Pie School: Lessons in Fruit, Flour, and Butter (Paperback)
Pie School is Now in Session!
Since the first publication of Pie School in 2014, Kate Lebo has inspired bakers everywhere with her witty and encouraging lessons on all things flaky and sweet. This completely revised and updated edition includes 20 brand-new pies—including two new chapters, one on savory meat or vegetable pies and one on “difficult” (lesser-known) fruit pies—plus updates to the originals (80 in total). Her proven process to achieve flakiness and structure, along with recipes for delicious, inspired fillings, will give home cooks all the skills they need to make the best pie of their lives. Beyond the bake, Lebo also invites us to ruminate on the social history, the meaning, and the place of pie in the pantheon of favorite foods.
Brandied Apple and Cracked Cardamom Pie
White Peach and Raspberry Galette
Rosemary Rhubarb and Vanilla Chevre Galette
Winter Luxury Pumpkin Pie
Marionberry Pie with Hazelnut Crumble
Lamb, Pumpkin, and Quince Pie
Chicken Pot Pie
About the Author
KATE LEBO is the author of the essay collection The Book of Difficult Fruit, which won the Washington State Book Award. She is also co-editor with Samuel Ligon of Pie & Whiskey: Writers Under the Influence of Butter and Booze. Her poems and essays have appeared in Best American Essays, Harper’s Magazine, Crazyhorse, New England Review, Ecotone, The Inlander, and elsewhere. She lives and bakes in Spokane, Washington, where she is an apprenticed cheesemaker to Lora Lea Misterly of Quillisascut Farm.
“I love Kate Lebo’s Pie School so much. It’s reassuringly detailed for new cooks yet full of nuance that make veteran cooks like me say, “Oh wow, right!” The recipe lineup feels fresh and personal, with inventive recipes so solid they seem like classics. But it’s Kate’s writing—graceful and considered, yet funny and intimate—that makes you want to spend time with the book, along with a cup of tea and time for contemplation.”
—Martha Holmberg, James Beard Award-winning co-author of Six Seasons: A New Way to Cook Vegetables and author of Simply Tomato
“With recipes and words that spotlight traditional pie-making both savory and sweet, Kate Lebo’s Pie School is a definite keeper for any pie-maker’s bookshelf.”
—Kate McDermott, James Beard Award-nominated author of Art of the Pie
“Kate Lebo’s prose is rich and spiky, her voice spiced with wit and undergirded with tenderness; her work is pithy, well-researched, and always profoundly knowledgeable. Sure, she writes about food, but she’s really writing about humanity, her own and all of ours. To call this ‘a book about pie’ is like calling Moby-Dick ‘a book about a whale.’”
—Kate Christensen, PEN/Faulkner Award-winning author of The Great Man and Blue Plate Special
“Kate Lebo’s Pie School will delight you with its word play and train you to be the most capable baker in your neighborhood. This is a fantastically fun read, with clear and supremely helpful recipe directions. Everything I’ve made from it has awed guests and baker alike!”
—Katie Quinn, author of Cheese, Wine, and Bread
“It’s hard to imagine Kate Lebo’s improving upon Pie School; it was one of those triumphantly instant classics that rendered itself indispensable from the get-go. And yet the hindsight that emerged from life during COVID and writing her wonderfully weird, gorgeously geeky literary masterpiece Difficult Fruit has resulted in a second edition even more special and, if it’s possible, essential than the first.”
—Charlotte Druckman, author of Women on Food
“As with our most revered teachers, Kate Lebo, [in Pie School,] inspires us with her infectious passion for her subject—deciphering a daunting topic with the gentlest of hands and unwaveringly cheering us on to be the best cooks and people we can be. This is school you’ll never want to graduate from.”
—Peter Hoffman, chef and author of What’s Good: A Memoir in Fourteen Ingredients
“I didn’t know whether to read this book cover to cover as one would a memoir, or to cook my way through it, so I did both. Kate Lebo writes—and bakes pie—like absolutely no one else; her work and her words are to be treasured.”
—Elissa Altman, author of Motherland and Poor Man’s Feast
If actual school was as fun as Pie School, no one would ever play hooky. Kate Lebo has written a wonderful book celebrating the craft of baking fruit pies. Pie School is equal parts sassy and poetic, as sweet as a perfectly ripe peach with just the right balance of acerbic wit.
—Becky Selengut, author of Good Fish
Kate Lebo is the teacher we all wanted in school, her kitchen a classroom for lessons in life. Sure, there's plenty of instruction here on the tasty metaphysics of fruit, flour, and butter. But good pie is so much more—it's imagination and art and love. Hooray for Kate Lebo and Pie School.
—Langdon Cook, author of The Mushroom Hunters
The book promises "Lessons in Fruit, Flour & Butter" and it does not disappoint. Pie can be intimidating, but Lebo demystifies and charms in this beautifully designed volume. It's the sort of school we would all be eager to attend.
Pie School: Lessons in Fruit, Flour & Butter brings the lessons from [Kate Lebo's] baking classes to print with the same flair, wit, and enthusiasm in a book as rewarding to bake from as it is to read.
There are certainly bigger books on pie, but Lebo’s attention to detail and lighthearted delivery make this one a pleasure.
—The Seattle Times
This recipe book reaffirms a dedication to craft, brevity, and economy in both recipe and writing as a deeply connected physical and loving physical labor. The best recipes themselves are a work of art. This reviewer knows the power of such a book, where her own mother has already copied some of these recipes, and friends have begun to eye up this reviewer’s copy of Pie School, thinking of what pies they, too, can recreate or invent anew.
—The Los Angeles Review
In her new book filled with recipes for perfect crust, fifty different pies, and ruminations on the art, science, and significance of pie making, [Kate Lebo] opens her “Pie School” to everyone just in time for the holidays, inviting bakers everywhere to use their senses to turn pie into much more than just a dessert.
—University Book Store
If you’re intimidated by baking, Kate will hold your hand and walk you through the process. Pie School’s recipes are classics with modern twists and the writing will engage you and keep you wanting to learn more. This is a great book for any any cookbook collection.
—The Hungry Traveler
Abbreviating her in-person, face-to-face pie-making course for the benefit of us all, Lebo is all about the how-tos of the handmade—no food processors, no other kitchen machines, and certainly no store-bought prepackaged ingredients. The writing itself is almost enough to seduce. Who can resist, "You’ll know the filling is just right when you don’t want to stop eating it" and "Nectarines are peaches with a recessive gene for baldness?" Her book is packed with common sense as well as handy tidbits, many explained and photographed in step-by-step fashion at the front of the book, ranging from how to make a piecrust by hand to how to make "assembly-line" baked goods."
"Everything you need for cherry pie."
—South Sound Magazine