All cherished recipes are, in a sense, memoir. Preparing a time-honored dish is a way to revisit the past, and sitting down at a table with others to savor the results is a way to extend that memory—be it of a specific time, place, or person—into the future. While there are many foods that can invoke strong recollections, perhaps none are as powerful as those bought on by pie.
This week's Cook the Book selection is Sweety Pies: An Uncommon Collection of Womanish Observations, With Pie by Patty Pinner. Filled with amusing anecdotes that typify her childhood in Saginaw, Michigan ("an unhappy husband will ask for toasted snow"), Patty's book is as much a story of love, friendship, and community as it is about baking desserts. Each recipe, from Miss Annie Dugan's Grape Juice Pie, to Aunt Helen's Pineapple Pie, and Cousin Eunice's Grated Carrot Pie, tells the story of the woman who created it.
Divided into seven chapters, Sweety Pies begins with detailed instructions for preparing perfect crusts (what is the difference between scalloped and pinched edges? How do you weave a perfect lattice top?), and then delves into berry pies, cereal pies, cream & custard pies, fruit pies, nut & sweet vegetables pies, and lastly, meringue pies.
Win 'Sweety Pies'
We'll be excerpting a recipe from Sweetie Pies each day this week (one from every chapter—get the sixth by signing up for the Serious Eats Recipe Newsletter!) In addition, you can enter to win one of five (5) copies of the book. Simply tell us in the comments section below: What is the most memorable pie you have ever eaten?
Five (5) people will be chosen at random from among eligible comments below. Comments will close Monday, August 4th at noon ET. The standard Serious Eats contest rules apply.