About Kate McDermott
Baking with Hands and Heart:
Thoughts on Making Pie, by Kate McDermott
From the time I was a little girl I loved to bake. In the afternoons after school, I would come home and while my mom taught piano lessons, I would get out the mixing bowl and spoons to make cookies, cakes, and bread. I took great delight in arranging a pretty table with china, cloth napkins, cutlery and flowers from mom’s garden. Some of these first attempts were disasters but many turned out to be pretty good and kept me interested in baking.
Those years of learning and experimenting later served me well in baking for my young family. We lived “out”, had a big garden, and in the kitchen was a wonderful six-burner stove with an oven that could fit six loaves of bread at a time! I loved getting up early to bake for my family.
For a while in the late 1990’s, my son Duncan and I lived on a blueberry u-pick farm on the north Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. There was no shortage of berries there! I made blueberry pie, blackberry pie, raspberry pie, combining them all to make triple-berry pie. I brought Pie to the local Grange events for fundraiser bake sales. I used to take a quick peek later in the day to see if there was any left. It always brought a smile to my face to see that every piece had disappeared!
2005 is the year pie became a passion and a two-year exploration of crust ensued. There was lots of experimentation with different flours and fats, ratios and recipes. The dough that we make in my Art of the Pie workshops is the culmination of much that was learned along the way.
I love sharing the craft of crust in workshops and anywhere there are pie bakers, pie eaters and pie seekers. Folks say this crust is just delicious and are surprised to learn how easy it is to make. Add to that a delicious seasonal fruit filling and it couldn’t be better. And, if it comes from your heart, that pie will be full of love!
—Kate McDermott, Pie Maker, Teacher, Practitioner of Kindness