Celebrate Pi Day on March 14 (3.1415...)

The mathematical constant may remind you of school, but celebrate it with pies through out the day

    It may not be as well known as Christmas or the Fourth of July, but March 14 is a holiday worth celebrating.
    It’s Pi Day — a celebration of the mathematical constant representing the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Pi is an infinite number that begins 3.1415....
    For many people, pi is only a number they were forced to memorize in high school math classes. But this is a day to celebrate by indulging in pie, of course.
    While a fruit pie may be what comes to mind first, take the opportunity to celebrate the day with a savory pie. There are plenty of versions of pies for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as snacks and desserts.
    For a special Pi Day touch, decorate your pie with the symbol of pi cut into the center of the top crust.
    If you don’t want to make a standard pie, you can use a muffin pan to create individual serving-sized pies.
    Or you could make jam-filled pie cookies. Prepare your favorite pie crust and roll it out thin. Use a cookie cutter to cut out multiples. Place a dollop of jam in the center of half the pieces, moisten the edges with water and cover with a plain piece of dough. Press the edges to seal, then use a fork to crimp the edges. Prick the center of each little pie cookie with a fork to create tiny vents and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake in a 425-degree oven for 15 minutes, until lightly browned.
    Or try an apple pie tortilla. Peel and dice some green apples, cut them into small slices and place a large spoonful of apples in the center of a four-inch tortilla. Top the apples with 1/2 tablespoon butter and 1/2 tablespoons of cinnamon sugar, then place the tortillas on a baking sheet. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 18 to 20 minutes, cut with a pizza slicer and eat.
    In any case, enjoy Pi Day.
    Following are pie recipes from makeandtakes.com/



Easy Strawberry Cream Pie
1 baked pie crust
1 cup heavy whipping cream
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
18 to 20 strawberries, cut in half
1 tablespoon shortening or oil
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

    Beat heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form.
    In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually add in sugar and vanilla. Fold cream cheese mixture into the whipped cream until evenly combined. Spoon into baked pie crust.
    Arrange strawberries over the top of filling, then melt shortening and chocolate chips in microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. Drizzle over strawberries. Refrigerate.


No-Bake French Silk Pie

For crust:
1-3/4 cups crushed pretzels
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup honey
For filling:
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup salted butter, room temperature.
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 whole eggs

    In a medium bowl, mix melted butter and honey until smooth. Add crushed pretzels and mix. Press mixture firmly against the bottom and sides of a greased eight or nine-inch pie plate or springform pan. Refrigerate.
    In a small microwave-safe bowl melt chocolate chips for 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until melted and smooth.
    In the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix the butter and sugar one to two minutes, until fluffy. Add melted chocolate and vanilla extract. Whisk until combined.
    Turn mixer to medium speed and add eggs, one at a time, at five-minute intervals. Once the filling is well mixed, pour into the crust. Smooth the top and refrigerate at least two hours or overnight.
    Top with one to two cups whipped cream and garnish with chocolate curls, if desired.
    If a sweeter pie is preferred, use 1-1/4 cup sugar.


Breakfast Slab Pie

For crust:
3-3/4 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 cups unsalted butter, very cold
3/4 cup very cold water
For filling:
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch slices
10 ounces spinach
1 cup coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese
4 scallions, thinly sliced
11 large eggs plus 1 large egg white
1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
For assembly:
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon water

    To make the pie crust, whisk flour and salt in the bottom of a large, wide bowl. Using a pastry blender, two forks or your fingertips, work the butter into the flour until it is the size of tiny peas. Gently stir in water with a rubber spatula, mixing until a craggy mass forms. Knead dough two or three times to form a ball, then divide dough roughly in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and flatten to a disc. Chill in refrigerator for one to 48 hours.
    Place potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cooking for seven to 10 minutes, until tender but not falling apart. Drain.
    Wash spinach, then place in hot skillet and cook until it just wilts. Drain in a colander, pressing out as much liquid as possible. If the leaves were large, roughly chop the spinach.
    On a lightly floured surface, quickly roll one disc of dough into an 18-by-13-inch rectangle, working quickly. Transfer to a parchment-lined 10-by-15-inch baking sheet, gently draping some of the overhang in so the dough fills out the inner edges and corners. Trim any remaining overhanging dough to 3/4-inch.
    Layer vegetables over bottom pie crust. Sprinkle cheese on top. Beat whole eggs and egg white lightly, then pour over vegetables.     Sprinkle with salt and many grinds of black pepper.
    Roll the second disc of dough into a 16-by-11-inch rectangle. Drape over filling and fold the bottom crust’s overhanging crust over the edges, sealing them together. Cut a couple tiny slits in the lid. Beat egg yolk with one teaspoon water and brush over top.
    Bake  in a 375-degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until crust is golden and filling is set. Transfer to a wire rack and cool a bit before cutting into squares.


Apple-Bacon Cheddar Mini Breakfast Pies

3/4 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup peeled and chopped apple
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped white onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup biscuit mix
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs

    In a large bowl, stir together bacon, apple, cheddar cheese, onion, sage and salt. In a separate medium bowl, stir together biscuit mix, milk and eggs with a fork until well blended.
    Spoon scant tablespoonfuls of the biscuit mixture into the bottom of 12 lightly greased muffin cups. Add about 1/4 cup bacon mixture to each cup and top with remaining biscuit mixture.
    Bake in a 350-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and edges are golden. Cool five minutes in pan, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool slightly before serving.


Burrata Pizza Pie

1 pizza dough
1/2 cup pizza sauce
8 ounces burrata cheese
3 ounces prosciutto
Handful fresh basil, fried or torn into pieces
Red pepper flakes
    Place a pizza stone in a 500-degree oven 30 minutes before baking.
    Stretch pizza dough in a circular motion with your hands, then lay on a flat surface and flatten using a rolling pin. If you have a pizza peel, sprinkle flour on it and place the dough on the peel.
    Use a spoon to spread pizza sauce around the dough.
    Pop pizza peel in the oven and slide onto the stone for 10 minutes.
    Pull out the pizza and sprinkle the burrata on top, then return to the oven for three to four minutes.
    When the cheese is just starting to melt, take pizza out and top with prosciutto, basil, salt and red pepper flakes. Cut into six to eight slices and serve immediately.


Banoffee Pie

For dulce de leche:
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
For crust:
1-1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter
1 egg yolk
A little cream or milk
1 egg white, beaten
For topping and assembly:
3 firm, ripe bananas, sliced
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
A little sugar
Bittersweet chocolate curls

    Place unopened can of condensed milk in a large pan and cover completely with water. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook the can for two hours, turning every so often and adding more water to cover when needed. Turn off the heat and let the can cool in the water. When the can is cool enough to touch, remove from the pan.
    Mix flour, sugar and salt together. Using your hands, a food processor, a pastry cutter, or two knives, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it looks like cornmeal.
    Break up the egg yolk with a fork and add to the flour mixture. Stir with a fork until the dough comes together in a ball. You may need to add a little cream if it’s too dry. Don’t overwork the dough or it will become tough. Cover the bowl and refrigerate about 20 minutes.
    Pat the crust into a nine or 10-inch pie or tart pan. Prick all over with a fork and chill an additional 20 to 30 minutes.    
    Bake in a 400-degree oven for 15 minutes, until it is  light gold. Remove from oven and brush the inside with some of the beaten egg white. Return to the oven and bake until golden.
    Cool crust. Spread dulce de leche on the bottom of the crust and top with sliced bananas, pushing them down a bit.
    Beat the heavy cream and sugar with an electric beater until stiff peaks form. Spread over the banana layer. Top with chocolate curls. Chill until ready to serve.


Mini Chicken Pot Pies

14 ounces cream of chicken soup with herbs
1/4 cup chicken stock
3 packages refrigerator crescent rolls
9 ounces frozen vegetables, thawed
1 cup chicken, cut into small pieces
    Lay out the crescent roll dough, sealing seams, then cut into 12 rounds. Press each round into a greased muffin cup, spreading up the sides.
    In a large bowl mix soup, thawed vegetables and chicken. Spoon filling into the cups, taking care not to overfill them.
    Using a pizza cutter, cut strips of crescent dough to cover the top of the cups, using two pieces in either direction for a lattice look.
    Bake in a 400-degree oven about 18 minutes, until top and sides are golden brown. If the top gets too brown, cover it with foil until the bottom is cooked.
    Let pies cool a bit, then use a knife to loosen and lift out the pies.


Pie Crust Cookies

1 recipe for double pie crust, chilled
Flour for dusting
1 egg
2 teaspoons water or milk
1/4 cup raw or regular sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch salt
Jam, jelly, dulce de leche, or fruit butter, for filling

    Roll 1/4 of the pie crust dough out on a lightly floured surface until 1/8 to 1/4-inch  thick. Cut into desired shapes and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
    Beat egg with water in a small bowl. In another small bowl, combine the sugar, spices, and salt.
    Using a pastry brush, paint the tops of the cookies with the egg wash. Sprinkle evenly with a light layer of sugar.
    Bake in a 425-degree oven about 15 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet halfway through baking. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
    Transfer cookies to a cooling rack to cool. Match up tops and bottoms.
    On the non-sugar side of one of the cookies, spread a thin layer of filling. Top with the other cookie. Serve.


Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Pie crust
2 cups cut up rhubarb
2 cups cut up strawberries
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
For topping:
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup butter

    Cook fruit, covered, over low heat about five minutes. Add lemon juice.
    Combine sugar and cornstarch, then add to rhubarb mixture and cook, stirring, four to five minutes, until thickened and bubbly. Cool.
    Prepare pie crust and pour in the filling.
    Combine topping ingredients, then sprinkle on top of the filling.
    Bake in 400-degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes. If it needs more time, reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake another 10 to 15 minutes.




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