Introduction: Easy As Pi Apple Pie

Picture of Easy As Pi Apple Pie

What is better than a fresh baked apple pie? Of course its a math apple pie!  Two of my favorite things joined together.  I am a university mathematics student with both a love for baking and anything to do with math.  This apple pie is a recipe that I've been using for years, one i've created on my own.  It truly showcases the natural beauty of the apple and is sweetened to perfection with a surprise of raisins in the filling.  I have included step-by-step instructions that are easy to follow and will guide you in making your perfect pi day treat.
Happy Pi day!
Please comment and let me know if you try this recipe.

Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients

For the crust:
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening
1/2 cup ice water

For the filling:
1 cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Flour
1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
5-6 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and sliced
1 Tbsp Butter, cut up
pinch Nutmeg
raisins (optional)

Additional:
1 Egg (for egg wash)
Ice water
food coloring/ food paint (optional)

Step 2: Making the Dough

Picture of Making the Dough

Making the dough is easier than you may think:
1) Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a chilled bowl. Cube up the butter and cut it and the vegetable shortening into the mixture until it forms a pea like consistency.
2) Add in the ice water about a tablespoon at a time to the mixture and mix the dough with a fork (kneading with your hands works as well) until the dough comes together and forms a ball. At this point stop adding water and divide the dough ball into two halves. Flatten into two discs and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill the discs in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Step 3: Making the Filling

Picture of Making the Filling

While the pie dough is chilling you can make the pie filling.
Mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl.
Wash and cut up the apples into even slices.  Add about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to the apples to prevent them from oxidizing.  Add in the dry ingredients and mix well.  Add raisins if you would like. Return this filling to the refrigerator or cover on the counter while you roll out the pie crust.  

Step 4: Lets Put It Together

Picture of Lets Put It Together

Do not be frightened by rolling out the pie dough. If the dough cracks it can easily be formed back together with a little water and a gentle pinch.

1) Flour your work surface and rolling pin. Work the chilled dough into two large discs at least 11 inches in diameter and save excess dough on the side. Grease (cooking spray works great) and flour your baking pan and lay one rolled out piece in the pan. Fill the pie with the apple filling.

2) Lay the top crust on the pie, cut the excess dough off and save in plastic wrap, tuck the edges, crimp the crust, and cut slits in the crust to vent the pie.

3) Roll the extra dough out (you will have enough extra) and cut out the letters (I'M EASY). Using a knife cut out the symbol for pi. Attach the letters and symbol using ice water as glue.

4) Mix an egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of water and brush on the top of the pie to create a shiny crust.

Step 5: Time to Bake!

Picture of Time to Bake!

Place the pie in a preheated 350 degree oven on the middle rack. Place a sheet pan on the rack beneath to catch any spattering. Bake for 15 minutes then cover the crust with aluminum foil. Bake for an additional 40 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. (a total bake time of 55 minutes)

Note: baking times vary depending on the type of apple.  Test how cooked the apples are by inserting a toothpick.  If it goes in easily and the apples are soft then the pie is finished.  In some occasions the pie may need to bake for an additional 15 minutes.  To prevent over browning cover the entire pie with aluminum foil for the remaining time in the oven.

Step 6: Enjoy!

Picture of Enjoy!

Let cool and serve either at room temperature or refrigerated.
Add your own spin on this by coloring it using any kid of food color/ dye/ paint.
Enjoy and remember to take pictures of your pi day masterpiece! 

Comments

wilgubeast (author)2011-03-08

That looks delicious, and your crust text is gorgeous. Can you explain what's going on grammatically here? Is it easy as pie, all simile-style? Or is pi saying, "I'm easy." Either way, at least it's not a piece of cake.

stevequag (author)wilgubeast2011-03-08

this is a pi symbol saying "I'm easy". I guess i should have put a thought bubble. The pie was gone within minutes... i barely got to take a picture before it was gone... SOOOO TASTY!

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Bio: I am passionate about my career as a math teacher, enjoy anything outdoors, love to travel, and enjoy putting a smile on others faces through ... More »
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