Self-taught baker Lauren Ko combines artistry and pie to craft desserts that are a treat for the eyes and the taste buds. For years, she’s been wowing us with her artistic pies that incorporate complex crust weaving and geometric arrangements of various fruits and vegetables. Ko has gained widespread acclaim for her food art; and now, she’s letting us in on her baking secrets with her new book titled Pieometry. The cookbook features instructions for making your own “tart art” and “pie designs,” coupled with Ko’s warm and humorous storytelling.
Pieometry is the perfect book for anyone feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of baking a pie. “Pie seems to have always had an intimidating reputation,” Ko tells My Modern Met. “There’s a risk of overworking dough, resulting in a tough baked crust, or the fear of a soupy filling and hours of wasted labor. But I encourage anyone who feels daunted by pie-making to simply jump right in!” The best way to learn is by doing—over and over again. “Sure, I made a few sub-par doughs and alarmingly liquidy pies along the way, but I learned from those experiences and the confidence and insight gained from those blunders led me towards reliably flaky, always delicious, beautifully baked pies!”
Ko’s book has something for everyone. For baking newbies, she recommends trying the “Wave of Wonders” recipe. “I have a hand-sliced pear tart in my book that looks like a sculptural masterpiece but is actually very simple to execute,” she says. Arrangements of pear slices look like waves. “The visual is intricate and full of movement, but only requires a tart pan and a sharp knife!”
Advanced bakers will enjoy her challenging “Seeing is Beweaving” recipe. “The plum basil pie with a blue, white, and purple quilted crust is probably the most challenging design in the book, but mainly because it requires a bit of time to weave. But whether someone learns best through written instructions or by following visuals, I’ve provided both step-by-step directions as well as plenty of process photographs to make it very straightforward to weave the dough for an impressive pastry product!”
With dazzling images and mouth-watering recipes, Pieometry reminds us that at the end of the day, it’s only a pie. Have fun! “I initially started dabbling in pie design a few years back because I was stressed about my office job and needed a creative outlet,” Ko explains. “I’ve always enjoyed art, design, baking, and feeding people I love, and this became not only a happy intersection of all of those things but also a therapeutic outlet as well. I kept with it because it’s something I enjoy doing, and I try to keep that same spirit as I continue to navigate this bewildering journey of being a pie artist with an ever-growing Instagram platform, particularly as someone who still sees herself as a humble nerd puttering around in her home kitchen.”