By Vanessa Greaves

Sorry, cupcake. Move over, cookie. Go home, macaron. There's a new eye-candy in town and its name is pie.

Pie, Oh My

Lauren Ko of Seattle, Washington is the mad genius behind Instagram's @lokokitchen which, thanks to her inspired eye for pie, blew up to nearly 100k followers after just a handful of posts. Because they're that stunning. Combining form, flavor, color, and texture, Lauren elevates pie from homey dessert to high art.

You Dough, Girl!

But just in case you think this is all too precious for words, Lauren posts a giddy dash of puns with her pies.

Life of Pie

You wouldn't know it judging by her pies, but Lauren does not have a professional background in culinary or fine arts, nor does she bake for a living. That's right. Lauren has a day job, and turning out gorgeous pies is what she does for fun. She tells Allrecipes, "I come from a family of phenomenal eaters so I feel like I've been cooking and baking all sorts of things--savory foods, cookies, muffins, flan, etc.--my whole life."

As for her artistic influences, Lauren says, "I've always been creatively-inclined. I'm driven by color and inspired by geometric patterns and textiles. I Pinterest a lot of images of architecture, textiles, and geometric patterns that I think I can replicate with dough or fruit and go from there. For example, the chai masala pumpkin pie on my feed was inspired by a wicker purse that I thought was really interesting!"

Zen and the Art of Pie

You might wonder if executing all the fine details in her pies is crazy-making, but it's quite the opposite for Lauren. "I've always been detail-oriented, so making these intricate designs is quite soothing for me," she says. "I really got into these precisely constructed pies as a way to de-stress from work, so yes, I totally think the process of cooking can be therapeutic."

Pie In the Sky

So, how can we home cooks ever hope to achieve this level of pie-fection? Lauren offers these words of wisdom: "I, too, am a home cook and have only been baking pies for a little over a year, so I am, by no means, an expert. I get a lot of 'troubleshoot my pie!' questions but I'm still learning myself and feel hesitant to give advice. On a basic level though, for pies, I have found that keeping the dough cold is key and handling the dough as minimally as possible goes a long way. I roll out the dough, quickly slice it up, and place it on the pie with as little touching as possible. That's basically my process."

I couldn't resist asking Lauren if she's ever had a pie fail. She says, "As for design fails...haha! I usually have some nebulous idea in my head for design and then just improvise as I go along, depending on how well the dough or fruit cooperate with my vision. My final products are generally happy accidents, so going with the flow curbs a lot of 'failures.'"

Please Pass the Pie

If you're wondering (and I know you are) who gets to feast on these gorgeous pies, Lauren says, "I foist my pies on friends and family, and also bring a lot of scraps into work. I've learned that if you put anything in the staff kitchen, it will disappear, and I use this to my advantage. So if you're ever in Capitol Hill..."

(Brb...I gotta Uber to Cap Hill.)

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