In June of 2012, Shelburne Falls and the surrounding area played host to Paramount Pictures during the filming of Labor Day, starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin and directed by Jason Reitman.
In Labor Day—a romance, a drama, and a woman's fantasy of what men, perhaps, should be—Winslet plays Adele Wheeler, a fragile, frightened single mother too wary of the outside world to even get in the car and drive to the market.
The year is 1987, the place a small New Hampshire town. Adele's 13-year-old boy (a very good Gattlin Griffith) has assumed many of the domestic responsibilities. There's even an Oedipal tinge to their relationship.
Everything changes when a stranger - with a limp and a bloody hole in his stomach—enters the Wheelers' quiet, tamped-down world. He's an escaped convict (played by Josh Brolin), and over the course of director Jason Reitman's film—adapted from the Joyce Maynard novel—Winslet's broken bird, Adele, takes flight again.
The World's Sexiest Peach Pie
You may already be familiar with the film's rather steamy pie-making sequence, in which Frank, an escaped convict played by Brolin, shows his softer side to the two people he's kidnapped, Adele, a fragile single mother played by Kate Winslet, and her devoted son, Henry (Gattlin Griffith).
Without spoiling the plot, we can tell you that the pie, a tall, double-crust peach number, plays a pretty pivotal role in Labor Day. And it turns out that the recipe comes from author Joyce Maynard's mother, and Maynard personally taught Winslet and Brolin how to make pie with that very same recipe. That's Maynard above in the red sweater, sharing her baking expertise with Winslet and Brolin and it's her tips that make up much of the dialogue in the scene. Brolin's character is clearly confident in the kitchen and to help pull this off, the actor baked a pie every day on set to make sure the pie scene looked authentic.
To create your own seduction-worthy pie, try Joyce Maynard's Peach Pie Recipe as seen in Labor Day.
- 3 pounds peaches
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup Crisco vegetable shortening
- 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon chilled butter, cut into pieces
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water
- 2 tablespoons Minute tapioca (plus 2 additional tablespoons to stir into peaches)
- 1 beaten egg
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- In a large bowl, combine the peaches, sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Stir in 2 tbsp Minute Tapioca to help absorb juices. Let stand, stirring occasionally.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, work in the shortening and 1 stick of butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the ice water over the flour mixture, stirring gently with a fork. Continue adding the water just until the dough holds together. Shape the dough into a ball and divide it into two discs, one slightly larger than the other.
- Place the smaller disc on a sheet of waxed paper, and use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. If the dough sticks to the rolling pin, dust it lightly with more flour. Lay a 9- to 10-inch pie pan face down on top of the circle; flip the pan over and remove the paper. For the crust, on a sheet of waxed paper, roll out the other disc to form a 14-inch circle. Do not roll the dough more than necessary.
- Sprinkle the tapioca on the bottom crust. Add the filling, mounding it in the center, and dot with 1 tablespoon butter. Lift the waxed paper with the remaining crust and flip it over the filling. Peel back waxed paper. Trim the edges of the crusts and pinch together the top and bottom crusts. Optional: Roll out the trimmings and cut into decorative shapes. Brush the pie with the egg, and arrange the shapes on the crust. Sprinkle with sugar. Poke fork holes or cut vents in the top crust. Put pie plate on cookie sheet to catch drips. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.
This section of the website was made possible by the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism and the Massachusetts Film Office.