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Art of the Pie pie camp
Kate McDermott (l) helps an attendee at the 'Art of the Pie' pie camp in Port Angeles, WA. / Jeremy Lape

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If you have multiple days to devote, Kate McDermott's Art of the Pie Camp is an extravaganza of hands-on pie experiences, from picking fruit to plunging into pastry crusts. She also travels the country offering one-day workshops and has a weekend Pie Retreat in the works for November.

Beth Howard of the Pitchfork Pie Stand has taught her four-hour workshops from Eldon, Iowa, to Africa. Find her classes at her web site and blog, The World Needs More Pie.

But what if you only have few hours close to home for close-to-home style pie-making? Classes can be found almost anywhere folks love to eat or blog about pie and often where pie pans are sold. A sampling:

• Kimberly Henrick-Friedhoff, blogging at Rhubarb and Honey, clued St. Louis area readers on a night of pie-masterpieces sponsored by a kitchen supply store, Kitchen Conservatory, where she took "This Guy Knows PieĒ taught by chef Josh Galliano.

The Chopping Block, a gourmet store and recreational cooking school in Chicago, cranks up pie classes in the fall featuring savor and sweet pies including apple pie baked in a cast-iron skillet. The store is known for selling this specialty and pumpkin pie ó with the 10-inch skillet or pan they come in ó at Thanksgiving, says chef/teacher Carolyn Engelmann.

Cooking by the Book, Suzen OíRourke's school in New York City has branched out from corporate team-building-by-the-stove events -- "a sort of culinary Outward Bound," she says -- to add classes for individuals and couples. Watch for her second annual class on March 14 National Pi Day. (Get it? Pi is around 3.14!) Last year's menu of savory and sweet pies concluded with right-on-trend apple mini-pies.

• The Cooks Warehouse, with four locations in Atlanta, moves into autumn with classes such as one on Back Home Baking, where chef and author Jamie Gorey teaches pie crusts and classic fillings including Apple, Chocolate Cream and Lemon Meringue.

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