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Shawn Nesaw

What’s all the fuss over Pi ?

Shawn Nesaw | March 14, 2017

Each year on March 14 (3.14), people all over the world celebrate Pi Day. The most popular of all trending holidays celebrates the mathematical constant π, 3.14159, which, if you don’t recall from sixth-grade math class, is used to calculate the circumference of a circle, among other things.

http://archimedes2.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/archimedes_templates/popup.htm, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=146592
Archimedes of Syracuse (287-212 BC) – By Domenico Fetti

You’re probably thinking, “This made up holiday can’t really be legit.” Well, think again, friend.

The date March 14 (that is, 3.14) was designated Pi Day by House Resolution 224 of the first session of the 111th Congress of the United States in 2009.

What gave us pause about this rather abstract holiday was what makes Pi Day so popular around the world? What started out as a holiday for high school math teachers, branched out into a world-wide, social media trending, pie eating fun day, with no age limit or industry focus. Anyone can celebrate Pi Day because, even if you don’t like math or have any interest in circumference exploration, most people like pie!

And that’s where the secret lies – with pie, a close favorite to Pi. Apple, peach, pumpkin, chicken pot, meat or even pizza, all these pies make Pi Day a little more fun. See, for the Pi Day newbies, pie is a key ingredient for making Pi Day awesome for two reasons. First, it gives folks an excuse to eat pie at work. And second, π is used to find the circumference of a circle and pies just also happen to be circular! Mind blown, I know.

For Pi Day this year, we figured we’d have some fun and have a little pie bake-off. The recipes are listed below, if you want to try any of these for yourself.

Bonus: Test your math skills – The earth has a diameter of 7926.41 miles. What is the circumference of the earth? Use C=2πr. Place your answer in the comments below. Also, let us know which type of pie is your favorite. Happy Pi Day!

 

Pi Day Recipes

Peach Pies with Vanilla Wafers
Submitted by Lisa Morris

Servings: 4 individual pies.

INGREDIENTS
1 (9-inch) refrigerated pie crust, divided into 4 equal pieces
1¾ cups chopped frozen peaches (keep frozen until ready to use)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 vanilla wafer cookies

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Press the pie crust pieces into 4 cups of a 12-cup muffin pan. Press the crust into the bottom and up the sides of each muffin cup.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine peaches, sugar and cornstarch. Toss to combine. Spoon the peach mixture into the muffin cups. Bake for 30 minutes, until the fruit is tender and the crust is golden. Top each pie with a vanilla wafer cookie and serve warm or at room temperature.

(She will be doubling ingredients to make a large pie rather than 4 individual)

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Coconut Dream Pie (Kraft)
Submitted by Teri O’Neal

Prep: 15 mins – Ready in: 4 hr 15 mins

INGREDIENTS
2 envelopes DREAM WHIP Whipped Topping Mix
2-3/4 cups cold milk, divided
2 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding and Pie Filling
1 cup coconut, toasted
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1 (9-inch) baked pastry shell, cooled

DIRECTIONS

  1. Beat whipped topping mix and 1 cup of the milk in large bowl with electric mixer on high speed 6 minutes or until topping thickens and forms peaks.
  2. Add remaining 1-3/4 cups milk and pudding mixes; blend on low speed.
  3. Beat on high speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.
  4. Stir in coconut and pecans. Spoon into pastry shell.

Refrigerate at least 4 hours or until set. Garnish with additional toasted coconut, if desired.

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Baked Spaghetti Pie Recipe
Submitted by Katie MacNichol

YIELD: 1 large pie, 8-12 pieces
PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOK TIME: 40 minutes

INGREDIENTS
16 ounces dried spaghetti
16 ounces ground beef
8 ounces ground Italian sausage
1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
1 cup shredded or grated parmesan cheese
Pre-made pizza dough

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-10 inch springform pan, or a 9 inch deep-dish pie pan. If using a springform pan, wrap the outside in foil to avoid leakage.
  2. Place a large pot of salted water over high heat to boil. In a separate saucepot, add the ground beef, sausage, onions, and garlic. Brown the meat over medium heat for about 5 minutes, breaking into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Once the meat is cooked and the onions have softened, add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, and 1teaspoon salt. Stir and simmer on low.
  3. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions, usually 6-9 minutes. Drain the cooked pasta.
  4. Separate out 2 cups of meat sauce and set aside. Add the cooked pasta to the remaining pot of meat sauce. Stir well to coat the pasta. Beat the eggs, then stir them into the spaghetti. Stir in the parmesan cheese
  5. Roll out ¾ of the pizza dough and lay on the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 5-9 minutes (until it starts to brown). Remove from oven.
  6. Pour the spaghetti into the prepared pan on top of the crust. Press down to pack the pasta in the pan.
  7. Pour the remaining meat sauce over the top of the pie. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the top. Cut the remaining pizza dough into 1” strips and make a lattice pattern on top of the cheese. Brush lightly with melted butter (optional).
  8. Bake for 15-25 minutes until the edges are crispy. Cool for at least 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

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Chicken Pot Pie
Submitted by Shawn Nesaw

INGREDIENTS
1 box of two refrigerated pie crusts
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup whole grain flour
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup milk
1 diced chicken breast (cooked)
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (thawed)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Make pie crusts as directed on box for two-crust pie using a 9-inch glass pie pan.
  2. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender. Stir in flour until well blended.  Add broth and milk gradually while continuously stirring. Cook until bubbly and thickened.
  3. Stir in chicken and mixed vegetables. Remove from heat. Spoon chicken mixture into crust-lined pan. Top with second crust; seal edge and flute. Cut 4 slits in top crust.
  4. Bake 30 – 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Tips: Let pie crusts warm up to room temperature before using.  This recipe makes a thick gravy.  For a thinner gravy add an additional 1/2 cup of chicken broth.  Cook chicken in the same pan prior to making the gravy for additional flavor and less dishes to wash.  Leftover chicken broth can be frozen for later use.

 

 

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