High-Design Pie: Complex Edible Works of Art You’d Actually Want to Eat

Instagram might have made it famous, but the fine art of
crafting a delicious pie so intricate you’re almost loathe to
cut into its crust is much older than the modern ‘food art’
trend. Centuries ago, the richest and most flamboyant members
of high society sought out talented head cooks who could
present a sufficiently impressive dining experience filled not
just with the finest ingredients, but also edible sculptural

Conrad Hagger, who worked for the Archbishop of Vienna in the
18th century, wrote a book called ’Neues Saltzburgisches
Kochbuch 1719’(The Salzburg Cookbook) that included drawings of
pies with elaborate shapes like towering reindeer, sea monsters
and swans. And if you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you may recall
the infamous Pigeon Pie at the fateful Purple Wedding – the
monstrous one Joffrey cut into with a sword, releasing live
pigeons into the air (psst…
here’s a recipe for a replica, minus the live birds.

It may be rare to see creations of quite that intricacy on the
average dinner table today, but that doesn’t mean we’ve lost
the art altogether. Pie making has always been among the quiet
domestic arts practiced primarily by women, with decorative
touches ranging from simple flowers to crusts woven like
tapestries. Modern bakers are keeping the tradition alive with
more contemporary designs, like those found on the blog and Instagram account Pies
are Awesome
, who’ve created pies inspired by pop culture
phenomena like Stranger Things and Star Wars.

Some of the coolest modern pies come from bakers Lauren Ko and
Pfeiff Boschek
, whose work is almost mathematical in its
precision. While some of the designs fare better than others
post-baking (in one of her Instagram posts, Ko admits that
Boschek is better practiced at this, calling her a “butter
sorceress”), all of the designs are sure to drop jaws at the

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