|Kate Lebo – Writer & Baker|
Ultimately, like everything, this is a book that’s haunted by loss. Pie School: Lessons in Fruit, Flour & Butter celebrates pie as a symbol of Americana, but it’s suspicious of that symbolism. This cookbook is more interested in how pie frames something sweet that doesn’t last long–fruit. To paraphrase the poet Li-Young Lee, fruit doesn’t just take time to grow, it IS time. It is the days, the sun, the water, the dust. You eat an apple, you eat a year. That’s where loss comes in. Seasons turn, fruit ripens, fruit rots. To me, fruit pie is fascinating because it contains time with pastry.
In fact, in the Middle Ages pies were called “coffins”! In reference to their container-shape, not to their funereal talents.
In my pie-making classes and in this cookbook I try to make pie an approachable art, something that can be mastered once you understand how simple the form is. Pie is just a container with contents, just pastry and fruit. You get that, you get everything. Baking isn’t always a science. Like Strunk & White sort of say in The Elements of Style, once you understand the rules, you can (you must!) break them.
Previously on Hillebrity