You Can Be a Powerful Feminist and Love to Bake Pie

Planned Parenthood’s outgoing CEO shares her favorite recipe.

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Cecile Richards is not a woman who messes around—she’s best known for her stint as outgoing president of Planned Parenthood, her time as deputy chief of staff to Rep. Nancy Pelosi, and her work for her mother Ann Richards’ campaign for governor of Texas. What’s less known about her is that she takes pie very, very seriously. 

Richards’ new memoir, “Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead,” has several references to pie. As a Southerner who has lots of opinions about baking, I could not pass up the chance to ask her about her baking secrets for Bite, our food politics podcast. (Our conversation begins at 29:00 of the episode below).

Richards told me that cherry pie is her “desert island” pie—as in, the pie she would choose if she had to be stranded on a desert island with only one. The fresh sour cherries that ripen during Maine summers are the gold standard. If you can’t find those, do not fret, Richards says—the jarred ones from Zabar’s will do just fine. Tartine’s pie crust recipe is her go-to, because butter crusts “are the best crusts.” (Hover your mouse over her Instagram post below to scroll through the full recipe.)

“Back in Texas, food and meals, those were the ways in which you really got to know people and be together,” Richards told me. “As a family, we were constantly camping and cooking out. Any meal, there was always a chance you’d just invite some more people over.” She also talked about starting a food co-op as a student at Brown University, how food became an organizing strategy for her, and the dishes she falls back on for comfort during stressful times. 

Image credit: searagen/Getty; Sonia Moskowitz/Globe Photos/ZUMA

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In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

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