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From Shepherd's Pies and Pot Pies to Turnovers, Quiches, Hand Pies, and More
  December 2015 Issue / Vol. 3, No. 23                                        by Ken Haedrich, dean of the website, The Pie Academy




Sheana Davis

AAA 5-Diamond/NYT 3-Star
Executive Pastry Chef David Blom

Chef Devin Pinto

Jeff Barba: Why he converted an award-winning wine list to all South-American labels.
Check out this amazing flour for your pie dough:


Leaf Organic Vodka
Water makes the difference

Santé - 2015
Sonoma, California

Michael Robb
on Arizona Wines

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DINNER PIES: From Shepherd’s Pies and Pot Pies to Turnovers, Quiches, Hand Pies, and More by Ken Haedrich | Photos by Melissa DiPalma The pie—often formidable fare even for some professional chefs—is poetry to Ken Haedrich. The pie expert who has made sweet and savory pies for decades has written three pie cookbooks and is the self-professed “dean” of his website, The Pie Academy, where he guarantees his readers success at pie making. “Since as far back as I can remember,” Haedrich said, “watching my mom and dad make their apple pies together every fall as a young boy, I have simply loved pie. I can't really explain why. If one loves poetry, or growing orchids, or walking along the beach at sunset, the why isn't all that important. To me, pie is poetry that makes the world a better place.” Elegant or rustic, it matters not. Pie touches a nostalgic space where, as author/screenwriter David Mamet claimed, “stress cannot exist.” Haedrich thinks pie is so deeply rooted in fond taste memories, a pie’s appearance really doesn’t matter. With that in mind, he encourages people to embrace the journey and love the ugliest of their pies. “If all the basic ingredients are present,” Haedrich explained, “flaky pastry, delicious filling, drama, great aroma—the dings, spills, and scorched areas are insignificant. In fact, they add the character we all remember, like the gap between Lauren Hutton's front teeth.” Over the years, people have shared all their pie-making pitfalls with Haedrich. To the point he no longer claims making pies is, as the cliché goes, Easy as pie. “I get dozens of emails from people who do not think it’s easy,” Haedrich said. “Out of respect for those people, I don’t say that anymore. There are a lot of little things to learn. There are a lot of nuances to making pie. There’s the humidity, there’s your flour, your tools, your location, the juiciness of the fruit. You learn to manage all of those things over the years.” Like how many? “I do say that within the first year you can become 80-percent proficient as a pie maker,” Haedrich said, and then added an admonition. “You can spend the rest of your life trying to get the remaining 20-percent right.” He’s also says that pie, one of the most popular desserts, makes a perfect savory meal. His newest pie cookbook, Dinner Pies, contains more than 100 recipes to prove this point. Though the directions weigh heavy on details in order to anticipate any questions and provide reassurance to beginners, his choice of ingredients and techniques shows much thought, and that can’t help but inspire the creative cook.