Pies have always fascinated me, but I have never really got down to baking one myself; So when Four Seasons invited me for the master-class with Beth M. Howard, I made sure I was able to go. Beth is the author of the bestselling cookbook “Ms American Pie” and the novel “Making Piece: A Memoir of Love, Loss, & Pie”. She was in Bombay as part of her global pie making adventure, and has travelled to Australia, New Zealand, and Thailand so far, baking pies, and using them to, as a she puts it, “make this world a better place, one pie at a time!”
It was held at the Cocktail and Dining Lounge at Four Seasons Hotel, Mumbai. I reached the venue and met everyone who had come in for the baking fiesta. The lounge looked beautiful, and had a long table covered with Beth’s signature red and white checkered table cloth. There were a whole bunch of with pies and a few copies of her books. I could see a few of the kitchen staff prepping the kitchen with the ingredients that we were going to use. And then, Beth arrived. She introduced herself to each and everyone present there. She was warm and pleasant to talk to, smiling and equally excited as much as each of us there. She gave us all insight of her work & mission. It was interesting to hear her story, her journey with pies. It was simple. For her, pie brings together community, pie comforts and pie heals. And everyone loves this sweet pastry treat. With pie, she aims to touch people, and introduce how relaxing and therapeutic baking can be.
You can read about this and much more on her website – www.theworldneedsmorepie.com
After the short introduction, all of us grabbed our aprons and took charge of our work stations. The room was filled with excitement, everyone looked great. Soon Beth started off with the instructions in making the perfect pie. We had our ingredients and tools on our stations. We were given peaches, apples and cherries to use as the pie filling. She has a simple philosophy and believes that baking shouldn’t be stressful. It should be liberating. One should not fear about the recipe or the metrics or what the world says about the dish but should just follow simple steps, have fun, be free and enjoy the whole experience. We did just that.
Beth showed us the types of rolling pins that can be used to roll out the pie dough. The middle one is her favourite and she carries it everywhere she goes.
We all made our pies and even had a chance to taste some that she baked. I baked a Cherry pie and an Apple pie. It was a lot of fun. It was a fun interactive session; Beth is a great teacher and a passionate baker. She shared her secret mantra to making the perfect apple pie filling “Salt, Sugar, Cinnamon, Flour” just follow this on a bed of apple pieces and you will never fail at making an apple pie.
She was in Lebanon and will be in Greece next. Here are the details of her schedule:
July 24th to 29th Athens, Greece
July 29th to August 27th Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Hungary
I would like to thank Four Seasons for this wonderful event and I can’t wait to try using the recipe and her tips to make savoury pies.