Today is Pi day. The number pi, as in 3.14; March 14th. I found this page that explains the basics of pi day and things to do on this holiday.
I tend to lean towards celebrating Pi day with a pie. I rarely get to make my own pie other than on the winter holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. During the holiday season pie is over done. But by mid-March, spring fever hits and I start desiring fruits and veggies.
Last week, I baked a raspberry pie just because I wanted to eat some. To make my own pie, I usually use a blueberry pie recipe from my kitchen bible, The Fanny Farmer Cookbook. My mom has been cooking with Fanny since her mother gave her a copy when she graduated high school. Some of my first cooking from scratch came from that cookbook.
The recipes in The Fanny Farmer are usually very basic but have the potential to expand to complicated and flavorful dishes. I appreciate the description on how to hard boil eggs. It may be a very basic process but sometimes you just don’t remember the steps correctly from the last Easter that you colored eggs.
It is also easy to substitute purchased products for time-saving shortcuts. For example I used a pre-made crust from the freezer section of my grocery store instead of pulling out my rolling-pin and pastry cloth to make a giant flour mess of my dinning room table. It is very difficult to figure out what to substitute if the recipe requires a specific brand of product. There isn’t really a recipe for substitution Doritos. I prefer to know the basic ingredients so I can cook from scratch.
For my raspberry pie, I used frozen berries mixed with the pie filling sugar, pre-made pie crust and a crumble crust topping I found earlier in the deserts chapter to substitute for a traditional pie crust top. I absolutely love apple crisp so having it on a pie sounded like a brilliant idea. And it certainly was. I saved the last two slices for today.
Tasty Berry Pie for Pi Day1 Pre-made or homemade pie crust 4 c. fresh or frozen berries (raspberry, blueberry, blackberry…) 1 tbsp flour 1/3 c. sugar pinch of salt 1 tbsp lemon juice 1 tbsp butter
Crumble topping:1/4 c. light or dark brown sugar 1/2 c. flour 1/8 pound butter (or 1/2 stick of butter)
Mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add the cleaned berries and lemon juice and toss well until the berries are coated. Put the berry mixture into the pie crust and pan. Slice the butter into small sections and place randomly on top of the berry mix. In a separate bowl mix the crumble topping by first mixing the brown sugar and flour. Add the butter, mixing with a pastry blender or a fork until it takes the form of small peas. Spread this mixture evenly over the berries in the pie.
Bake the pie in at 350°F 30 – 40 minutes on the middle rack in the oven. Check it at 30 min. to make sure the topping does not burn. Cool on a cooling rack, then devour the pie before the family comes home.