Chef Jim Dodge comes from six generations of hoteliers from the lakes region and white mountain of New Hampshire. After early training and direction at his parents’ luxury resorts, he began a two year Swiss pastry apprenticeship with pastry chef Fritz Albicker. In 1978, Jim became the executive pastry chef at the Stanford Court Hotel in San Francisco. The Swiss influence with his New England heritage resulted in a new style of pastries that focused on building more flavor using California’s seasonal ripe fruits, minimally processed heavy cream and less sugar. In the early 1980s he became one of the first young American pastry chefs to be nationally recognized.
In 1991 he opened The American Pie Pastry Shop in Hong Kong, and for 7 years it was named the finest pastry shop in Hong Kong. His other positions have been; senior vice president at New England Culinary Institute, director of food services at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, resident district director of food and wine at the Getty Center, and director of specialty culinary programs for Bon Appétit Management. He is the author of The American Baker and Baking with Jim Dodge. Besides teaching pastry domestically for over 35 years he has taught in Japan, Korea, Mexican and Panama. Jim is an advisor to the Julia Child Foundation and jury chair for the Julia Child Award.
I have fond memories of calm mornings sharing coffee and stories with Jacques in San Francisco at the Stanford Court Hotel on Nob Hill. I was the pastry chef for the hotel and Fournou’s Oven and Jacques stayed there while taping his show at KQED. Now we often meet in BU Met, where I still teach classes in the culinary program that he created there. This American pie can be made at any time of the year but for me is always great in the fall and winter when other fruit is scarce. You can make the pie shell ahead but make the crème pâtissière/pastry cream and complete the pie on the same day. Eat it within two days… that’s not hard to do!View This Recipe