Introduction

Introduction

By
Kirsten Jenkins, Phoebe Wood
Contains
0 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
ISBN
9781743791332
Photographer
Kirsten Jenkins

Phoebe

My obsession with pies began during a three-month trip to New York City almost three years ago. In desperate need for a change, I had quit my job, packed up my life and travelled to a city that I had never been to and where I barely knew a soul. I spent those three months exploring any and every part of the city I happened to end up in that day. Ten kilos (twenty-two pounds) later, I had well and truly eaten my fair share of pies (oh, and doughnuts) and had a crack at making my own on my first Thanksgiving (it was pecan and chocolate, thank you!).

It’s hard to put my finger on why pies struck such a special chord with me, but I just loved how ‘pie’ had a real culture in the States. It seemed to me like it was something that everyone knew how to make over there, and everyone had a family recipe or a favourite filling they would recommend. Blogs, websites and cookbooks recite the history of pies and record thousands of attempts at ‘the perfect crust’. There are entire shops, such as the Four and Twenty Blackbirds pie shop in New York, solely devoted to selling their single product: pie. And Christina Tosi’s Crack Pie has a cult following all around the world! Pie was a revelation to me.

When I came home to Sydney, I spent months perfecting the art of the pie crust, which was so different from the style of pastry I was used to making. Pie pastry is rich with thick chunks of good-quality butter, and it usually has a little vinegar added to it to prevent gluten-strands from forming, resulting in a perfectly flaky, crunchy crust. Weekends were consumed in pursuit of pie perfection and new filling combinations, much to the delight of my friends and family. It was on a Sunday when the idea struck me: I had to write a book about pies. Who could I convince to do it with me? Only one person came to mind.

Kirsten

Even before meeting Phoebe I had heard everything about her! We were only a couple of years apart at TAFE (college) and had the same teachers there. We started at two different food magazines at the same time and the food industry is so small we knew all the same people. Only we had never met. Our paths finally crossed when Phoebe came home from New York to work on SBS’s Feast magazine, where at the time I was freelancing. We instantly hit it off with our first phone conversation consisting of only laughter (and a bit about food)! We had, and still have, the same philosophy when it comes to food. It was so nice finding someone on that same page.

Phoebe

When people meet Kirsten, they suffer what I like to call ‘the Kirsten effect’. She’s good at just about everything, but when it comes to styling, she takes things to another level. I’ve learned so much from her and we are constantly challenging each other to be better. The fact that she happens to be pretty handy with a camera is a bonus. My proposal was via text and read something like, ‘Hey, how would you feel about shooting a cookbook?’ and she instantly wrote back: ‘Yes.’ From the beginning, Kirsten was my constant motivation for making this project the absolute best it could be.

Kirsten

This was a pretty easy proposition: come up with a dream vision of what you want your book to look like, collect props, choose backgrounds and construct graphic images that reflect both of your personalities.

Both

This book is all about experimentation, appreciation and enjoyment. No matter how many times you make a pie, it is always different. One day it’s a sugary jam explosion; the next day it’s the flakiest crust you’ve ever eaten. We want people to feel fearless and confident when they cut the butter through their first pastry. We want people to experience the wonderful anticipation and joy of baking and know that no result will be bad, just different. This is not a book about French patisserie or fine-dining desserts, these are just really good recipes for the home cook to blow the socks off their friends and family. This book is about a project that we really believe in and is wholly ours: our vision and recipes, our triumphs and failures. Our friends and family were our taste testers, our critics and our supporters, and we received looks of awe, elation and some definite looks of confusion (those ones didn’t make it in, we promise). We truly hope that every pie you make will tell a new story, and you make it your own personal pie project.

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