When it comes to beautiful desserts, cakes often get all the credit. It’s easy to see why—with spectacular trends like buttercream flowers and sculpted sugar brushstrokes, there’s a definite “wow” factor with these confections. But you can’t underestimate the power of creative pies. Lauren Ko, a home baker from Seattle, produces spectacular pie crusts that are as much a work of art as they are tasty.
Many of Ko’s pies utilize a lattice pastry approach, but with a twist. She will arrange the long, thin strips of dough in complex weaving and graceful crisscrossing patterns. The results often frame the pie fillings; in some of her recent creations, the lattices enclose a bunch of berries for a bullseye-style design, while another pie has a mandala-like shape in the center.
Baking is known for its adherence to directions, but Ko lets herself improvise when it comes to the crust and surface designs. “I’m driven by color and pattern, so I’m constantly brainstorming color combinations and geometric patterns that I think I can replicate with pie dough [and] fruit,” she explains. “What I create during a particular baking session is also often informed by produce that is in season and what’s currently in my fridge. My final products are generally happy accidents.”
Ko started baking pies about a year ago and has only begun sharing them on Instagram. Follow along with @lokokitchen to see what’s out of the oven.