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Pie Camp author Kate McDermott Talks About Her First Emile Henry Pie Dish

Pie Camp author Kate McDermott Talks About Her First Emile Henry Pie Dish


My first view of the beautifully colored Emile Henry pans was at a kitchenware store many years ago. Immediately I envisioned the freshly baked creations I would pull from my oven still steaming through vents placed on top of golden buttery flaky pastry. So, when a good friend presented me with one—my first—for a special occasion, I couldn’t believe my eyes. That moment of opening the box and pulling back the tissue paper to find a beautiful blue 9” deep-dish pie pan, is one I still vividly remember, even though that day was over 20 years ago.

When I lifted it out of the box, I admired its heft. Then I turned it over to see the words Emile Henry France on the bottom. Classic! I couldn’t wait to make an apple pie in it. Of course, I promised my generous friend a piece or two, plus a few more pies as a thank you.

The pan quickly became a favorite and I have added more Emile Henry pans to my collection over the years including a sweet 8” cherry red (which is just the perfect size for a small family dinner at home) and a magnificent 12” pan in a deep shade of red for celebrations. I can’t begin to count all the pies I have made in them… hundreds, if not more.

The purpose of a pie crust is to encase a filling and the even heat distribution and retention of the Burgundian clay Emile Henry uses gives me a perfectly crisp, golden crust on bottom and sides every time. I have baked for over five decades for family and friends, and as a pie teacher and author, and used many different pie pans, and with my trusty Emile Henry pans, I know that I will get not just a good bake but a great one.

 And that first Emile Henry pan? It’s over 20 years old now and still going strong.