Eating with our eyes first, Lauren Ko designs pies fit for Instagram

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For her designs with strips of dough like this spoke signals, Lauren Ko opts for a denser pie filling like apples. She calls this her signature design that is easier than it looks. Photo by Ed Anderson.

“I didn’t instantly transform into a pie lady,” says Lauren Ko, who had some extra time on her hands when she stumbled upon pies on Instagram and made her first lattice apple pie. Encouraged by the number of “likes” on her first post of pie, she continued to share photos of pies and tarts. She gained 8,000 followers in a day and had 100k by the end of the year when she quit her job in social work and started baking full-time.

Considering herself more of a modernist, foliage and flowers were not her taste, so she started incorporating shapes and straight lines into her designs, which she says are better suited to tarts than pies. She discusses her designs, flavored doughs and her new book “Pieometry.”

The Tangram Tart with dragon fruit, mango, and kiwi was inspired by the puzzle that Lauren Ko played with as a child. Photo by Ed Anderson.

“I consider myself an artist, it just so happens that my medium is edible,” says Lauren Ko. Photo by Ed Anderson.

In her book “Pieometry,” Lauren Ko suggests starting with tarts when approaching pie baking. Photo courtesy of HarperCollins.