Pi day, celebrated on 3/14 (get it) probably doesn’t mean as much to us now as it did when we were in school. If we were lucky, our elementary school teachers would make a big deal of it and treat us to pie on the day.
In jr. high and high school we probably celebrated pi day with math problems using the ancient numerical relationship between a circle’s diameter and circumference.
Pi Day Today
Pi day now, however, as someone who rarely needs this type of equation, reminds me of simpler things. Apple pie, berry pie, etc. And it appears I’m not alone. If you google “pi day deals” you will find pizza and other food deals both locally and nationally.
We decided to share some favorite pie recipes from Bluebird Health to get your pi day off to a great start–or a great finish, as the case may be.
We’ll start with a favorite pie crust recipe. This all-purpose pie dough is simple and versatile. It makes a generous one-crust pie dough. So if you’re doing a double-crust pie, do it twice. With the use of a food processor, it comes together faster than going to the store for a store-bought dough and the flavor is much better. You may see recipes out there that combine a little shortening with the butter. However, I don’t always have shortening on hand. That’s one reason this simple recipe has stood the test of time.
Pie Crust for Pi Day
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- pinch salt
- 6 oz. butter, cut into 1/2 in pieces
- 1/3 cup ice water
- Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process for 5 seconds to blend.
- Add the butter. Pulse until you have coarse crumbs with lots of pea-sized clumps of butter, 15 to 20 one-second pulses.
- Add the water and pulse until the mixture is just evenly moistened and very crumbly, 7 to 10 one-second pulses.
- Dump the crumbly dough out onto a work surface and gather it into a ball.
- Pat the dough into a 5-inch disc and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes or up to 3 days to rest.
- Take the dough out of the refrigerator and dust your work surface lightly with flour. Place the dough on top and sprinkle a little flour over the dough. Use your hands to quickly knead the dough into a soft and malleable disc (don’t overwork it; you want it just supple enough to roll).
- Roll the dough, turning it frequently and adding more flour as necessary so it doesn’t stick, into a 13-inch circle.
Now that you have the pie crust down, here’s the filling. This recipe cooks the filling just a little in the microwave first. We find this condenses the apples so you can fit more into the pie, and ensures they are all nice and tender.
Apple Pie Filling
6–7 cups of medium apples, cored, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 Tbsp. flour
2 Tbsp. butter
- Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl except the butter.
- Microwave this filling mixture 2-3 minutes.
- Pour into the pie crust.
- Dot with chunks of the butter.
- Top with the other crust.
- Cut steam slits in the top crust.
- Sprinkle the top with sugar.
- Bake at 450° for 15 minutes.
- Then turn down to 350° and bake for 35-45 minutes, until apples are tender and juices are bubbling nicely out of the steam slits.
Sheet-Pan Berry Crisp
This next recipe is adapted from a Food52 recipe discovered last fall. The addition of cherries tones down the bitterness slightly, and pleases the cherry pie lovers in the our bunch.
- 2 pounds cranberries (fresh or thawed from frozen)
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 can cherry pie filling (I like the kind that goes heavy on cherries and light on syrup, but if it’s too expensive, I take what I can get)
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 2/3 cups rolled (aka old-fashioned) oats
- 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/4 cups (2½ sticks) unsalted butter, cubed, at a cool room temperature
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and cover the rack below with foil (to catch any drips–don’t skip this step!). Heat the oven to 400°F.
- Add the cranberry-cherry filling ingredients to a large bowl and toss with until the sugar starts to dissolve. Spread the mixture into a rimmed 18×13-inch sheet pan. Make sure to include the liquid from the can of cherries.
- To make the streusel, combine the flour, oats, sugar, and salt in a large bowl and stir. Add the butter and incorporate using a pastry blender. Evenly distribute the streusel on top of the berries, smushing it into clumps along the way. Press the mixture slightly on top.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling around the edges and the streusel is golden brown.
- Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Yes, this sheet pan recipe makes a lot. However, don’t let that hold you back! I made this for the last two holidays for my small tribe of four. The leftovers are AMAZING! We split the remaining pi between the two families and had breakfast for two days for everyone. Delightful!
We hope you enjoy this small sampling of recipes from Bluebird Health kitchens. Celebrate Pi day like a kid. Whether that be doing math problems or eating some delicious pie. Make it memorable! If you have any recipes you’d like to share, leave them below in the comments.