Introduction: Blackberry Binary E^(i*pi)+1=0 Pie for Pi Day
Is there a better way to celebrate Pi Day than with a totally nerdy pie encrusted with Euler's Identity, e^(i*pi)+1=0? Absolutely! Celebrate with a totally nerdy pie encrusted with Euler's Identity in binary, or 011001010101111000101000011010010010101001110000011010010010100100101011001100010011110100110000. The inspiration for this pie came from Wilton Windmill crop circle in 2010 (see this animation for explanation), though I made some slight alterations from the crop circle.
Step 1: The Crust
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup COLD butter
1/4 - 1/2 cup ICE COLD water
Cut the butter into about 1/2" cubes and return to refrigerator or freezer until needed. I usually refrigerate my dry ingredients as well for about 15 minutes before starting. A flaky crust begins with cold ingredients.
Add dry ingredients to food processor and pulse until combined. Scatter about half your butter on the top and pulse only for a few seconds. Scatter the rest along the top and pulse until mixture resembles a course crumbs. Slowly add the water while pulsing just until the dough can pinch together. Too much moisture will make it the crust easier to manage, but you sacrifice flakiness in the end.
Divide dough in two piles on separate pieces of saran wrap. Use the wrap to form the dough into discs. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
Prepare your work surface with flour, and roll the first disc out. Transfer to 9" pie pan and trim edges to about 1/4" longer than you want them. Tuck that extra 1/4" inch under. If you developed any cracks or holes, just use the excess dough to patch them. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
Meanwhile, roll out your other disc. Cut out a 9 1/2" circle. I used a pie crust guard (used in baking to keep from burning the edges) as a guide. Keeping about an inch margin from the edge, use a knife or clean razor to make twelve cuts going towards, but not all the way to, the middle. A protractor is handy for this. Now for the 1s and 0s. Here are the ASCII conversions to binary:
Designate a line to be your e and make small cuts to your left for 0 and to the right for 1, working outward in. The next line to your right is the ^, so proceed similarly until you make it all the way around. This goes into the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Step 2: The Blackberry Filling
5-6 cups blackberries, rinsed and allowed to dry
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2-3/4 cup sugar, depending on desired sweetness
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup cornstarch
Combine berries, lemon zest and juice, sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch in mixing bowl. Allow to macerate for 15 to 20 minutes.
Step 3: Assembly and Baking
1 egg, separated
1 tablespoon cream
1 tablespoon butter
Use a pastry brush to coat the bottom crust with egg white. This will help keep the crust from getting soggy. Pour blackberry filling into crust and place on top crust, lightly pressing the edges together. Mix the yolk with the cream and brush on the crust. Use a fork or spoon to more firmly press the edges together and give a decorative border. I used a fork, alternating diagonal direction to add to the geometric look of the pie.
Keep in refrigerator while preheating the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake on top of a parchment or aluminum foil lined baking sheet until edges are lightly golden, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cover the edges with an aluminum foil ring and reduce temperature to 350 and bake until the crust is golden brown and the juices start to bubble, about 40 to 50 minutes.
Allow at least a couple hours for the pie to cool. Serve warm or cold. Blackberry pie goes great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whip cream. Enjoy!
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