Episode 30
Thursday, December 13, 2018

The art of slab pies—sweet to savory—and tackling dough-phobia with Cathy Barrow

“Nobody can be unhappy with a piece of pie in their lap. You don't get pie a lot—you don't really find pie in restaurants as dessert very often. So I often think that there is a kind of homemade quality to it that always makes you feel like you're at home."

This week, we're excited to welcome Cathy Barrow to SALT + SPINE, the podcast on stories behind cookbooks.

Cathy’s latest cookbook, Pie Squared, is a collection of 75 recipes for slab pie. Cathy writes: “For those of you who aren't up on your Pinterest food trends, slab pie is just like regular pie-only better (and bigger)!” Unlike the round pies you might be used to, these sweet and savory pies are baked in sheet pans.

In addition to cookbooks — her first, Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry, won the IACP award for best single-subject cookbook in 2015 — Cathy is a columnist for The Washington Post, where she writes the paper’s “Bring It” column.

“Scratch cooking can be so terrifying to people. When I learned that even Nora Ephron, one of our great writers and great cooks, would not make her own pie dough, I started to really think … what is it that makes a pie from scratch? I really think pie is simple and easy, and I want people to be making pie and to stop being afraid of it.”

On this episode of Salt + Spine’s special Baking Week, we sat down with Cathy at the San Francisco’s The Civic Kitchen to discuss slab pies, her recipes for exciting crusts -- like the caramelized onion crust or a hash brown crust -- and tips for great pie baking at home, like avoiding that dreaded “soggy bottom.”

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