Oh, pi pie. As one who memorized 200+ digits of pi in my nerdy high school freshman days, I can proudly say that I truly love pi. And as one who grew up in Georgia surrounded by piles of peaches and fresh berries, I can assuredly say that I also truly adore simple fruit pie. The following recipe is the over-the-top lovechild of the two.
Crust Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart's Our Favorite Pie Crust
For the pie crust:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
6-8 tablespoons ice water
1. Add the flour, sugar, and salt into a food processor and pulse to combine.
2. Add about half of the butter to the dry ingredients, and pulse 3-5 times. Add the rest of the butter and continue to pulse until the mixture resembles pebbly sand.
3. Add the ice water 2 tablespoons at a time, pulsing until incorporated each time. After you have added 6 tablespoons, press a clump of dough between your fingers - if it holds together easily, the dough is ready. If the clump crumbles, add 1-2 more tablespoons, until the dough holds.
4. Divide the dough in half, and form each half into a flat 1-inch thick disk. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and up to overnight.
For the filling:
1 pint blueberries
1 pint raspberries
1 cup strawberries, cut into fourths
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons white sugar (or less, depending on the sweetness of your berries)
1 tablespoon flour
1. Rinse the berries and combine in a large bowl. Add the ginger and sugar and stir until evenly combined. Allow the mixture to sit for 1 hour at room temperature.
2. Right before you fill the pie crusts, add the flour and mix to coat the berries.
About 1 cup flour
9-inch pie pan (glass or metal)
12-ct muffin tin
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon milk
Dash of ground ginger
Dash of ground cinnamon
Dash of sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Lightly flour both sides of chilled dough and place in between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll out the dough into an 12-inch round (those extra scraps will come in handy later). Lift the dough into the pie pan, and crimp around the edges, removing excess dough as you go.
3. Fill the crust with about half of the berry mixture, until the surface of the pie is flat (no mounds of berries!). Bake the pie for 25-30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Let cool completely in the pan.
4. Meanwhile, butter the muffin tin liberally. Then, roll out the second half of the chilled dough, again floured between parchment, until it is about 1/4-inch thick. Divide into 12 equal pieces. Place a piece of dough in each of the muffin cups. Press the dough into the cups and against the sides as you would a pie pan. Remove any excess dough and set aside. Chill the crust-filled muffin tin in the freezer until it is time to bake.
5. When your oven is free, fill the mini-pies with the remaining berry mixture. Bake the pies for 25-30 minutes, or until the crusts are golden brown. Let the pies cool completely in the pan.
6. Time to use all those excess trimmings! Re-roll the remaining dough until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Cut a 6-inch long, 1.5-inch wide strip of dough for the top of the pi symbol. Other scraps can be cut into small pi symbols (or amorphous blobs that will make delicious pie-crust cookies to eat as you go). Brush with milk, and sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon, and ground ginger. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
2 6-inch wooden skewers
Toothpicks, if necessary
Make sure all of the components are completely cool. Skewer 6 mini-pies on top of each other. Place each skewer carefully on either side of the large pie. Use toothpicks to skewer the bottom mini-pie as reinforcements, if necessary. Pierce the top strip of dough across the two stacks, forming the 3-D pi symbol.
Contemplate the meaning of life, then enjoy!