Cookbook Club (3/3) -- What questions do you have for author Kate McDermott?

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  • 28 Comments

28 Comments

MomMom February 27, 2017
I made the chess pie - the recipe didn't specify doing a blind bake bottom crust - should I have assumed that because of the custard filling? The bottom crust was a bit soggy but the upper edges were wonderfully flaky
 
MomMom February 27, 2017
Made dough for fried pies - have dried up some - loved them - still have a few balls of dough in fridge - been there for 2 days - can I still use them?
 
cindy February 27, 2017
Kate-first and foremost love your cook book. When using the leaf lard do you have to worry about the "pork lard" flavor competing against the fruit/custard fillings in the pies?
 
Kate M. February 27, 2017
Thank you so much Cindy! Rendered lard does not make a porky flavored pie in my experience but make sure you are buying actual leaf lard and not back fat which is stronger flavored. The breed of pig can affect the flavor too for example Mangalitsa pigs have a wonderful flavor of meat but the fat, in my opinion, is too strongly flavored...it is a little softer fat too so it is a little trickier to use. Berkshires are a great breed.
 
Aryss February 27, 2017
The all butter pie crust is one of the most flaky, delicious crusts I have EVER had. However, I'm having a terrible time with shrinkage. I placed the pie in the freezer to chill before baking but it still seems to shrivel up. Maybe there's something I'm missing? You are supposed to trim the rolled dough to the edge of the pie plate, correct?
 
Kate M. February 27, 2017
Shrinkage happens with pie dough. If you are having regular issues with it, then adjust the amount you trim to compensate for it. I'm sure you are probably always rolling out from the center and not back and forth but thought I would mention that as well.
 
Laura R. February 27, 2017
Hi Kate, man cannot live on pie alone! What do you like to cook/eat when you're not having pie?
 
Kate M. February 27, 2017
Laura, I don't eat many of the pies I make but give them away. I make a lot of Mexican inspired food, lots of stir fries, and smoothies!
 
Kate M. February 27, 2017
Sound great!
 
Spenser D. February 27, 2017
Hi Kate. Yes, the elevation and the heat here definitely makes it challenging for sure. However, if you ever plan on coming to AZ again to teach, I recommend coming between December and early February to avoid the heat! May be a little easier :)
 
Spenser D. February 27, 2017
Kate, I just want to thank you for writing this book because I have never made a pie in my life before until I started reading Art of the Pie this month. So far, I have made 3 pies in a little over a week now and shared them all with the ones that I love. I have had so much fun flipping through the book and challenging myself to something new. I definitely plan on making more pies throughout the year as more fruits get into season. I live in Arizona, and I was wondering if you plan on doing any workshops over here in the desert any time soon?
 
Kate M. February 27, 2017
Hi Spenser- No plans at this time. I taught in Tucson last year in 98F heat! Even though the kitchen AC was on, it was a challenge so next time I'm hoping it might be a little cooler. I'm delighted that you like the book.
 
cindy February 27, 2017
I did a butter crust and the crust tasted delicious but it was so incredibly hard to cut. What did I do wrong?
 
Kate M. February 27, 2017
In general I think the best words in making dough are to stop before you think you are done so that you won't over mix. An all butter crust is absolutely delicious but it will never be as tender as a leaf lard/butter, or vegetable shortening/butter crust. There is no water in leaf lard of shortening but there is in butter. When the water steams off it will combine with the flour and form gluten which is why it is not as tender.
 
Matt J. February 27, 2017
Do you have any plans to do one of your Pie Workshops anywhere in the Northeast?
 
Kate M. February 27, 2017
Hopefully I'll make it to the East Coast in 2017 Matt. (I'm over due!)
 
Susan February 27, 2017
Thanks Kate! The apple and sausage pie was so good - and seemed to be a favorite among other cookbook club members. I do wonder about reducing the liquid. I failed at it - twice - and it was suggested to try boiled cider. Have you ever used boiled cider and would you recommend it to someone who can't seem to get the process down?
 
Kate M. February 27, 2017
Boiled cider would be a wonderful substitution. I'm glad you like the pie!
 
Lindsay-Jean H. February 27, 2017
There are so many fun design details in Art of the Pie, like the splotches on some of the pages and the front and back cover! What inspired those? (And can we expect more fun surprises like that in your next book?!)
 
Kate M. February 27, 2017
Nick Caruso, the book designer for ART OF THE PIE is simply amazing and deserves so much credit for the look of the final book. I'm hoping that we will get to work together again...and that I'll be lucky enough to partner with Andrew Scrivani for photos for the next book, too!
 
Laura R. February 27, 2017
This is such a good question! My husband noticed one of the splotches from far away and he thought that one of our dogs had drooled on the book. :P
 
Kate M. February 27, 2017
Andrew Scrivani thought the same thing! We all LOVE the splotches.
 
Susan February 27, 2017
Hi Kate, I love the custard pies you have included in the book. And while I love custard in general, it is usually too sweet for me. Is there a way to reduce the sugar and still have it set up properly?
 
Kate M. February 27, 2017
Hi Susan- I would try the recipes first as they are written. Then carefully reduce the sugar by 2 tablespoons or so at a time and bake another and see how it goes.
 
Lindsay-Jean H. February 27, 2017
Kate, is there a type of pie (or a handful of pies) that you find yourself turning to most frequently? Or are you always mixing it up with different types?
 
Kate M. February 27, 2017
The first pie of each season's newly ripe fruit is always exciting and I'm always open to trying new fruits.
 
Matt J. February 27, 2017
Hi Kate, Love the book. Just curious as to where you look for baking inspiration, do you have any favorite blogs or websites that you follow?
 
Kate M. February 27, 2017
Thanks for the question, Matt. My inspiration always has been to see what is fresh and in season, and striving to find produce that has flavor. With my teaching and writing, plus starting a new garden from scratch (20x40) and adding to my orchard at Pie Cottage, I don't spend a lot of time looking at other blogs or websites. I do read alot! And one of my current favorite book is Simran Sethi's BREAD, WINE, CHOCOLATE: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love.
 
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