Celebrate National Pi Day: It's Always Time for Pi
Failing all else, there is always the tack of connecting a holiday to delicious food.
Math heads unite.
March 14 is National Pi Day. The date, 3/14, represents the first three digits of pi, the number equal to the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.
If you love math like we love math, you know that it's always time for pi. Pi, 3.14..., is a special number, an never less than fascinating enigma that never ends and never repeats. And it deserves to be celebrated.
Discuss math. Share pi jokes, such as:
Mathematician: "Pi r squared."
Baker: "No! Pie are round, cake are square!"
Question: What do you get when you take the moon and divide its
circumference by its diameter?
Answer: Pi in the sky.
Okay, we're cracking up over here, but if math jokes don't add up for you, how about relating the observance to food, and specifically, to pie?
How clever and postmodern and flat-out hip will you look celebrating National Pi Day with—wait for it—homemade pie? Better yet, have a kid help make it. The two of you can discuss math as you measure the ingredients. Everybody's happy!
We've chosen an apple pie recipe, because we love it and it's all-American, but any fruit you want works. We would imagine that quiche or pot pie would work as well. Just remember, it's pi—no "e"—and it's infinite.
Here is a healthy vegan apple pi(e) recipe we've used for years.
Vegan Apple Pi(e) and Pi(e) Crust
First, we start by making the crust.
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup frozen Earth Balance vegetable spread
- Ice water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Place flour and pastry blender in large mixing bowl and chill in the freezer for a half hour.
Cut the frozen vegetable spread into the flour using a pastry blender or fork until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Then use your fingers to press the spread through the flour, creating a crumbly mix. Then add a few tablespoons of ice water little by little and mix with a form until the dough begins to come together.
Quickly gather the dough into a ball, being careful not to handle it too much.
Gently roll the ball flat onto a floured surface using a lightly floured rolling pin. Add more flour as needed. Roll into a circle about 3 inches larger that the diameter of the pie plate's rim.
Carefully place the crust into the pie pan; the crust will hangs over the side a little.
Flute the edges by placing the thumb on the outer side of the crust and the two index fingers on either side of the thumb in the inside of the crust. Push the thumb forward while pulling the index fingers toward you and continue, moving clockwise, until you have gone all way around the rim of the pie.
Once finished, take the remaining dough, gently roll it flat again if needed, and cut it into strips to be used for a lattice top on the pie.
Place the crust in the pan and the strips into the refrigerator.
On to the apple filling.
- 8-10 medium large apples (enough for 6 cups of apple slices)
- 1/4-1 cup sugar (sweeten to taste; most find less is more)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (about 232 degrees Celsius).
Peel, quarter, and core the apples, and slice each quarter into 1/4-inch slices.
Combine the sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch and gently coat the apples with the mixture. Add lemon juice and stir.
Spoon the apple filling into the pie crust. Criss-cross the top with the remaining dough strips.
(If you wish, paint the crust with beaten egg white to give the pie a professional look.)
Bake for 10 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 350/177 degrees. Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes.
The pie is finished when the crust is golden brown.
Cool pie completely on a rack before serving.