Why Pie? Why Now?
When my publisher asked if I could write the Mrs. Rowe’s Little Book of Southern Pies Cookbook, I jumped at the chance. It's a natural follow-up to the Mrs. Rowe Restaurant Cookbook: A Lifetime of Recipes from Shenandoah Valley because Mrs. Rowe was famous for her pie. We could not possibly include all the pie recipes in the first book.
The other reason I jumped at the chance is that I love pie. The mix of textures and flavors in any piece of pie—whether it’s fruit or cream-based, suits my personality. It delights me.
But even more than the actual bite of it in my mouth, I love the idea of pie. It conjures images of home and hearth to some, yet to others it conjures more base appetites—lust and passion enclosed in a perfect crust or perfectly crafted meringue. These two images don’t necessarily have to be at odds with one another—as those of us who are married with children can attest to.
In fact, pie is many things to many people. It can mean whatever you want it to mean. It can also be as simple or elegant as you want to it be. You can bake a blackberry pie, for example, with more expensive but locally grown blackberries, or you can buy a can of berries or even frozen ones. You can stick with a simple pumpkin pie, made with Libby’s canned pumpkin—or you can go as far growing your own pumpkins for mashing.
As I researched this book, I talked to a lot of people about pie—cookbook authors, food writers, restaurant owners, neighbors, friends and family members. It became clear to me that many people have strong feelings about it. Unfortunately, one of the feelings that cropped up about it is crust-anxiety. That’s a topic for another discussion. Another thing that kept cropped up frequently was that most people judge pie by the way their own mother’s made it for them as a child. How’s that for a link between love and pie?
So, I say more pie for everyone. It’s the perfect time for it—we all could use a little more love, a lot more fun, and a simple bit of joy baked in our own ovens.