AT A LITTLE MICHIGAN BAKERY, WE FOUND CRUMB-TOPPED CRANBERRIES, SUNNY-SIDE UP TARTS, TOASTY MERINGUE—AND THE SECRET TO MAKING BUTTERY, FLAKY, UTTERLY UNFORGETTABLE PIE DOUGH FROM SCRATCH.
No one frets over slicing apples for a pie. It’s the pastry that intimidates.
Lisa Ludwinski sees the fear when she hosts classes at her Detroit bakery, Sister Pie. “The terror really awakens when it’s roll-out time,” she writes in her new cookbook, Sister Pie (Lorena Jones Books, $25). But Lisa has a tip that’s as liberating as it is simple: Embrace failure. Your first attempt will almost certainly be patchy, lumpy, cracked—a truly humble pie. But it will taste better than anything you buy rolled in a box. Forge ahead. “It’s only through spending an afternoon in your kitchen with a couple of pounds of butter, making this recipe over and over again, that you’ll begin to develop the necessary intuition for crust-making success,” Lisa says. Bake again next weekend. And again. Take yourself to pie school. (Your friends and family are going to love you.) With all that delicious practice, you’ll hone a skill that will unlock a whole world of goodies, not just pies, but quiche, cookies and even crackers. So be brave! Thanksgiving is around the corner, and Lisa’s tantalizing recipes await.
ABOVE LISA LUDWINSKI OPENED SISTER PIE IN DETROIT’S WEST VILLAGE IN 2015. TOP EVERY DAY, THE CREW MAKES PASTRY BY HAND, ONE QUADRUPLE BATCH AT A TIME. FILLINGS FEATURE SEASONAL INGREDIENTS, OFTEN PURCHASED FROM FARMERS AT EASTERN MARKET.