It's no secret: Here at Chow Bella, we're all about pie. We're already eager for Pie Social 2014, so you can keep your cute little cupcakes as long as we can have some flaky, buttery crust packed with sweet and savory fillings.
But pie can be a harsh mistress for new bakers. That's why we're thrilled that Beth Howard is coming to town to teach the gospel of pie with her new cookbook and baking philosophy manual Ms. American Pie. From shoo-fly to strawberry rhubarb and even pulled pork, Howard breaks pie baking down to basics from her home in rural Iowa.
We're so excited, Chow Bella's co-sponsoring Howard's local book event.
So, to be honest: Howard wasn't always out on the farm, which just so happens to be the American Gothic house from Grant Wood's iconic painting. She made pies for celebrities when she worked at Malibu Kitchen in California, revealing that Barbra Streisand picked lemon meringue and Steven Spielberg was a coconut cream man. After moving into the picturesque slice of Americana she calls home in Iowa, Howard began the popular Pitchfork Pie Stand out of her parlor room.
Now, Howard's on a mission to "take the fear out of making pie" with no-fuss tips and cheeky writing. It's like having your sassy best friend who is also an accomplished baker teach you everything you need to know about pie. What? You don't have one of those either? That's okay, Howard's "Pie-deology" will guide you to the places you need to go, while tossing aside myths, misconceptions, and unnecessary ado in baking. Case in point:
"Pie dough is like a horse and knows when you're scared," Howard's book proclaims.
Finally, someone tells us after many sleepless nights with shaky hands and a tough, sad crust. With the cookbook broken into sections like "pies to say thank you," "pies to lift your spirits," and "pies to seduce," Howard finds a pie for every occasion. Hand pies, jar pies, slab pies, shepherd's pie, and all the classics are found in Howard's book, which has 80 recipes total.
Beth Howard, "Ms. American Pie" herself, will be at Changing Hands Bookstore to promote her book and dish out some tips and, of course, pie on Wednesday, April 16 at 7 p.m. Howard will be signing, speaking, answering questions, and dishing out samples of her tasty "buttery-good: apple pie at the event. You can buy the book pre-order through the Changing Hands website, but the event itself is free to attend.