HAPPY PI DAY

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHappy 3.14, otherwise known as Pi Day…why yes, yes I am kind of a nerd.

I made a whole bunch of pies to bring to work, because honestly you never need an excuse to make pie, and if you have an actual excuse, you might as well go all out and make all the pies you have the energy to make (I was actually going to make 4 kinds, but then it was midnight)

I’ve been meaning to update this thing for ages because holy shit it’s already halfway through March, but for some reason wordpress hasn’t been letting me upload pictures (error messages keep popping up), and honestly the best part about food blogs are the pictures. But, I do have about 8 posts of delicious meals so shortly I’ll post them all.  Anywho, above, you see the fruits of my labor. Miniature pecan pies, cherry pies with lattice crusts, and triple berry pies.

I started out by making two batches of pie crust. One batch of crust: 227 grams of buter, cut into pieces, about 3 cups flour, 1/4 cup butter milk and one egg yolk. Rub the butter and flour together until it’s like sand, mix in yolk and milk. Chill for 20 minutes, then roll out thin, and I used a glass bowl to cut out circles that just fit into the silicone cupcake liners I have. Pricked the crusts with a fork, and popped into the freezer for 15 minutes. Then, baked at 375 F for 10 minutes.

The pecan pies are fairly ugly, but the (really very, very expensive) small box of pecans I was able to seek out (not very common here) were mostly crushed, and not pretty enough to make the nice circle patterns that I like in a good pecan pie, so I chopped the whole two cups up witha  cleaver.

Pecan Pie:

3 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup molasses 1/4 cup golden syrup
2 Tbs melted butter
1 tsp vanilla and a pinch of salt

Mix this all up with the 2 cups of chopped pecans, then scoop into the pre-baked pie shells. Because they’re so small, keep an eye on the oven, they can go from just nicely set and golden to burnt very quickly, but I popped them in for about 20-30 minutes. Be sure to mix thoroughly between batches as the molasses tends to settle.

The cherry pies might be my favorite, and only partly because the lattice tops are so fucking adorable. Yeah, that’s right, tiny lattice crust is adorable.

Cherry Pie Filling:
1 box of frozen, pitted sweet cherries
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbs cornstarch
Lemon juice

Mix well, make sure the cornstarch is well mixed and coats the cherries. I also had a little bit of the juice from the triple berry pie in there, so feel free to add a little more liquid. The lattice was time consuming but kind of worth it. Using a cleaver, cut quarter inch wide strips of thinly rolled out dough. they should be at least 6 inches long. Line up six strips vertically next to each other. Fold down every other one half way, then lay another strip horizontally across at the fold. Unfold the strips: there should be an under-over pattern. Fold down the alternate set of strips. lay another strip horizontally, then unfold. Repeat process until you get a lattice sheet. I don’t have any lage circle cutters, but my 1/4 cup measuring cup was just the right circumference to cut out circles the size of the muffin-tin pies. Use a cleaver or spatula to lift the lattice from the cutting board, and gently place on top of pie. Brush with egg white wash. Bake 23-35 minutes, until golden.

Triple Berry pie: my least favorite of the three, but still tasty, and a way to use up bags of frozen berries. You can use any kind of berries you want. I had raspberry, cranberry and strawberry bags in my freezer, so I went with those. First, I put the cranberries in a  saucepan with 1/4 cup of sugar over low heat. let this come to a simmer, the cranberries will release liquid, and then reduce to a syrupy consistency. I added to this the frozen strawberries and raspberries, lemon juice, lemon zest, and chopped up crystallized ginger and corn starch. I didn’t use any measurements, just sort of eyeballed and tasted.. I poured this carefully into the prepared pie shells and baked 30 minutes. This are tart, sweet, and the candied ginger gives it a little surprise. I decorated these with cut outs of the pi symbol and 3.14 in dough.

I made tons of these little cakes over two evenings. Two batches of pie crust will get you a lot of mini pies. But, it will not be enough. I brought most in to share with my coworkers, and another tupperware to dinner with friends. There was basically a mini riot at my desk, and a swarm of people eating pies (just between us, I love this reaction!), and one coworker even told me that I should stop working on the project I’m helping him with, and just bake for the office.

Anyway, may your 3.14 be filled with pie (or steak, if you’re celebrating the manly version of valentine’s day), and now that I’ve fixed the picture problem, expect lots of tasty recipes to come.

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