Tuesday, March 14, is Pi Day. The celebration of Pi, 3.14, takes place on 3/14. Pi is the ratio of the distance around a circle, its circumference, to the distance across the center of the circle, its diameter, where A(rea) = π r2 — remember geometry, people? Pi Day celebrations began in 1988 and have spread worldwide since then.
Culinarily speaking, Pi Day is a good day to bake some pies, and eat them, of course. Caution: If you eat too much pie, not only will you increase your diameter, but you’ll have a greater circumference.
Whether a number cruncher or pie muncher, celebrate Einstein’s March 14 Pi birthday.
This recipe is as easy as pie, not pi.
QUICK CHOCOLATE PIE WITH CRUST
Chocolate Graham Crust:
6 Tbsp. butter, melted
9 chocolate graham crackers (1 sleeve, 1/3 of box), crushed in processor, blender or rolling pin
2 Tbsp. sugar
In a small bowl, melt butter in microwave. Add crushed graham crackers and sugar. Mix thoroughly. Press into pie plate. Refrigerate, and make the filling.
Chocolate Pie Filling:
2 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate
1 can condensed milk (14 oz.)
½ cup water
In a large microwavable bowl, melt the chocolate.
Add the condensed milk. Stir and microwave 2 minutes.
Stir and microwave 2 more minutes.
Add the water. Stir and microwave 2 minutes.
Whisk well and pour into prepared crust. Refrigerate several hours.
Garnish with chocolate curls. (Use a potato peeler to shave curls from the side of a chocolate candy bar.)
SLICED BANANA-PINEAPPLE PIE
1 cup flour
6 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
¾ cup pecans, chopped
1 Tbsp. ice water
Mix flour and butter in food processor until butter is pea-size. (Or mix with hands or pastry cutter.)
Add brown sugar, nuts and ice water. Mix just until dough begins to hold together.
Press dough over the bottom and up the sides of a large pie pan. Prick bottom with fork. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown in preheated 375-degree oven. Cool and make the filling.
½ cup sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 can crushed pineapple and juice, (20 oz.)
Rind of 1 lemon
¼ cup lemon juice
½ tsp. ginger
3 Tbsp. water
¾ cup apricot or orange preserves, warmed and strained
In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in pineapple and juice, rind and lemon juice, ginger and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens. Cool slightly and pour into baked crust. Refrigerate until chilled.
Before serving, slice bananas on the diagonal and place in overlapping, concentric rings on pineapple filling.
Brush bananas with the warmed preserves.
LEMON SPONGE PIE
Pie Crust: Your own or store-bought pie crust. Partially bake crust for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool crust while making the filling.
1 cup sugar
¼ cup butter
2 eggs, separated
2 Tbsp. flour
pinch of salt
1 cup milk
Juice of 2 medium lemons
Grated rind of 2 lemons
In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter until creamed and fluffy.
Beat yolks well in a small bowl, and add to the creamed mixture. (Put whites in a medium bowl and set aside.)
Add flour, salt and milk to creamed mixture. Use a wire whisk to whisk in the lemon juice and rind. With clean beaters, beat egg whites until stiff.
Use the whisk to fold whites gently into the creamed mixture. Pour filling into the partially baked crust.
Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat.
Bake at 325 degrees for an additional 35 minutes or until pie filling is set in the center and the crust is browned.
Refrigerate 3-4 hours.
Eat well, live long, enjoy!
Send in your favorite recipe for a chance to win a $100 ShopRite gift card. Mail your recipe to Readers’ Recipes, 2 Executive Campus, Suite 400, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002. Or email your recipe to WhatscookinNEPhilly@gmail.com. Please include name, address and telephone number.