The 2017 Piglet

A Piglet Community Pick that Gets Non-Bakers Baking

February 23, 2017

There's a good chance a whole lot of you are looking to bake from The Art of Pie this weekend: It was chosen in by you as a 2017 Piglet Community Pick, and it's also this month's cookbook club choice.

Readers are chronicling their baking in a Facebook group (join, won't you?), and so far, people are loving it. Here's Jane Bonacci:

"The Art of the Pie will stand the test of time and will quickly become a revered classic. It is like having my grandmother standing at my side again, guiding me as I learned to bake from scratch. Kate's calm voice of reason quells our fears and gives us the confidence to become instinctive bakers—knowing when the dough needs more water, how to judge how much fruit you need depending on which type of fruit you are using, and all the steps to making the perfect pie dough every time. The stories Kate shares make us want to sit down and share a cup of tea with her (with a slice of pie of course) and give us the impression that she is speaking directly to us, becoming our own personal baking teacher."

And here's Heather Novickis:

"This is a cookbook that I will cherish forever and then will hand down to my kids or grandkids."

To start you on your pie-baking journey, and in case you're too excited to know where to start, we thought it might be helpful to compile folks' favorite recipes. Here's what our community thinks you should bake first from The Art of Pie:

stellar crusts

  • Amy Chen O'Connell thinks you should first make the Butter and Shortening Dough by hand: "The combo of butter and shortening is more forgiving than all-butter dough in my experience. First, I tried the all-butter dough recipe using a food processor. I found it to be a tricky animal in handling and in results, and there is no substitute for 'feeling' the dough to understand its moisture and temperature. Making the dough by hand is counterintuitive in that you should minimize handling the dough to keep things as chill as possible, but, if you're just starting out, doing it by hand is part of the learning process."
  • Leaf Lard and Butter Pie Crust: Jody Hawes said "it is incomparable in taste and texture to any other pie crust recipe I have ever used." And Judy Beaudin reiterated: "It's the best pie crust I've ever made, and I've made many."
  • "Gluten-Free Nutty No-Bake Crust!! Super easy for a novice; yummy, good-for-you ingredients; endless possibilities of fillings!" (Karen Luhmann)

favorite fillings

Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • My Favorite Peach Pie "because it is a basic peach pie with the added kick of a little booze to give it life." (Heather Novickis)
  • Lisa Anderson said to "tackle the pie on the cover (Blueberry Pie): It's what drew me to the book in the first place, and I had something to easily compare my results with." Cathy Lynn Grossman agreed that the blueberry pie was a stand-out: "Once you discover how easy it is to make a tender, flaky crust (the biggest, best tip is to keep your cool, literally and figuratively—I now keep my flour in my freezer) and pile in the yummy filling, you'll have a thing of beauty to offer on your very first try."
  • Rosalie Baker thinks "the apple pie is out of this world!" Jane Helfen added that "If you're a novice, make the Quintessential Apple Pie, as it's very forgiving. Otherwise, my favorite is the Old Fashioned Rhubarb Pie."
  • Phala Patton-Reed said to make the Strawberry Rhubarb Pie first—"it is a transformative experience." And Jody Hawes loved that the book showed you how to harvest rhubarb: "I planted rhubarb several years back and really never had anyone show me how to harvest it, and never new there was a good technique!"
  • Andrea Ballard picked the Marionberry Pie: "It's intensely flavored, unique, beautiful, and easy."
The author makes the fruit pies all so simple and heartwarming.
Karen Allyn
  • Cheryl Frazier picked the Chicken Pot Pie. That's right, there are savory pies—a whole chapter of them! Cathy Lynn Grossman said "the savory pie chapter offers the usual comfort food goodies such as chicken pot pie or cottage pie, but who knew you could make a vegetarian dinner pie for the non-meat eaters at your table? I'll be making the Savory Summer Harvest Ratatouille Pie in August!"

On Monday, February 27, gather on the Food52 Hotline to chat with fellow Art of Pie-ers about the book. More details can be found here.


The Piglet—inspired by The Morning News' Tournament of Books—is where the 16 most notable cookbooks of the year face off in a NCAA-style bracketed tournament. Watch the action and weigh in on the results!


See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • cezanne
  • Lindsay-Jean Hard
    Lindsay-Jean Hard
Editor/writer/stylist. Author of I Dream of Dinner (so You Don't Have To). Last name rhymes with bagel.


cezanne February 23, 2017
This book will be available free with no hold and no waitlist from your local library March 16-30 as the title of the "Big Library Read".
About the Big Library Read:

Big Library Read, facilitated by OverDrive, is a reading program through your library that connects millions of readers around the world with the same eBook at the same time without any wait lists or holds. It’s a worldwide digital version of a local book club, the program is free through your local library or school library and all you need to get started reading is a library card or student ID.
Lindsay-Jean H. February 24, 2017
Thank you for this! I'm sharing it with the Cookbook Club!