Family ritual led to pie cookbook

October 30, 2002|By Linda Giuca | Linda Giuca,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Cookbook author Ken Haedrich describes himself "not as a recipe collector but an idea collector."

Haedrich, who lives in Annapolis, has been culling ideas for his latest book, Apple Pie Perfect (Harvard Common Press, $29.95 hardcover, $15.95 softcover), since childhood -- and he has both parents to thank. For them, pie baking was a joint effort. His mother prepared the filling, his father took care of mixing and rolling out the crust.

"It's the beginning of the story," he says. "What a great weekend ritual."

Haedrich hopes his book will inspire cooks to create not only their own family tradition but also their own variations on the pie, a symbol of the fall season.

The crust can make or break a pie, but even the most tender, flaky pastry can't compensate for a soupy, wimpy filling. When the filling is apple, Haedrich has his favorites -- he is partial to Granny Smith -- but he doesn't impose his particular tastes on his readers.

Linda Giuca is food editor of the Hartford Courant, a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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