apple and pumpkin to tofu Kahlua for my vegan sister and mom. Yum, now I want a chicken pot pie for dinner! Haha.

  • MY mom is an amazing pie cook. I, however, don’t Like many pie fillings. So she started making me crust with cinnamon and sugar on it at Thanksgivng so I would have something to eat when everyone else had their choice of pies. I would love to give this book to her.

  • I have a soft spot for pie because it reminds me of one of my favorite people in the world. Whenever my cousin and I get together, we spend the time being silly, laughing, adventuring, and baking pies. Our most recent creations are cinnamon pie and a nectarine, raspberry, lemon pie. Both were delicious!!! :)

  • I saw Evan Kleiman’s black grape pie post about 2 years ago when she was doing a pie a day challenge; I made the pie and took it to a party and it was a HIT. So that got me started making pies; I’d love to get the book so I can keep going.

  • One of the special desserts my mom would make is called Becky’s Chocolate Pie. Since she was the type of baker who made Rice Krispy treats look complicated, the use of a double boiler ensured we would only have this pie about once a year. But it was worth the wait! It’s so good, my aunt requested it as Thanksgiving dessert.

  • This year I became the “pie maker” for an amazing group of commercial fisherman in Kenai, Alaska. It is my second year in college and this summer I was looking for a summer job and an adventure! A month later, I found myself working a fish buying station. If the fisherman brought me a large amount of fish, I made them an apple pie. Only a year ago I started making pies from scratch: picking the sweetest blackberries in the sunshine and watching clouds of mist swirl through the yard. The best part of making a pie is the process and enjoying it with others. My family loved my first pie and soon I was sending pies to the neighbors, friends, and a group of commercial fisherman. Sadly, the fishing season was canceled due to low numbers of King salmon, but my pies temporarily cheered up the crew at dinner time. Next year, my college roommates are excited for a slice of my fresh fruit pie. I would love to have this book!

  • My most favorite pie is my Momma’s pumpkin pie. I put a twist on her 60 year old recipe by using egg nog in place of milk! There’s nothing better than pie for breakfast, lunch and dinner! I absolutely love pie more than any other dessert!

  • My favorite pie experience happened this last summer. After almost a year of separation sans visits to see my gramma, I finally got a chance. We had talked the year before about our love of cherry pie- so I brought cherries and made a double pie crust on her counter. It was the first pie I had ever made- and I poured all my affection for her into its preparation. We sat down together and ate warm slices in her old chairs- and were content.

  • As a girl, I spent one glorious summer in Maine with my grandparents. The blueberry season was long and the old wood stove in the kitchen was used daily to turn out pies, cobblers, tarts. Picking blueberries and then learning to make my first pie is a memory I cherish. My pie making continues and they always taste best when I pick the fruit myself.

  • I’m actually not too big of a pie person myself. The first time I visited my boyfriend’s family’s house, after dinner a pie was passed around. I politely declined and was greeted with a tableful of goofy grins. I awkwardly waited to be let in on the joke before his mom explained that he had an ex-gf who was apparently a pie fiend. He brought her home for Thanksgiving one year, and from all accounts, she devoured all of the pie in the house while repeatedly exclaiming, “I just love pie.” I think they were all amused (and relieved) to learn I am not a pie fanatic.

  • I was brought up with the notion that food had to be picture perfect and the pies and quiches always were. I now work in a rehabilitation center for the blind where the main emphasis is on independence. We teach our students cooking skills and in the pie making lessons, the apples aren’t quartered perfectly or the plums evenly sliced, but I know how proud our students feel when they present their own self made pies to their families. We have a number of recipes but your book would contribute greatly to expanding our knowhow and variety.

  • I always hated pie. I usually just ate the filling and left the crust. Until my husband made me a cherry pie…from scratch. That’s the day I learned my man makes a mean pie crust. And just when I thought I couldn’t get anymore smitten with him, he proves me wrong again.

  • I have been know my family and friends… the only way you can get me to eat fruit – is to put it into a pie! I love fruit pies, especially apple or blueberry or the two combined.

  • When I went to make a pie shortly after getting married first up was the crust. For the life of me I couldn’t roll it out into one nice piece. I tried a few times, called my mom for help, and was about to go buy a crust at the store when my husband came home. He helped me roll it out and while it wasn’t in one beautiful piece, we were able to piece it together and have a crust that would work and take up the pan. I went on and made a really great apple-bacon pie and it was definitely a team effort! And delicious.

  • A few years ago I made a “diet” version of pumpkin pie to add to the Thanksgiving festivities my brother and sister in law were hosting. I figured it would help me be good on the holiday that I seem to so often over indulge during.
    After being pretty “good” during dinner (not stuffing myself to the gills) I had enough room to try the diet pumpkin pie I had so proudly brought to share. As I dug into the soft filling and took a bite…only to find out it tasted AWFUL! It had no sweetness or any of the joy that I usually felt when I tasted a homemade pie during the holidays. With this disappointing experiment I learned that eating the yummy stuff on the holidays is worth it over the “diet” stuff!

  • During my post-university years I lived with a couple of friends. One might say the thread that bound us together was our love of pie. Every March 14th (3.14) we hosted Pie (pi) Day. Friends, family and acquaintances would all come round to ours and gorge on a selection of pies we had prepared. Needless to say, everyone would leave happy and full! Though we’ve all moved apart, each of us carries on the tradition in one way or another in our new homes.

  • You know that place in the front of datebooks where you put your contact info and what reward you’d offer if your datebook was lost and returned? I always write “Pies for life!” I mean it, too!

  • When I left for college (well, art school actually) my mom gifted me one of her Pyrex 8″ pie dishes so I could always make Quiche Lorraine for myself from the recipe she had taught me as a kid. The recipe itself has never been written down and these days I don’t really use measuring cups anymore, just eyeball it as I throw the ingredients together.

    While the Quiche recipe is somewhat flexible, my mother has used the same pie crust recipe religiously for 40+ years. It’s taken from the page in the Betty Crocker Cookbook where the spine is broken and flour crumbs, dating back to the early ’70s, are stuck to the paper. When the book was re-released about 12 years ago, she sent me a copy for my birthday, to ensure that my pie crusts would be accurately produced, even if the Quiche contents were guesstimated.

    Having banished wheat from my diet (and its sidekick, belly bloat ) in the last few years I have since adapted the Quiche recipe to work as a crust-less pie. Perhaps because of that old Pyrex dish that she gave me all those years ago, it still comes out wonderfully every time!

    Congratulations to Ashley on the publication of her beautiful book of pies. May it find a deep dish spot in people’s hearts, taking on the patina of flour dust, sticky fingers and broken spines that are a true sign of love!

  • Whenever I leave home for more that one day, I make sure there is a homity pie (with potatoes, onion, parsley and cheese) in the oven. DH has always something to eat then, in moments of despair :)

  • After reading the reviews and seeing the photo’s of your lovely book, I am throwing away my pie maker and ready made dough. Cant wait to try the recipe you gave for Peach and plum tart, Thank you so much.

  • I LOVE pies! I love to make pies though I struggle with the crust. My favorite pie is Shoo-fly! I haven’t had it in years though since I moved to Texas. Texans have no idea what it is! I want to get better at making pies. Pies are the heart of this country. I think everyone loves pie. Pies make people happy! Thank you for writing this book. I can’t wait to devour it!

  • When I was a kid my father brought home bean pies on the days he worked in neighborhoods with corner stores run by members of Nation of Islam. (That detail is only important because I’ve never seen any other group sell bean pies.) They were delicious. Years later the local paper ran a recipe for bean pie and I saved it, then one day made it for my dad (even though I hardly had the tools to make a decent pie). I considered it a crowning success.

  • Our family’s favorite is peach pie- very simple. Peaches, a little sugar, cornstarch and heavy cream in a good crust. Nothing better. My boys would rather have a peach pie than a birthday cake…
    What a great book, I look forward to trying the recipe for the peach and plum tart, sounds yummy!

  • Pie is one of my favorite foods, hands down. I typically have birthday pie instead of birthday cake, and I can eat a whole pie on my own over the course of a few hours. (My mom used to have to hide the pie so that there’d be some for the rest of the family.) My favorite pie experiences have been while living in DC: entering a pie-baking contest with some co-workers and baking a savory squash, onion, gouda pie, and then getting to sample twenty plus other pies that were entered in the contest, and later in the year, watching my boyfriend sign up for an impromptu pie eating contest and do a darn good job.

  • My favorite pie experience goes like this. I never tried pecan pie before – I always thought it was akin to pumpkin pie (which I dislike). We made friends with an elderly brother and sister at church – and the gentlemen became our son’s Grandpa Buddy and the sister became Aunt Flo. Our son is 8 years old and has autism and doesn’t have a wealth of people in his life. Bud and Flo use to go to Famous Dave’s all the time and every time they went they brought us a piece of pecan pie. One day I finally tried a bite and discovered that I loved it and so did my husband and Andrew. It has become our favorite and means so much more to us now because Grandpa Buddy passed away a few years ago and now Aunt Flo is dying of cancer. It will always remind us of them and I make pecan pie for special occasions and I’ve become the go-to girl for pecan pie.

  • I have had my handful of success and failures when it comes to pie. My favorite pies are always homemade with whatever the season has on tap (I can’t wait to try the recipe above). The best pie experience though, happens in the dead of winter when I just want to indulge in summertime nostalgia. I’ll pilfer through the freezer and collect the remnants of last years berry harvest and in one extravagant moment I will use them all in a pie! Yum! I am a bit of a berry hoarder and worry that I will need the berries for something else before berry season returns, but I never regret the experience of sharing a summer pie in the dead of winter.

  • The first time I attempted to make a pie crust, my husband and I were newly married and I was going to make an apple pie for Thanksgiving. After many unsuccessful tries of rolling out the dough, I took the whole thing and threw it in the garbage. There were lots of tears and many curses flying in the kitchen that day. Twenty-five years later, my husband and I took over my family’s blueberry farm and I told him I was going to make the blueberry pies! He got very quiet and said nothing. I think I made 50 practice pies in preparation and that summer I perfected the elusive pie crust with my own “secret” recipe. I just finished up my box of 1000 pie tins this year and I now teach cooking lessons at the farm(including a pies and muffins class)…ain’t life funny!

  • I love pie, salted or sweet, but I don’t like making the crust. So, when I learned how to make it in my food processor… Wow! So easy. Well now, I had to try every recipe I got my hands on and, have enjoyed everyone of them. It was a yummy journey – My hips don’t lie.

  • If the pies that I made could talk.
    Frozen pie shells and refrigerator dough are my friends. graham cracker crust is the end all be all ,key lime pie and my newest love coconut cream pies! in my 49years I have never had any until the other day little crisp toasted coconut on the top ,my new pal. I’m going back to the drawing board and try making my own pie crust (when the kids get back to school) Dust off my Kitchen aid,here I come apple pie.

  • I love pie! I should not be left alone with any kind of pie or I will eat it all. My favorite time to bake them is at Thanksgiving. My mom and I, for years now, have been making all the food for our family’s Thanksgiving meal and it’s an incredibly fun tradition. The pies are always amazing. We make three, apple, pecan, and pumpkin. We sometimes make variations of them, like lately we have been doing pumpkin butterscotch which uses real homemade butterscotch with a healthy dose of Johnnie Walker. So delicious. Everyone always raves and says we should go into business making pies. What a fun idea!

  • My favorite pie experience was lovingly baking a home-made lemon meringue pie from scratch as my in-laws were visiting- only to have my golden retriever steal it off the bench….. the tell tale sign was the bits of lemon curd and meringue on his nose. Disaster

  • I don’t know that this is my FAVORITE pie baking experience, but definitely my most memorable so far! Last Thanksgiving, I decide to make this delicious pear tart: http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/02/20/pear-and-almond-tart/. I had made it before, and was such a hit. This time around, I had just moved into a new apartment and didn’t have my kitchen fully set up yet. So when I went to make the crust, I decided to take a shortcut and use my cuisinart hand blender instead of pulling out the food processor. BIG MISTAKE! The cold butter had gotten stuck up in the blades and caused me to lose control of the blender. Next thing I knew, my finger was bleeding out of control all over the pie crust and counter. The slice to my finger was so bad that i had to go to the ER to get stitches and my finger was wrapped up in a huge soft cast. Needless to say, we didn’t get to enjoy the pear and almond tart this time around :(

  • When I was a very little girl, maybe 2 or 3, my mother was teaching me to make apple pie. We mixed the dough, rolled the crust, and added the homemade filling. Just as I was standing on a stool to put the top crust on, I sneezed in the dough. So my (very patient) mother threw out pie #1 and we remixed the crust, added filling, and as we were going to top pie #2, I sneezed again. We only had ingredients left for one more attempt but luckily I didn’t sneeze on pie #3. Most mothers wouldn’t have let there kids keep helping after the first pie, let alone the second incident. Very grateful she’s so patient :)

  • Several years ago on Thanksgiving Eve, my then boyfriend (now husband) and I were preparing food for our first Thanksgiving together. We had his tiny, apartment kitchen rockin’. He was working on the turkey, and I prepared some traditional sides. I also had decided to make a homemade, chess pie, and I’m talkin’ real crust, people. My boyfriend was raised on homemade meals, so I was trying to earn some brownie points. Anyway, I got most of what I needed out on the ridiculously small counter and started on the pie. As I mixed the ingredients together, I started to wonder about those frozen pie crusts I was more familiar with… How far away was the nearest Kroger? Nah. I can do this. How hard can it be? Then, there came the step in the directions that came out of right field. “Use a rolling pin to roll out your dough.” Seems obvious when making a crust, but that wasn’t what stood out to me. It was the “rolling pin” part. This was the point that I realized I was working in a kitchen that two, fraternity brothers occupied. In other words, this place had a few more options than the local bar. So, I started thinking about what I could possibly substitute for a rolling pin…full beer can, maybe? Then, I saw it. All you hardcore bakers better sit down for this. My heart skipped a beat when I saw a new, red, medium-sized candle still covered in plastic. Ya, I did. I rolled my pie crust with a candle. It did the job good enough. So, I continued. After trying to do some sort of fancy crust design, I settled for a more “unique,” homemade look. I poured the ingredients in and popped it in the oven. Once the timer went off, I checked it, and it looked like soup. I left it in a little longer. Still soup. Finally took it out, spilling some along the journey from the oven to the table, and my boyfriend, who could clearly see how disappointed I was, said, “It will thicken as it cools.” Bless him. After it cooled, we tried it. It tasted like watery cardboard. My boyfriend lied, and said it wasn’t bad…and encouraged me to bring it to the family dinner the next day. In looking back, I now wonder if he just wanted to hear my Dad’s reaction in person. Thanksgiving Day came and my pie was barely touched. Everyone convinced me it wasn’t bad, they were all just too “full” for dessert. It wasn’t until several weeks later that my Dad finally cracked and said it was terrible. We broke into laughter.

    Clearly, my husband didn’t end up marrying me for my homemade cookin’! That chess pie has been talked about at every Thanksgiving following, and we all get a good laugh. I have since embraced frozen pie crusts. However, I would love to try making my own again, and this time, I’ll be sure to use the rolling pin we received as a wedding present. Oh ya, I have also managed to make some pies that have actually been edible. :)

  • I recently was forced to make a pie in a frying pan. I only had one pie plate and had promised a quiche and a berry pie for a friends birthday party. The morning of the get together I realized I had only one pie plate and ran to the grocery store for another. Quite pleased with finding a ceramic dish, I rushed home, dropping the dish on the sidewalk and shattering it. I didn’t have enough time to go back to the store and still finish cooking the pie, so I improvised. An enamel frying pan provided a close alternative. It looked a bit odd, but came out fantastically! Pie is so versatile…. :)

  • The best pie I ever had was a pecan pie made by an older woman in a church I once attended. The pie was pecan and I was told as I got handed the plate that it was “the best”. I’m rather skeptical of a pecan pie claiming to be the best since it seems like all pecan pie recipes are a variation of the karo syrup label recipe. :) This one lived up to it’s reputation and then some! Sadly, I never had the opportunity to ask for the recipe and though my taste buds have been on the search since then.

  • At one point in my life I played the role of “Pie Fairy” delivering pies anonymously to people’s doorsteps. People who loved pie but did not bake them. A great way to surprise friends and not have to eat all the pies you have fun making.

  • I am always guaranteed to bake a pie at least twice a year – ricotta on Easter, and whatever random flavor I can think of for March 14th (Pi Day for math dorks). My favorite one of a kind pie baked for that special day was a combintaion of maple sweet potato pie on the bottom, with a layer of bourbon pecan pie on top. It was literally the most delicious thing I’ve ever made, but I’m almost scared to attempt to reproduce it – it was such a spur of the moment, throw things together kind of pie! That day is one my favorite holidays. :-)

  • My first baking disaster was in high school–many, many years ago. I was at my friend’s house for the day and her folks were at work. We decided to bake a pecan pie. For some reason we had a recipe written in French. My friend prided herself on her French and I was downright cocky about my math skills. So she translated to English and I converted the metric measures. The first pie—mush. Convinced we had made some simple error–I was sure it was the French translation and she was sure it was the arithmetic—we tried again. And again. When her mom got home the kitchen was spotless but she puzzled over why her pantry was so bare.

    We never got that recipe to work. And did I mention my friend and I were high school debate partners? The cause of our baking failures is one debate that was never settled. To this day.

  • I like to dabble in baking, and I like to think I’m pretty good, especially if I have a recipe -what can go wrong? So I recently decided to try my hand at pie crust. I found a basic recipe online and was concentrated on following it to the letter so I wouldn’t mess it up. I had it all mixed and took one last scan over the ingredients list to make sure I didn’t forget anything…’flour -check, salt -check, 1 egg -oh no, I forgot the egg! good thing I checked’. After cracking the egg in the bowl and beginning to mix it with my hands I realized from the sticky mess my dough had become something was wrong. Turns out I’d stopped reading at “egg” and didn’t see the very important note “for egg-wash”. I didn’t have enough ingredients to try again, but I’m looking forward to trying the recipe that’s posted, and I will not even take the eggs out of the fridge.

  • Every year we go apple picking and the first thing my oldest daughter asks is, “when are you going to make apple pie Mom?” I try to get her to help me prepare the pie, but it just doesn’t hold her interest. Now that she is getting older, I sneak a peak at her looking through my cookbooks. Maybe there is hope this year!!

  • I had a close friend in college, Erin, who took it upon herself to bake her way through a pie cookbook she had recieved as a Christmas gift. From January onward, she instituted a weekly Pie Night, and for the next two years proceeded to bake two pies almost every Sunday which she then graciously shared with friends and neighbors. There were theme Pie Nights to celebrate holidays, and Pie contents where we were all required to bake a pie FROM SCRATCH (including crust, her one rule). In all of this, Erin never asked that we pitch in, as long as we showed up on Sunday with a fork in hand we were welcome to join in! To this day, Sunday Pie Nights are some of my favorite memories from my last two years of college.

    Although she has since moved from NC to NY, and long since finished the original pie cookbook, Sunday Pie Night continues. I would love nothing more than to win & send Erin this cookbook so that she can continue her Pie Night tradition!

  • My pie story… I absolutely hate cherry pies, anything cherry flavored really, but my husband absolutely adores them, more than pretty much every other type of food in the world. So for a first anniversary present I made him a cherry pie from scratch. I had to wear a gas mask to do it, but it was a sacrifice for love!

  • My best pie memory was being asked to make the wedding pie (not cake) for a good friend. And then spending the whole reception eating pie after pie. Very good times.

  • Last Thanksgiving I baked my very first pie to bring to our family dinner. I had a little help baking it – well, a lot of help – from a friend of mine who was fresh out of culinary school. The pie was amazing and was something I probably could not replicate without her. My uncle normally takes care of the deserts, but he graciously made some room for mine. Now what you need to understand is that my family is a little more competitive than most – this is a family that organizes a “family Olympics” every year with games that range from speed puzzles to croquet to home-run derbys and we take it pretty seriously. There were some jokes about pie making challenges now that I brought my own, but I didn’t think much of it.

    For Christmas I received a new pie dish from my uncle, telling me to “bring it” next Thanksgiving – and he means it! Despite my explaining that I had a lot of help with my last pie, the challenge still stands. This Thanksgiving I am “bringing” it and it sure would be nice to have some help!

  • In high school my friends and I organized a “pie potluck” in our math classes on March 14th – Pi (π) day. My friend’s mom made this incredible apple pie that was gone in seconds. I asked her for the recipe and still use it frequently to this day, because it is the simplest, tastiest recipe around. The pie is known as “Mrs. Bei’s Apple Pie” – and the recipe has been copied and shared with dozens of friends and family members at this point. Whenever I’m heading to a potluck I always offer to bring dessert :)

  • My husband is the kind of guy that will eat anything, even if it doesn’t particularly taste good. A few months ago I made an apple pie using a “quick + easy” recipe. The crust was so bad I couldn’t even force myself to eat it. The pie sat in our refrigerator for a week untouched; a dessert doesn’t usually last a day in this house. Now my husband no longer gets excited when he hears I’m baking a pie. I hope to find some great recipes to change this!

  • I have an old cookbook from the 1920s and there’s a section devoted to pies. I’ve always wanted to bake my way through it – chess pie, shoefly pie, the random meat pies – some of them sound horrific, but I’m looking forward to finding some really delicious rarities.

  • My first attempt at making apple pie was six years ago when my daughter was 4. We read “The Apple Pie Tree” book and followed the recipe included. Super easy and kid-friendly instructions, which was encouraging for me (I am a horrible cook). Since then, it is the only pie I can make without disastrous results. And it’s delish!

  • My current fave pie is roast butternut squash, spinach and caremilised leek in peppery white sauce a flaky crust. Delicious!

  • I loved cooking and baking with my Grammy when I was a little girl. I remember baking a chocolate silk pie with her, and when the time came to put the pie in the even, she thought I was big enough to do the honors. Unfortunately, my nervous, shaking hands resulted in pie filling all over the oven and kitchen floor and lots and lots of tears. She just laughed and dried my tears and we started from scratch. She’s the reason I still love to cook and bake today. It’s all about spending time with the people you love!

  • I would LOVE to get this book for my friend who’s a wonderful baker and a big pie lover. She even hosts “pie nights” where everyone attending is requested to bring a pie – a real celebration of pie!

  • Apple pie is definitely an all time favorite. Topped with organic vanilla ice cream, nothing can beat it. Absolutely beautiful book!

  • I love making pies in summer with my mom and sister. My favorite is peach, but Mom’s fav is blueberry and rhubarb. We also make a great low fat / low cal strawberry pie that everyone loves!!! Highly recommend it for something a little different.

    My dad used to grow rhubarb in his garden and I remember Mom having to come up with a million uses for it. Thus began the rhubarb pie. I never liked it as a kid, but I was the only one!

    At Thanksgiving Mom was always in charge of the pumpkin pies. Sometimes she would adorn the tops with pretty leaves cut out of the extra dough. My favorite was when she topped the pie with Miniature Schnauzer shaped decorations (used a cookie cutter)! It was so great and our family is a “Miniature Schnauzer” dog loving family.
    I guess you could say we love dogs as much as we love a good pie!!!

  • My mother was always a terrible cook, so whenever she made something new we tried it with fear; however, there was one food she made and made incredibly – her rhubarb and strawberry pie. I don’t know what she put in that, but within minutes of it popping out of the oven my brothers and I gathered around drooling.

    I’ve since moved halfway across the world, but whenever I visit (every two years or so), she’ll make the pie an it’s like nothing’s changed. Still jabbing my siblings with my elbows to get the biggest slice.

  • In the good ole land of Oz a pie means sitting at the footy with a meat pie in one hand and a beer in the other… hardly classy in my mind. In fact the classiest pie my family has ever seen is the Lemon Meringue Pie my mum makes- and it is super tasty. But now Mum has passed the recipe on to me and the expectation is that I will discover a new recipe that will become the new family fave… Well I’ve tried Key Lime pie (something us Aussie’s have rarely heard of) and it was loved by my family but it was zesty just like Lemon Meringue… I am going to try the Peach and Plum Tart with Mint Walnut Pesto now and see how that one goes… and then maybe try a few others from this amazing book- the pics destroy my mums lemon meringue pie (no offense mum…. eek…). Oh and I do love lemon meringue but its time to move on and make a new friend- seriously!

  • I love to eat pie, but have yet to master a crust. I’d try and try, and muddle through with great fillings and sub-par crusts. Since my daughter was diagnosed with celiac five years ago, I’ve gotten rid of the the guilt of not mastering such a great cooking skill. Since I failed so miserably with traditional wheat flour crusts, I gave up my feeble attempts and now my favorite gluten free pie crusts come from Whole Foods!

  • My favorite thing about pies is the crust. Flaky crusts get me every time. My family learned not to buy pies to far ahead of time because if we had it for too long, it’d be crustless by serving time.

  • Around age 12 or so, my inner baker came out in full force. I started with cookies and cakes, then advanced to fall in love with homemade tart and pie crusts. The bonus of the tart/pie experience is that you can put whatever you want inside, which also appealed to my rebellious tween-self. What can I say, some rebel by sneaking out and partying, some rebel with pies. On the Worst Pie Day, I decided to go all out: pecan pie. This was my third time making the pie, so I just skimmed the recipe and followed my instincts. I was surprised to find that the pie wasn’t bubbling all gooey-like while it was in the oven. I stared at it for a while, and then double checked the recipe. Something had to be missing, after all. And it was. Something was definitely missing….corn syrup. Without corn syrup, my pie was basically a dry, crunchy mess. I was kind of bummed, but was quickly presented with an opportunity. In walked my 17 year old brother who wanted very little to do with me, unless I was baking. “What’cha makin’?,” he asked. “Pecan pie.” I offered him the first slice once it was done. When the pie was ready, I called him into the kitchen and presented him with the driest, most boring piece of pie I’ve ever made. Not a baker himself, he saw nothing wrong with the non-gooey slice and took an enormous bite of what was basically barely-sweetened pecans, then he tried to choke it down and said “it’s good!” I burst out laughing and told him what happened, and that he didn’t have to eat anymore. I’ll remember The Worst Pie Day, not only for my own mistakes, but for showing pre-teen me that even though our friendship wouldn’t blossom for a few more years, my brother loved me enough to lie about that piece of pie.

  • My favorite pie would have to be the first one I made entirely from scratch. Peach, raspberry and rhubarb. The fruit was from the local farmers market minus the rhubarb which was straight from my little urban garden in Baltimore. A combination I highly recommend with a giant scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. My kitchen looked like a disaster but doesn’t that make the pie taste that much better?

  • Just last week I made a beef bourbignon stew into a pie, and decided to make a different pie each week for the next 12 months – sweet or savoury. I would love some helpful inspiration!!

  • One busy Saturday morning my daughter asked me to help out in her restaurant kitchen. Usually I can make a great apple pie, so I volunteered to make one. The crust finished, I moved on to mixing in sugar and spices to the bowl of cut up apples. At that moment, my daughter walked by ad put a spice bottle onthe table. Thinking she had given me cinnamon I tossed in a couple of spoonfuls. The pie went into the oven and I went back to the counter to clean up. To my surpise and dismay I found the spice container still there and it said chili pepper!

  • I have always been a baker but I never tried baking pie until I started watching the short-lived but much loved show ‘Pushing Daisies’. The show centers around a man who owns a pie shop. There were always so many yummy looking pies on the show that I quickly became obsessed with making my own! I am now known as a pie maker among my friends and I am famous for my pear pie with gruyere baked into the crust- which was a flavor on the show that was made often to cheer up a pair of eccentric aunts. I am now preparing for my largest pie project- wedding pie for my best friend’s wedding coming up in September!

  • I love making apple pie, but haven’t made one since college. I’ve been wanting to get back into baking recently and Ashley’s book would be great inspiration! I’m dying to learn how to make pecan pie and cherry pie! Yum!!

  • I made a pie once for my dad for a family trip to Mayne Island, BC from Vancouver. I had gone hiking, picked salmon berries and cooked the pie the day before. I boxed it up and took the bus to work the next day. At the end of the day, I hopped on the express bus to the ferry that was standing room only. Just after we left the bus stop, the driver hit the brakes hard and my pie, which had been nicely horizontal all day was flipped vertically. Those few seconds of imbalance proved disastrous. It took an hour to get to the ferry and by then I was carrying a soggy, leaking bag. Somehow, I ended up in the control tower looking for another bag for the mess. Another hour and a half on the ferry and I was finally at Mayne and delivered the “special” pie to my dad. Lesson learned: salmon berries have a lot of liquid, too much for a pie, they are much better eaten in situ. (ps. this book looks yummy!)

  • when i first moved to denver (the big scary city!) a sweet girl at work was nice enough to invite me over all the time since i didn’t have any friends in town. we bonded over my box set of “pushing daisies” & challenged ourselves to make every pie in the show. our favorites were pear gruyere & apple gouda! nom nom nom! then we branched out & “invented” our own chocolate & peanut butter pie. i just moved to chicago to pursue my career (only after lots of encouragement from her) and i’d love to send this book to her as a big “thank you!” for all her many kindnesses. she invited me into her kitchen & made the big city feel like my hometown. plus she’s the one that got me into design *sponge in the first place! haha :)

  • I work for a community-based arts nonprofit where we support adults living in low-income neighborhoods in writing, publishing, and performing their personal stories. One of my most special pie memories is when one of our participants dropped by our office unannounced to present us with a beautiful pie he baked from scratch to show his appreciation. It was a wonderfully kind gesture and an honor to be acknowledged.

  • I’ll never forget the Lemon Meringue pie my aunt made when I visited her as a child. It was the perfect balance of tart and sweet. Each bite would melt in your mouth and the topping had a delicious toasted marshmallow taste. It was the perfect summer treat.

  • My dream is to eat a strawberry-rhubarb pie using strawberries and rhubarb from my yard in Alaska. I love making pies and taking advantage of our short growing season, but the ultimate in perfection would be to have a truly fresh, home-grown pie.

  • When my new husband first made me a chicken pot pie, I was a little apprehensive. I had just seen him wipe his raw-chicken-y hands on our nice linen kitchen towel. After suppressing the urge to scream and immediately throw the towel down the laundry chute (barely), I sat down to dinner. And the pie was incredible. I’m not ashamed to say I licked my plate clean. Saucy and savory with a flaky crust–it was perfect. He has gone on to make lovely berry and fruit pies, and I’d love to give this book to him for our first anniversary. We had pies instead of cake at our wedding, after all, so it would be the perfect gesture.

  • the husband and i found a phenomenal pie shop while on vacation in Maui this summer and stopped for an amazing chocolate macadamia nut hand pie a whopping 4 DAYS in a row. a little embarrassing, but it was too good to pass up!!

  • Gooseberry Pie! Gooseberry is an often neglected fruit although it has a fabulous taste! It is also amazing as a sauce or a jam but my favourite now is the pie!

  • I love making ‘matador pie’ (beef steak, chorizo, olives, tomato, sherry, manchego cheese and butter beans in lovely pastry) and so I made it especially when 4 of my friends travelled across the country to see me in my new place. I made the pie dreaming of lovely long chats into the evening and of catching up with the friends I had missed so much. Unfortunately, the pie was so heavy and dense, and the friends journeys so long that everyone ate the delicious pie, but then retired immediately to the sofa and all fell asleep! It seems you have to be very careful with the soporific power of the filling winter pie!

  • several years ago i was hiking around in new zealand with my boyfriend (now husband) and two friends of mine. being the out-of-shape american, i was huffing and puffing and slowing the whole group down… but i finally made it to the bottom of the tiny mountain (more of a large hill, really..) where we stopped at a cafe. i got the last hand pie in the case and it turned out to be chicken, brie, and blueberry. best combo ever, and very energizing after a long hike. (:

  • I came to the US for a visit in 2003, met and fell in love with my husband and moved here in 2004. I learned early on that his favourite dessert was cherry pie but I was intimidated at the thought of making it myself until his birthday this year and since then I’ve made a pie every week. Mostly cherry and lately apple. I’m in love with the whole process and excited to learn more. Next on my list is rhubarb… and definitely the recipes on this post! Yum! I’m also really eager to learn some savory pies that I grew up with (English and all) – pepper steak, steak and kidney, chicken and mushroom, spinach & ricotta… yumyumyum!

  • What a coincidence today’s post is about pie! My hisband and I visited friends in Dublin at the weekend and we stumbled across an amazing little café called Queen of Tarts which does THE most amazing pie, I had a mini lemon meringue pie and my husband had a chocolate, pear and almond pie. Our visit has inspired me to try and reinvent these and this book would certainly help!

  • Favorite pie experience? How can I choose just one? I have to say making lemon meringue pie with my mother-in-law was a memorable bonding experience.

  • I learned to throw pottery in high school and majored in ceramics as an art student in college. A potter has to wedge the clay to remove any air pockets, or the piece will explode in the kiln as the air tries to escape. When I was newly married in the mid 1970’s, I learned to bake bread. Kneading dough is the same as wedging clay and I loved the connection between art and cooking. One day, having some fresh blueberries, I decided to try my hand at making a pie and figured if kneading dough was good when baking bread, it must be good to do when baking pies-why I didn’t read a pie recipe all the way through escapes me now, but I worked that pie dough with vigor. When it came out of the oven, it was thin, almost clear and as tough as cardboard. My new husband and I ate the filling and I learned first hand, that a light hand with pastry was an important rule to follow when baking pies. Since then, I have used my great grandmother’s crust recipe and I have made many successful pies through the years. My daughter adores baking, even more than I did in my prime, so if I am lucky enough to win, I will gift this book to her.

  • My brother has never been much of a chocolate person, and his birthday is in August. I don’t recall him ever having an actual birthday cake on his birthday. Mom always made him a big cherry or blueberry pie instead! A candle fits perfectly in the center of a well-marked crust. :-)

  • to be honest, I haven’t had that many pie experiences aside from actually eating pie. I live in Germany and pies here are not the most common thing…unfortunately.
    But I will be moving to Canada in the fall to live on the prairies with my Canadian husband, and I certainly will have to learn some good pie recipes to impress his folks!
    Your book looks beautiful, and I’m sure it’ll do the job of teaching me how to become a proper North American pie baking housewife!

  • I have never made a pie from scratch – crust intimidates me, but I want to give it a shot! Ashley’s book looks like just the inspiration I need :)

  • I’m a Canadian who has been living in Uganda for the past (almost) three years. It’s been a blast to cook here with tons of interesting local ingredients, but I’ve put my baking on hold after a hilarious, but disastrous pie making experience: I was hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for friends and pumpkin pie was obviously on the menu. I started with the crust – like any good baker, I laid all my ingredients out on the counter and started measuring. When I went to add the flour, I found it was full of maggots (a not too uncommon experience here)! So I sent my man friend out for flour. He came back with frozen puff pastry dough – good thought, but puff pastry is not pie crust… and this tube happened to be past it’s expiry date by 1 year (expired products is also not that uncommon)!! Oh well… While I was searching for my pie plates, my housemate sheepishly informed me that the pie dishes had broken and were now being used in the garden. Riiiight, so I rolled out my 1 year old puff pastry into a 12 inch casserole dish. Next was the filling – I had brought a can of pumpkin pie filling with me from Canada for this very occasion, you know the kind that has all the spices and is pretty fool-proof. I had saved it for months. I opened the can ready to dive into the delicious pumpkin-ness…but the can was half empty! No joke! Something went wrong at the canning factory and I was the 1 out of a millionth person that got the dud can – and carried it from Canada to Africa! Oh well… I added some butternut squash and sweet potato, sugar and a lot of cinnamon (my only spice at the time) to increase the filling. Friends arrived, we ate the usual fixins’ and a turkey (which while I was trying to bake this pie, this turkey was being slaughtered outside my kitchen door and cleaned in the kitchen sink…then I was chased around by the man friend yielding turkey feathers. Ha.). I put the pie in the oven. We ate and drank some more. I went to check on the pie and the oven was cool. Not hot and radiating the smell of baking pumpkin pie, but cooled right down! We had run out of gas for the oven (think propane tank you would use for a BBQ – that’s how our oven is powered)!! But I would not be defeated. The man friend went and filled the gas tank and brought it back (on the back of a motorbike…not a great idea…). I put the pie in the oven and a while later a very strange looking, almost pumpkin pie emerged. We all gathered around the table and ate it straight from the ‘pie dish’ at 11.45pm, only a few hours after dinner had finished… It was delicious. That was 2010, I haven’t made a pie since, maybe a new book would help?

  • I love making apple pie. I worked for a caterer in high school and college who made the best apple pie in the world (and even made me my own for my birthday one year). One day, I was tasked with making five of them. I committed the recipe to memory and think of her every time I make one.

  • My father used to auction off homemade pies in my elementary school fundraiser. One year someone ordered their pie for a party they were throwing and when we got hit by a snowstorm my father and I packed the pie up and dragged it to them on a sled.

  • Last summer I made a pie for the first time. It was rhubarb pie with a meringue topping, and my grandma watched over me (but gave no directions!) as I tried my best to follow her recipe. I was so happy when it turned out, and my entire family enjoyed it!

  • When I think of the pie book it conjures up memories of a sweet and delicious American PECAN NUT pie, a savoury British CORNISH pie, a light and delicate French TARTE AU POMMES and a little Swiss CHEESE PIE. And that`s just the beginning of my pie adventure …

  • My mom is an avid pie baker, and is known as such throughout our entire extended family. She is usually charged with making no fewer than 8 pies just for our Thanksgiving feast, not to mention the many birthday and other season pies she bakes. Recently she has been buying pies from Greyhouse Pies in Cleveland, Ohio – have you heard of them? They are quite delicious for a little place! But she needs to get back into her own baking spirit, which is why I would love your book to give to her as a gift! I love that your book has beautiful looking photographs, and makes me want to join my mom in her hours of baking. :)

  • Growing up my Oma (Grandma) made three pies a week – one for her, one for the freezer and one to give-away. I would beg my Mom to go to Oma’s for pie day! When I saw the blueberries out I knew the give-away pie was going to me :) At first my job was to pack up the pies – we always used milk bags. Walking past the milk aisle in the grocery store always makes my mouth water! Next I learnt to pinch the edges – I remember being ecstatic the first time I got all the way around smoothly. As I grew up she taught me more tricks (using water as glue, how to weave a top, making fillings with what we have) and our conversation evolved too. I learnt so much family history under the cover of pie making! Recently my Oma’s pie-making future became uncertain but the thought of the quiet afternoons we’ve had is so comforting. I know pie day won’t be leaving our family traditions anytime soon.

  • My grandmother is a queen pie maker but for some reason cannot make a chocolate custard pie to save her life. Every year for my birthday she attempts to make me one (my favorite kind of pie) and every year we are forced to choke down a watery separated pie to make her feel better about it not turning out (again).

  • My grandpa is an amazing pie baker, it’s his specialty and everytime someone’s coming over, he bakes a pie, regardless of the occasion. Then he basically forces you to eat it! He’s someone you can’t say no to. Luckily his pies are really, really good. Just basic, wonderful pies. He’s passed on a few recipes, but when we make them, they just don’t seem the same. It’s just one more reason to love visiting my grandparents!

  • When I successfully whipped up an apple pie after just one home economics’ class, my pastry-impaired mother declared that I must have gotten my paternal grandmother’s pie making gene. My so-called genetic gift changed my life forever when I successfully wooed my neighbor with a blackberry apple pear pie. My neighbor is now my husband and a willing guinea pig for new pie flavors (strawberry rhubarb plum anyone?). I wish I could have profusely thanked my grandmother for this wonderful gift before she left this world, but I like to think she’s looking down on me whenever I share little slices of gooey heaven with others.

  • To me, summer means eating pie for breakfast. Peach is the preferred pie in our house with blueberry coming in a close second. Pie makes me dream of those muggy mornings waiting to go to the pool with our mother-while she finishes off the pie out of the tin for breakfast.

  • My favorite pie experience occurs every fall, when I don a tattered apron and pull out my grandfather’s apple pie recipe. It’s on a faded, splattered recipe card, and for those quiet hours when I am creating that pie for those I love, I feel as close to him as I can get since he’s been gone.

  • I first got into pie-making when I discovered that I had an allergy to uncooked stone fruit. It quickly became my favorite way to enjoy the delicious peaches, plums and cherries of summer. My favorite place to buy these coveted fruits is the Flying Fox stand at the New Amsterdam Market in NYC. Her fruit is unbelievably juicy, and you can tell she really cares about the growers and their product. Just made a peach pie with lemon basil last weekend – quite the treat!

  • I was afraid of baking pie for a long time. For some reason, it just seemed tricky. So I was soooo proud of myself when I finally made my first pie. And it was yummy! It was a big I’m-an-adult-now milestone for me, silly as that sounds.

  • As the one member of my extended family who lives out of town, I’m not expected to bring anything to Thanksgiving dinner, but I do get asked what I want. Every year I want the same thing: plain ‘ole, traditional pumpkin pie, and every year my mother refuses to give in. “It’s too boring,” she says. She’ll make pumpkin roll or pumpkin cheesecake. One year there was a pumpkin chiffon pie disaster that was more like sweet pumpkin soup in a crust. This year, plane ride or no, I’m making my own.

  • Pie is a subject of many lovely memories. One of the funniest events involving pie happened a few years ago when just my sister and I were living together in our own apartment. We were craving sweet delicious chocolate pie and decided to invent one. We threw baking leftovers into a bowl; the last of the chocolate chips, one raspberry-filled chocolate candy, nutella, frozen raspberries….and then poured the mix into a crust and baked our creation. It smelled heavenly and looked magnificent. In the interest of our waistlines and promoting family bonding, we picked up our other sister from school and drove the pie home to share with the family. When we arrived, I asked my youngest sister to grab the pie out of the backseat, where she was riding.
    “What pie?” she asked. I blanched. Her hands flew to her behind, where she found the top of our homemade raspberry-chocolate pie, still warm, smooshed into her pants.
    Hilarious and heartbreaking, we couldn’t be mad at her for sitting on the pie, but we do feel we missed out on a never-to-be-recreated pie. We just sigh, smile, and shake our heads at the comedic tragedy.

  • I love pies and Ashely’s website. You can’t beat a fresh baked fruit pie in season. Anything tucked in between flaky pastry- I’m there. Can’t wait to try her recipes! xo

  • Buttery pastry with anything yummy, fruit, creamy sauce and chicken- heaven. Pie is
    just so good and comforting- it’s a treat to share or just eat with a fork.
    Thanks for sharing. Love Ashley and DS.

  • My mother always made wonderful pies. Including that old Southern favourite, fried apple pies. My crusts on the other hand, always came out badly until my life partner’s mother gave me her recipe (she had been a cook in a Yuba City elementary school). Not only was the recipe foolproof, it was a link to my partner who passed away in 1994.

  • Pie has always had a very prominent seat at our family table. My earliest memory of pie is delighting in the scraps of crust my mother and grandmother would bake off – sprinkled in cinnamon sugar- for my brother and me. I don’t think those poor scraps lasted more than a minute, cooled off or not. Odd, misshapen cuts of pure sugary, flaky, buttery joy. These “outcasts” are now my children’s favorite. (And maybe mine still too….) Devoured in moments- cooled off, or not.

    Congratulations, the book looks good enough to eat.

  • One of the first times I ever baked my own pie it was Thanksgiving morning in 1993 in Seattke and I called my mother back in Boston, herself a prolific pie baker. I asked her what her apple pie recipe was. I can still hear her response: “When do you need the recipe for?” Me: “Right now. Today.” Her: “What??!! You’re making it today?” My mother is all about preparation and planning, and to be this unprepared was absolutely nuts to her. Needless to say, she gave me the recipe and I made the pie. And I’ve tweaked her recipe since then, making it my own… I’ve also made many pies since then, but this moment, this time when I realized the kind of baker I am and the kind my mother is, sticks with me.

  • Not a disaster but certainly not what I’d planned….
    For special people, I often bake Gateau aux Poires, a simple butter cake with pears from a recipe shared nearly 40 years ago by a French friend I met in a newcomers’ group Princeton, NJ. The recipe is still on the faded pale blue stationary with a sprinkling of flowers in one corner, written in her equally flowery hand. It has the minimum of ingredients you’d expect–eggs, butter, vanilla, sugar and the pears, and it is simple, rich. Within the soft texture of the cake, your tongue is pleased and rewarded to come across the sweet juiciness of pieces of pear.
    I just dazzled myself with its simple perfection one too many times and awaited the compliments after dinner, and of course they came. They knew what it was called and that was what they had waited for. And one person finally asked, ‘But why is it called Gateau aux Poires or pear cake when there are no pears in it?
    Alas. That was the time I forgot the pears. I was so embarrassed to see them sitting alone in the kitchen but we laughed a long time, and they’ve often asked to have that famous cake again, but maybe with pears in it.

  • Growing up, I always loved pie over cake. For every birthday, it had to be pie! And for my wedding, I chose to have a pie table instead of a big wedding cake. We found a baker who made exquisite pies and gave each guest a choice of cherry, apple, pecan, or fresh strawberry. At the reception we decorated a table with antique pie stands and rose petals. It was beautiful (and yummy!!), and we even had a mini pie for us to cut!

  • The first weekend after I moved into the house that would be our first home as a married couple, we had a fantastic and beautiful snow. I had had my eye on a recipe for Meyer lemon shaker pie, and decided that a snowy weekend would be the perfect time to try it out. There’s nothing cozier than rolling out dough, filling it with bright yellow lemon filling, and returning from a walk in the snow to the smell of a freshly baked pie!

  • I worked as a baker at Tartine bakery in San Francisco for three years. I left just over three years ago to become a teacher, and while I love what I do now, I miss baking and the feeling of “I made this” that you get from a finished product. I also miss the feeling of squishing butter with my hands. During my time at the bakery I made tart shells, pie shells and cakes, and while I felt totally capable in that big kitchen with it’s walk in refrigerators, and big convection ovens, nothing strikes fear in me more than the idea of making pie at home. I’ve done it. It’s been fine. But it’s also been a disaster. I love pie and I love how excited my friends get at the thought of me making them pie, but nightmares of dough sticking to the counter top, holes that can’t be repaired, and not living up to their expectations, usually equal no pie. My favorite though is peach raspberry or peach blueberry!

  • We were still back in Russia, I was in 7th grade and my mother’s birthday was coming up, so I decided to bake her an apple pie as a present. My mom is an excellent cook. She would always include me in helping her with baking by giving me some small tasks. So, I consulted my brother’s mother in law on a recipe, gathered ingredients and started baking. Even though only 13 years old I was often by myself in our summer house and had to prepare my own meals. It was nothing extravagant: french toast, pancakes (blinis), pastas, salads, etc. We also were growing lots of berries and vegetables in our garden and frequented the forest for berries and mushrooms. I was often the one who made preserves for the winter. So having all of this cooking experience under my belt I did not think twice about being able to make a pie.
    I did everything right, I sweare, but when the pie was ready not even my dog would eat it (and our dog as most of the dogs would eat absolutely anything). This was a traumatic experience for me and for the next 20 years I deemed baking an impossible task that just was not for me. Until a few years ago when i decided to give it another try and made a simple, but very delicious apple pie.
    I have an 11 month old daughter and we have recently moved to Sebastopol where we are planning on growing fruit trees. I am hoping to do lots more baking with my daughter using ingredients from our own garden.

    Congratulations on the book!

  • My husband’s favorite pie is chocolate pudding pie. I made it for his birthday once and it is now a yearly tradition. He has been known to eat the entire pie, so last year I had to make two, one for him and one for the rest of the party.

  • My six year old daughter wanted to make a pie for daddy and wanted to do most of it herself. I found a pat-a-pan dough that she could make right in the pie pan. She really enjoyed pressing up the sides. Then she proceeded making a chocolate chip pie with my help. I was concerned that the pie crust wouldn’t taste very good because it went against everything I ever heard about pie dough. My daughter was immensely proud when her daddy exclaimed how delicious it was, especially the crust. I still prefer “traditional” pie crust, but this is used when my daughter wants to make pie dough.

  • I have so many pie memories, but my absolute favorite is baking pies for my wedding. The day before the “big day” when most women are off to the spa for some relaxation with their bridesmaids, I was in my best friend’s grandma’s kitchen covered in flour with my matron of honor and one of my other bridesmaids. We arrived at Gramma’s (as everyone affectionately calls her) house by 10 am and got to work. Gramma, who was in her mid-80s, still managed to fuss over us mixing the crusts and getting the fillings prepared even though we kept trying to get her to sit down. Over the course of the next 6 hours we mixed, rolled, chopped and baked our way through 8 pies (9 if you include the rhubarb pie Gramma through in for herself for good measure). Apple, pumpkin, peach and of course the pear almond tart that made my husband fall in love with me (so he says!). The day was full of laughter, memories, tears and lots and lots of love! This has to be one of my favorite memories of my wedding – it was so special to spend this time with my friends, especially my best friend since childhood who now lives on the other side of the country. We have so many childhood memories from Gramma’s kitchen, and we even got to share this one with the next generation as my friend was 8 months pregnant with her daughter. One of the reasons I love to bake is because you get to share something wonderful with people you love when it’s done – I can tell you that every guest at our wedding could taste the love in those pies!

  • Pie is my American experience: I’ve been in the US for almost ten years and I remember the first time I had apple pie, in a Los Angeles diner where I also had my first real milk shake, and I was instantly smitten. Peach pie in Kentucky, strawberry-rhubarb in Montana, pecan pie in Texas, blueberry in Maine. A love affair. I started making pies for friends’ birthdays instead of cakes, asking each new lover, each new friend about their favorites. I’m an american, now, and a pie-making american at that.

  • My husband loves fruit pies and I love cream pies. As you can imagine, this difference of opinion has brought many a tense moment to our marriage. Banana Creme or Apple? Chocolate Silk or Blackberry? A difference in pie preference has taught us a lot about being married. Choose your battles. Sometimes I win, sometimes he wins. In the end though – everyone gets pie, so, that’s not too bad!

  • I’ve recently moved to New Mexico and discovered a tiny town called Pie Town! They have a pie festival every September and I can’t help but imagine it as a pie themed Brigadoon!

  • Oh, I’ve always liked pie… my parents looooove to tell a story about little pie-loving me as a child. We were visiting a museum (although I don’t remember why/where) and there was a exhibit on baking/pie making. I leaned in so close to look at the pies that I bonked my head on the glass display case and ended up with a pretty big knot on my forehead.

  • I recently baked a pie in my cast iron skillet for the first time and freaked out about how good it was. Best pie crust ever!!! I thought I invented it, but some internet searching proved that I did not. I’m still proud of myself for the discovery…

  • Pie makes me think of my grandmother. It is a food memories that I absolutely cherish. She made two to three pies a week for us grandkids and my grandfather. Her rotations would include: Apple — made with fresh apples from her Crab Apple Tree in the backyard. She would peel the apples, soak them and use them right away or freeze them to enjoy another time. Coconut cream, this one was my favorite, she actually made the meringue and I have never found a duplication to her yummy Coconut Cream. Pumpkin pie, she would instead sometimes use zucchini fresh from the garden and it surprisingly tasted similar to the pumpkin. Pecan pie, made with fresh pecans picked form a local grove. This and pumpkin were fall favorites. She would also make peach cobbler a lot in the spring and summer.

  • My favorite pie experience came when I was a child. My Grandmother taught me to make a pie from scratch from all her years of perfecting her recipe. I had fun gathering the small tart apples with my grandfather from my grandparent’s yard, then taking them inside and baking with Gram. You wouldn’t think of apple trees growing on a busy street on the south side of Chicago, but that’s where my grandparents lived. What was so special about that experience is that I got to repeat it throughout the years of my childhood. Sometimes we’d add a little pear to our recipe, sometimes yellow raisins, or we’d make the pie special by cutting out pretty flowers and leaves in the dough to embellish the top crust. I think pies really come from the heart.

  • I cannot think of pie without thinking of my dad. As a child some of my favorite memories are berry picking in the woods with my father. The most memorable was the time we were blackberry picking and got caught in an unexpected summer storm-we waited out the weather under the boughs of a large pine tree. That night the pie seemed to be even sweeter due to the effort to get the filling!

  • Wow, this recipe looks great, thanks for posting (I’m also a huge fan of the cover, kudos to the designer)!

  • My favorite pie experience is making pineapple custard mini cup pies with my grandma and aunties. The smell while baking is nostalgic!

  • We love pie! Every year the day before Thanksgiving we host a pie party. Friends come over with ingredients and recipes and we all bake our thanksgiving pies together. I can not tell you how much fun we have, what a mess we make, and how many pie tips and ideas have been exchanged at the party. Your book would be a great addition for the party this year!

  • My boyfriend (now my fiancé) and I went on a hike through Tilden Park near Berkeley, CA on a beautiful, breezy fall day while we were taking a study break. We had brought a frisbee with us, but the wind picked up to the point that there was no way we could play (and I was already handicapped by my horrible aim), but we just kept hiking around since we still needed a breather from chem labs and English papers. We had been walking for a few miles when my boyfriend stopped suddenly, let out a yelp, and picked something off of a bush. It was a huge, ripe blackberry. We started picking all of the berries off of the bush and popping them into our mouths, and we had each eaten a couple of pints or so before we began slowing down and took a second to really look around and where we were. The whole path behind us was lined with blackberry bushes, their branches bent and brushing the dirt from the weight of the fruit, and somehow we had been so distracted that we had almost not even noticed they were there. So we did what anyone else with a frisbee in a blackberry patch on a windy day would do, and we filled that frisbee as high as we could with as many berries as we were able to pick. We carried the frisbee for the few miles back to my boyfriend’s tiny apartment, where we made the most beautiful and delicious pie I have ever eaten in my life. We will be having blackberry pie at our wedding. :)

  • my crew loves pie! who doesn’t? we love love love ashley’s other books and this one would be on the front lines in my cookbook collection! all the collaborators i have read their blogs and love the recipes too..thanks for the opportunity…love from the maine woods :)

  • When I was about 14, our raspberry bushes went crazy and we had raspberries coming out of our ears! I remember picking quarts and quarts of raspberries and making them into pies with my best friend. We perfected the art of lattice tops that summer! Raspberry pies are my absolute favourite – I miss them now especially when I don’t have free organic raspberries at my disposal… Another pie tradition in our house is to sprinkle the leftover dough scraps with cinnamon sugar and bake them into strips – a perfect treat when waiting for your pie to finish baking!

  • Pie–my grandmother and my mother made the most delicious pies–raisin, apple, lemon, pumpkin chiffon, rum chiffon, peach–and my favorite–blackberry.. In the summer my mother would make us a blackberry pie if my brothers and I would run to the blackberry bramble in the field next to our house and pick four cups of berries. A favorite memory is eating hot pie cookie straight from the oven while sitting on the front porch. It took me awhile to get the hang of making crust–my mentors used all shortening, no butter, no refrigeration, no food processor–just simple and so good. One of the first pies I made was the Ritz Mock Apple Pie, I was a teenager and it seemed like such a cool thing to do to make an apple pie and not even use apples! Of course now I wonder, why would a person want to do that?

  • When I was first away at college in AZ, a friend I grew up with in WI came to visit. We put a peach blueberry pie in the oven and went outside to chat on the deck. When the timer buzzed we found we had locked ourselves out. So that pie was a little browner than preferred but luckily my landlord arrived with a spare key before it burned up entirely.
    Another favorite pie memory is the lard-crust apple pie I impressed my in-laws with when they came to visit us in MT – flaky of course, but also a little savory, amped up with shredded sharp cheddar in the crust. The lard was from pigs we raised and rendered ourselves, very little house on the Prairie. Then there’s my brother’s venison pie which makes a very satisfying supper and may be responsible for convincing his lovely new wife to date him in the first place!

  • I have never made a pie crust from scratch before. This is on my “summer to do list”. I just came across a review of this book today. Sounds like this is just the book to inspire. Funny how as you get older, a great sense of accomplishment comes from doing what seems the simplest of things with your hands and you wonder why it took you so long to show up and try it. I’d love to have my own copy.

  • My husband likes chocolate cream pies, so when we were first married I slaved to make him one from scratch. “Good, but not as good as Mom’s” was the reaction. The next year I paid someone $30 to make him a perfect pie (this was 15 years ago, so $30 was hideously pricey). “Pretty good but Mom’s is better,” was the verdict. The next year I thought, “Screw it.” I bought a formed pie crust from the freezer section, filled it with instant chocolate pie filling and topped it with Dream Whip. His reaction? “OH MY GOD, this is JUST like Mom’s. Thank you, thank you. Can you make it the same way every year?”

  • I was about 4 or 5 (55 years ago) when my mother spent a long time creating her first strawberry cream pie. She placed it on a baking sheet on top of the fridge (we were having it that night). I was looking for “crackers” when I climbed up to get them from the fridge and pulled the baking sheet causing the pie to land right on top of my head. I’ll never forget the expression of dismay on her face. She never made another strawberry cream pie . She did make other pies and made them very well, passing on her great aunt’s tips to her three daughters. I would rather have pie than cake and like only two kinds…hot and cold.

  • My favorite pie is the sugar cream pie we always had at family functions growing up. I’ve now learned to make it and continue the tradition!

  • My (then new) husband tried to surprise me with a special dinner and my favorite pie, but he’d never made a crust before. Something went horribly wrong and I came home to a frustrated mate struggling to force a batter slightly thicker than cake batter into a pie dish.

  • I made spinach pie for the first time this summer, to take along on our annual pilgrimage to our city’s best annual event (The Vancouver Folk Music Festival!). I threw in some mushrooms and used puff pastry instead of filo (it was 11pm the night before the weekend began), and they turned out delicious (if I do say so myself)! A definite new favourite in this house. I’m a pie novice, though, so it would be great to get some professional help on this new pie adventure…

  • As a little girl I loved looking through my mom’s books and folders full of recipes. I loved helping in the kitchen – measuring, tasting, stirring… And when I was 7 I decided I wanted to make a pie. We weren’t really pie people, my family. But when I saw this beautiful golden lattice-top apple pie, I knew I had to make it. So, I set out on a solo-mission to make that beautiful, perfect apple pie. I remember riding my bike to the grocery to pick out my apples, and spending the day in the kitchen trying to make sense of the recipe, measuring, rolling, slicing, assembling. I *loved* weaving together the lattice, and when it came out, it looked even better than the recipe picture. I was hooked. A few weeks later, I entered another pie in the county fair pie contest and won a blue ribbon (which is pretty special, but not that impressive considering I might have been the only person in my age category entering a pie). But, since then, I have delved into many-a-pie. I would absolutely love and cherish this sweet book devoted to the amazing pie.

  • I made a multi-berry pie for a friend’s birthday, and it is the running joke that her and I are the crazy cat ladies. So in the top pie crust I carved out a cat face, complete with whiskers. While baking, the juices oozed out of the cat mouth and gave the once cute cate a really sinister smile.

  • I grew up in the Midwest and my mom uses any gathering as an excuse to make pie. And she does that well. I remember one year, my niece (who was 7 at the time) was going to stay with my parents for a few days. Here dad referred to the time as “Pie Camp”, hoping she’d pick up some tips from Grandma that she could bring home to dad. I still think about that often and know I should set up my own week of Pie Camp.

  • Pie was something that I had limited experience with in my childhood. Being Puerto Rican, family desserts and recipes that were passed along consisted more of flan, tres leches, and mantecaditos (a type of cookie). However when I was 16 or so, my mom brought home a lemon meringue pie from a local bakery. Little did I know this was her favorite pie that she grew up eating (in NYC). I was blown away by the delishly lemon flavor and creamy meringue, and that she had neglected to share this with me until that point!

    Anyways, it is still one of my favorite pies (also on top is key lime) however I have very little experience making pies. I do a lot of cake, cookie, pudding, ice cream making, however very little pie. I want to make more pie and this book seems like the best way to become inspired.

  • My favourite pie experience begins with where I work. Cowichan Green Community, a little local non-profit dedicated to building community around food security hosts an annual Harvest festival which includes a pie-baking contest. Pies are judged on, of course, taste, presentation, and lastly, the number of locally-sourced ingredients included. One pie submitted to our savoury category last year, took the cake (pie?), when every single ingredient used was home-grown including the lard for the crust which had been rendered from the baker’s own pigs and salt from our very own local salt company. This beef and veggie pie was a true regional delight and took first prize!

  • Oh, wow, that looks delicious!

    My dad is not a baker by any stretch of the imagination. But he has a thing for wild food. Weekends he’s usually off fishing or hunting with his buddies. Every summer though, there would be a wonderful saturday when he would take my sister and me out to the woods to gather blackberries. We would come home, stained purple and drunk on the heady fruit. Dad would then bake the most amazing, bubbling pie that we would devour before it had a chance to cool. It was perfect!

  • I have made exactly one good pie crust in my life and it was with beginner’s luck! With 6 recipes and trouble shooting tips, this book may make a pie maker out of me yet!

  • I once made a delicious walnut-pie for my class in school, and then my mum got really mad, because she thought it was to good to take to school. My class loved it though. But they never got the good pie again.

  • I have dreamt about owning a pie shop for many years, but in the meantime, I just work in a bakery. I am also am a diy–er and a foodie, so of course, for my ambitiously handmade family farm wedding, I made 14 9″ deep-dish pies and a small one for the husband and I to eat. For the sake of freshness and sanity, I froze the pies in their pyrex baking dishes, and then distributed them to reliable loved ones to bake-off the day of. I had pretty much learned to cook/bake from the Joy of Cooking, but during my engagement, I received a copy of Grand Central Baking’s cookbook that used an appealing all-butter crust that was assembled in a stand mixer, as opposed to my J. of C.’s version that used a blend of butter and shortening. I originally learned to make apple pie from my grandmother who used a blend of both fats a la Betty Crocker, so I assumed that was the standard method. Using all-butter was a taste revelation, as well as using a mixer (sacrilege!), but the real fun was sourcing the local ingredients for the fillings (grandma’s apples & cherries, in-law’s farm for blackberries, my dad’s blueberries, local farms for the rest of the fruit), and then making the pie dough with my soon-to-be mother-in-law in her kitchen because she had a stand mixer and spacious counters.

    I really appreciated the whole process of assembling the pies, since making these special batches of pies brought me closer to my in-laws who helped off and on through the whole process, let people wanting to help get involved (a bunch of women from my mom’s social group ended up baked pies), and I got to share my passion for pie perfection with all my closest family and friends on the wedding day.

    Just for the sake of the conversation, pie-count included:
    — 3 apple with a pecan-cinnamon streusel (it was a leap-of-faith-ohmygawd-i’m-serving-this-to-everyone-i-know because the recipe I made up and it was untested prior to the wedding due to time-constraints; hit-favorite and my bakery now makes this one regularly)
    — 3 whipped ganache w/fresh glazed strawberries, gluten-free crumb crust
    — 3 cherry pies
    — 3 quintuple berry pies
    — 2 strawberry rhubarb pies
    — 1 7″ peach and blackberry pie for my husband and I to eat, baked in his great grandmother’s old Fire King pressed glass pie pan

    We made huge 3-tiered stand out of plywood to hold 8 of the pies, plus the small one, and then constructed individual plate stands actually using a D*S tutorial on recycled cakestands (2008).

    I loved our wedding day, and making the pie for it was a labor of love. I made the pies because I wanted the best, most honest food I could make for my treasured family and friends, and to show I cared enough about them being there that I could put so much energy into hand-making something for them to enjoy.

    Even as a semi-accomplished pie baker, I like to collect new pie recipes to try, because the sort of rural, regional, collective joy people have about pies still gets me excited. Sharing pies means sharing time, either spent making and/or consuming pies together, and that’s special on any day.

    There’s cake-people, and there’s pie-people. I’m pie-people.

  • My favorite pie experience was last Thanksgiving when I made a chocolate malt tart. I don’t usually get to make anything because I am flying to various relatives houses last minute, but last year I had time to make this at my parent’s house. My whole family got involved in helping and it turned out delicious. Fun to make and eat.

  • I had just spent a wonderful (but very hot!) summer in India. I had loved sampling all the new foods and being a bit “out of my element” for awhile. On the long plane ride home, the culture shock began to set in. I began to realize how dirty and smelly and out of sync with the pace of western culture I had become. I had the overwhelming urge for a cheeseburger and a huge slice of good ole American Apple Pie. All through the 12 hour flight, baggage claim, customs, the bus ride and the long walk home I was crazy for a slice of pie. I finally got my wish at the neighborhood diner. It was good to be home!

  • I have a relationship with pies…of all types really. My best-est friend and I find ourselves at a local diner (pies are their specialty of course) where we indulge in a few slices as we process the highs and lows of life…always over pie. Strawberry-rhubarb, cherry or a classic apple pie and a cup of (not so good unfortunately) coffee always does the trick. Amongst all of the silver hairs & at precisely an hour when its far too early to have a meal, pie helps us find clarity no matter how low the low was. And certainly has the power to bring the highs of life to a whole new level.

  • mmm… pies. Just last night, I made and canned several pints of blueberry pie filling. I am a huge canner, and the first time I did pie filling, I used blueberries I picked myself! this time, I used local ones from the farmers market, but still delicious, and still exciting.

  • Oh, my– what wonderful pie- comments! All 400 + of them! So I will simply write that pies are awesome– humble or decadent! What a beautiful book– when I think of pie– I think of the desert kind– thank you for reminding me, with your beauty of a book, that pot- pies, quiches, etc., are Really pies too! Pie Redux! Love it! Thank You for the opportunity!!

  • Every Thanksgiving my mother, sister, and I make a bourbon pecan pie together. I love the tradition and the generations of bonding involved, but not as much as I love eating that pie every year!

  • The first time I tried making pumpkin pie, it was a delicious sounding ginger pumpkin with graham cracker crust recipe I found, I forgot to add the cream to the pumpkin mixture! I didn’t realize it until it was almost cooked. The pie tasted great but was way too dense. I was hoping to get rave reviews and instead I was just sad. This book looks great, I would love to make more pies!

  • Favourite pie experience? Just one? I don’t think I can do it. I love pie so much – pumpkin, blueberry, raspberry, rhubarb, lemon meringue, strawberry cream, and heck, quiches of all sorts. I loved pie so much that when I was a child and my dear babysitter would make stewed blueberries I called it “Blueberry pie without the crust”. My mom, my grandmothers and great-aunties made many delicious pies over the years but I didn’t learn pastry-making from them. Instead, I learned from my husband’s aunt Kathy, who, when I questioned her on the amount of sugar going into a blueberry pie, said, “Well, you can put in less, but it won’t be as good as mine.” Needless to say, I dumped in the entire cup.

  • Beautiful photos of the baked pies are precious as my husband would have quickly found himself off track :-) One birthday he wanted to surprise me with a home-made lemon meringue to this day we still refer to as the “floppy” hat!
    He hand made the crust, but didn’t realize it needed to be prebaked. The lemon filling was mixed but it wasn’t made evident to boil the mixture! And then with a quick rinse of the mixing bowl my poor husband beat the egg whites for half an hour waiting for them to fluff, only to (much) later discover the requirements of a clean and dry mixing bowl!! He “poured” on the meringue (cause hey, MAYBE it will come out fluffy in the oven right?!) and we baked it until all the whites pooled over the pie, and onto a baking sheet and then ate the whole thing with a soup ladle!! A++++ for his efforts!

  • A couple years ago I went to visit my dear friend in Texas. We decided to bake pies for a contest while I was there. I chose to bake a pumpkin pie with a brown sugar walnut topping. I won second place in my category! I was so excited to take home my handmade wooden cutting board I won. I still display it proudly :)

  • When I was a little girl we used to go to Cape Cod every summer to visit my cousins at their grandparents cottage. It was always the highlight of the summer and so much fun. Beach all day, followed by a cookout and ending with the most delicious Lemon Meringue Pie. I loved those pies and could never wait to get my hand on a piece. I think it was the 3-4 inches of perfectly toasted meringue that I was obsessed with. Also the lemon was not too tart and not too sweet, just right. I can remember the pie was always brought in from the bakery and put on top of the fridge until dessert time. To me it was pie in the sky because being a little kid the top of the fridge seemed sky high! Over the years I would always think of that Lemon Meringue pie, especially when I would see them with only a small 1 inch meringue top and bland lemon flavor. I always wondered where that pie came from. Fast forward to college where I met one of my best friends who was from the Cape. We all went home with him one weekend and after a great day at the beach, cookout (some traditions never waver) we had dessert and there was the most amazing raspberry pie! I thought my God they make the best pies on Cape Cod. It was coming in a close second to my long lost Lemon Meringue pie. On our way back to college we decided that we needed to bring a pie back with us so we went to Marion’s Pie Shop in Chatham, MA. I walked in and low and behold there was my long lost Lemon Meringue pie, with the mile high, perfectly toasted meringue from my childhood! I couldn’t believe it, I’ve been searching for this pie and it came back to me. It made total sense when I realized that I was just down the street from the old cottage from my childhood. So that day we bought 2 pies, raspberry and my Lemon Meringue. That day at the pie shop was one of the best surprises ever. Now when my friends and I go to the Cape there is always a stop at Marion’s to pick up pie(s). We now even have the next generation making the stop and making their own pie memories.

  • My favorite pies are the apple pies baked by a close friend whom we call the Dessert Fairy. Nothing beats warm apple pie and vanilla ice cream! I have actually never tried baking a pie before- just baking the crust seemed so difficult. Now I cannot wait to get the book to finally try it, and if I am really fated to fail as a baker, I will ask the Dessert Fairy to make all 60 pies and tarts for us! :)

  • I was celebrating Thanksgiving with a friend and his family when I had my favourite pie moment. His grandmother had made the most perfect pumpkin pie – just the right balance of sweetness and spice, a deliciously flaky crust, plus festive leaf-shaped cut-outs. While sharing my desire to learn how to make pie, she told me her secret to the perfect crust: use both butter and shortening. To my excitement she then offered to teach me how to make pie. Unfortunately I was never able to get that private lesson, or her pie crust recipe, as she passed away not too long after.
    Although my story doesn’t have the typical happy ending, pumpkin pie always makes me think about my friend’s grandmother and what a wonderful woman she was – particularly her adorable tendency to call everyone “sweetheart”, and, of course, her tip for the perfect pie crust.

  • This looks like a great book, can’t wait to read through it and make lots of pies. My grandmother taught me how to make my pie dough and it is the recipe I use when I want to make a pie or tart. It is also the recipe I used to get my foot in the door at a bakery I wanted to work at. I made a pie and presented it to the owner, she cut into the pie, tasted it, asked who taught me how to bake, and then asked me if I would like a job at her bakery. I of course said yes, and loved all those early morning hours at the bakery.

  • learning my grandmother’s award winning crust with her in the kitchen when I was a kid. She always had one bubbling up in the oven, or in the freezer, ready to reheat.

  • Growing up, I always loved going to my Grandma and Grandpa’s house in Iowa, because at THEIR house, pie serves as breakfast, lunch, dinner, AND dessert! There is always an excuse to have a slice (or two) of pie when I’m with them. In fact, I’m in Florida with my Grandma right now and we have a Key Lime pie waiting in the kitchen. During Thanksgiving, my Grandpa would sit down at the piano with my brothers and I, composing songs about all of the wonderful foods we were going to eat later that day–with a special focus on the delicious pumpkin and apple pies. Needless to say, I have very fond memories associated with pie and I look forward to continuing this tradition (hopefully with the help of this cookbook)!

  • Hah, I am going to make my own pie recipe book by googling the names of all the different delicious sounding pies in these comments, and compiling the best looking recipes. I am getting seriously hungry reading all these great stories.

  • I have great memories of trying to help my mom make a Coconut Meringue pie for my grandmas birthday, her favorite. We couldn’t get it to set right and she ended up helping to make her own pie ;) She was an excellent cook and I’d love to learn how to cook better and make a better pie to remember her by!

  • My favorite pie experience was a peach number I made while in labor two years ago. I was doing a home birth so was not going anywhere and my labor was long. Days long. I cooked a lot including this masterpiece as I was cutting in butter for the crust there were contractions, as I rolled the dough there were contractions, as I carved into the finished dough to decorate there were contractions. You get the idea. However after my labor my midwives ate well and I also had pie.

  • I have always made my husband an Apple Pie for his birthday. After our children’s first birthdays and the required cake they too have defected to pie. So in Feb. it is Chocolate Cream for my 5 year-old Anna, June it is Two-Berry Pie (rasp. and blueberries) for my 3 year-old James and November it is a custard pie with fruit dipping sauce for my 7 year-old Emma. My kids sometimes get comments at parties, but they hold firm that pie is best and no one refuses a slice. My birthday is in Jan. and I rotate pies, since I have a top five I can’t decide between, Strawberry (my Mom’s recipe), apple (from my Aunt), Sweet potato (Mom’s again), lemon cream, and rhubarb crumble. I would love to add to my year of pies! They are certainly worth the effort like all the good things in life.

  • As far as I can remember, there was always something going on in my mom’s little, impractical kitchen – be it a ragout simmering on the stove or bread baking in the oven. When my sisters and I came down from our rooms, we would always make a comment on how delicious it smelled, but our attention would be caught by something else and we would forget about these smells full of the promise of a delicious meal together until it was actually time to sit down and eat. But when it was a pie baking in the oven, our little noses would smell it from the moment the crust began to get a little crispy and we would all rush into the kitchen to see what happened on the other side of the oven-window. We would observe it as it began to get that wonderful golden color and wait for the moment when the fruit started to melt, releasing its sweet nectar. Because as great of a cook my mom may be, she is an even better baker, and we knew that a moment of pure bliss was awaiting us– and waiting for it so eagerly made it even more enjoyable afterwards.

    When I was old enough to help in the kitchen, my favourite thing to help with was, you guessed it, pie. And now that I think of it, I’m actually pretty sure my mom would make a little more dough than needed because she knew, even though she didn’t say enything, that half of it would find its way to my stomach before it even reached the pan, yet somehow she always managed to have enough dough to make her pie and sometimes even to make delicious, plain biscuits that we would eat right after they got out of the oven, when the pie was not ready yet. Now that I have my own appartment and that the occasions on which my mom and I get to bake a pie together have become scarce, I cherish those memories with all my heart and nothing makes me happier than the smell of a pie baking in the oven as a reminder of those moments of mother-daughter complicity and bonding.

  • It was the summer after graduating from college, when prospects for recent college grads looked bleak. I had nothing to do but stay at my parent’s home in the outer boroughs and try to re-write my resume and cover letter in a dozen different ‘snazzy’ ways, each likely as mundane as the next. That summer, the apple tree in yard was so heavy with fruit that the branches drooped and draped over our tall fence.

    I spent half an afternoon peeling, coring, and carefully slicing apples into the most delicious apple pie I’ve ever had (apples with vanilla custard). Eating a slice gave me the best feeling of accomplishment I’d had that week.

  • One family reunion some years ago, we were baking pie after pie with a veritable assembly line of peelers, corers, etc, etc. All was well til a crumb of crust fell down in the oven — and we had ourselves an oven fire! Luckily we were all right there and got the flames out before any damage was done, but I’m so paranoid about tucking baking sheets beneath to catch those little drips now!

  • My favourite pie experience was just this week! I decided to make the Momofuku crack pie for my mother in law’s birthday yesterday. I made it Tuesday night and while making it realized I forgot the vanilla. I literally ran to the grocery store to buy it halfway through baking the pie; most efficient 30 minutes ever – workout and errand combined! The pie turned out amazing and was a hit at dinner last night. We called it rude it was so good.

  • I was so excited to see the title of this book, A Year of Pies! Last year I celebrated my very own year of pies in the form of a quirky New Year’s resolution. Pie-baking has long been my only talent in the kitchen and in an attempt to hone my sole culinary skill I decided to bake 24 different pies in 2011. I baked two pies a month and culled recipes from cookbooks, friends, family, and often gained inspiration from the local farmer’s market. I tried to start with the classics like apple, lemon meringue, and pecan, but soon moved on to ice cream fillings and crushed breakfast cereal crusts. I love that pie could be my contribution to a variety of meaningful celebrations throughout the year. I made pies for birthdays, art openings, my college graduation, and even celebrated Thanksgiving while I was traveling in India with a caramel apple pie that tasted just like home. By the time I was ready to ring in 2012 with a New Year’s Eve pie (cayenne-spiced chocolate ganache in a gingersnap crust with cinnamon whipped cream) I had made over thirty pies and had documented most of them on the chalkboard wall of my tiny kitchen. Although I haven’t baked a pie in two months now, I look forward to someday embarking on yet another year of pies, a peach plum tart might be the perfect place to start!

  • We have 5 apple trees in the backyard and each fall, we make a pie every other day until the apples run out. It’s pie heaven! I need your book for some variety! Pie is gold baby, gold.

  • i`m hopeless with the crust and my lattice filling looks as if a 5 year old has made it, but i am willing to learn:) and i love nectarine pie and apple pie with vanilla ice cream and raisins and i love to see my son`s face when he sees the steaming pie. a friend of mine from afganistan once called my ruined lattice crust apple pie”apple pie khabul”. i guess that was not a compliment:))

  • My mom introduced me to the art of a wonderful pie. I have been trying for years to convince her to open up a bakery and sell pies. Her apple pie is amazing and the only thing I can remember happening one Thanksgiving was a mixup with some garlic powder instead of cinnamon… we tried so hard to eat the gorgeous pie, but alas it was ruined. My aunt calls her pies Zsa Zsa Gabore pies because they look so decadent. I would love to give this book to her as a gift. I purchased Ashley’s canning book a few years ago and just made some of the peach lavender butter…it is wonderful and I know the pie book would be fun as well! Thanks so much for sharing your ideas!

  • Growing up my mom worked a lot, which left my younger brother and I to our own devices in the way of food. Our idea of a fancy food spread was fruit roll ups and ramen noodle…not always cooked. Terrible? Yes. Disgusting? Pretty much. Occasionally I would dabble with spaghetti or pasta in a package. On fearless days, I would try to conquer my arch nemesis– chocolate chip cookies (to this date chocolate chip cookies- 50: me-3). I have never been too fantastic with food, a curse seemingly inherited from both sides of my genetic pool. As other girls baked their chocolate chip cookies to perfection, I conceded to just eat my dough instead. Until one fateful Thanksgiving day my mother asked if I wanted to help make the pies that year. (Sidebar: Mum did have a knack for chocolate silk pies but being young it never occurred to me that this super power could have been passed down to me.) She showed me the pie crust recipe that her mom used, which was pretty much 80% butter and 20% flour, and she insisted the dough be made by hand (a rule I still adhere to). That year I made my first pumpkin pie to perfection… from a can (I was young and didn’t know), and like all young girls do, I fell in love. Buuuut my teenage love was a bit fickle and I did forget about my magical pie baking powers until college, when I baked an apple pie for a friend, and they fell in love with what I baked! They showered me with pie baking compliments and just like that the spark was rekindled. Ever since then I’ve been baking pies for friends and family, holidays and sunday dinners, cold days and sad days, and it has become the one thing that I can create that feels like “home” when I do it. I love pie books because they give me inspiration that one day I will be brave enough to follow my dreams and do what I love too…make imperfect pies (full of butter) for people to enjoy :) Congrats on your new book, it looks wonderful!

  • It is hard to pick one pie moment to best describe my life with pie. It seems pie is always around the corner of my life whether it is my grandma’s “famous” pecan pie for Christmastime, one of my best friend’s vegan apple pies, or my insatiable desire for rhubarb-raspberry pie, which I eat all season long.

    That being said, one of my favorite pie moments happened a couple of weeks ago. I was visiting in the Chicago area and I stopped by a small shop called “First Slice Pie Shop.” First Slice is a non-profit with a mission to fight hunger in Chicago by providing quality meals with local, organic ingredients to the homeless. They use the profit made to put back into the community to feed others. For me, pie has always been a food that represents community. I’ve never made a pie and not shared it with friends, family, or neighbors. First Slice seems to take that idea to the next level and I felt really moved by it. I hope to do something like that in the future. In the meantime, I’ll keep sharing the pie.

  • I once made a pumpkin pie for my mother (who has celiac disease) for Thanksgiving. Lets just say, between the tapioca flour, rice flour and guar gum crust-concoction, my mother left the table (and the plate with the pie still on it). It was a miserble, but funny experiment. Thankfully, she was a good sport–but boy did it look bad!!! ;) Even my regular pies leave something to be desired! Why on earth I thought I could make her something with these temperamental ingredients –I’ll never know!!! I would LOVE this book –because I would love to be able to make a good pie–gluten-free or not!!!

  • Its been 17 years since I had this pie and it still makes be crazy just to think about it…It was a fresh toasted coconut pie made by my friend Gloria in Honduras..she would make it for me at my house often… I would watch as she split, grated and toasted the fresh coconut, but why of why cannot I remember what went in next…I know there was a touch of vinegar….and then the smell would envelope the house and me..and madness would seep into my soul as I waited in a frenzy for it to come out of the oven…it was intoxicating..the golden gooeyness…..and I hate to even admit this..as soon as her back was turned I would steal a slice..even thought she said waiting would be better it needed to set…I couldn’t wait..I tried..I couldn’t..even when I knew the inside of the remaining pie would seep out all over the counter if I didn’t wait..I couldn’t……OMG how can a memory be so vivid! I have just found Gloria on facebook do you think I should ask for the recipe!

  • Making my first apple pie all by myself was a great moment. Made me fall in love with pie making for the rest of my life!

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