Introduction: It's a Pi Pie Pi Pie Whirled
My secret dream job consists of holing up in a laboratory coming up with the newest Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavors. Between the whimsical word play and the ridiculous flavor combinations, I can't imagine a happier place to work. Alas, I'm not a mad food scientest and probably never will be, but that doesn't mean I can't get a little creative in the kitchen, especially on that very special day that unites math and dessert lovers...that's right, Pi Day. This easy-to-make and pun-filled pie takes pi and pie to new heights. First vanilla ice cream is whirled together with pieces of cherry pie and hand-piped chocolate pi symbols, then it's frozen into a chocoalte cookie crumb crust and topped with an even larger pi symbol and 32 digits of pi. Why 32 digits? Well, that's how many digits of pi it takes to have all the digits from 0 to 9 represented (I know, I even nerded myself out). Without further ado, here's how to make "It's a Pi Pie Pi Pie Whirled."
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
You'll need the following ingredients:
-5 ounces good quality dark chocolate, melted
-1 pint of vanilla ice cream (there's 1.5 quarts in the picture because I always buy what's on sale--I won't tell if you do, too!)
-2 (4 inch) cherry pies, chopped into small pieces
-12 ounces chocolate cookies (can be plain chocolate cookies or chocolate animal crackers or chocolate graham crackers)
-8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
You'll need the following equipment:
-9.5 inch pie plate
Step 2: Create Your Pattern
This is the sketching stage. Aka the part of the project where I actually attempted to use pi. My pie plate is 9.5 inches in diameter. If you think back to high school math you might remember the following equation:
circumference = π * diameter
In this case the diameter of my pie-plate is 9.5 inches so the circumference is approximately 29.85 inches knowing that I wanted to express π to 32 digits with room for ellipses, I estimated that I'd have to make each of my numerals less than an inch to fit it in. First I took a large sheet of parchment paper and I traced my pie plate. With my handy circumference estimate in mind, in mind I drew the attached pattern free hand attempting to center the pi symbol in the middle.* Because I have no idea how food safe my charcoal drawing pencils are (and the idea of eating something that had been piped on top of charcoal was kind of gross) I affixed another blank piece of parchment on top so the pattern shows through but I can pipe on a clean surface.
*When it came time to put my pie together everything fit, but it was a tight squeeze. I realize with the benefit of hindsight that I forgot to factor in the crust around the edges. To be more precise, you'll want to leave a 1/4 crust allowance, so in this case I'd draw my circle as 9 inches to reflect the layout with that allowance in mind.
Step 3: Pipe Your Pi(es)
Next fill a pastry bag with your melted chocolate and fit it with a small round tip (I used the #4 Ateco tip that came in my piping set). Carefully trace over the pattern that you created. Once you've piped all the numbers and the large pi symbol, you can pipe as many small pi symbols as you wish--I suggest at least 50 so you get crunchy chocolate bits in each bite. Place patterns with the piped chocolate in the refrigerator to harden for about 10 minutes.
Step 4: Prepare Your Crust
Add chocolate cookies to bowl of a food processor and pulse until crushed into tiny pieces. Pour in melted butter and pulse until thoroughly combined. Press mixture into a 9.5 inch pie plate.
Step 5: Mix Your Pies With Your Pi(es)
In a large bowl combine 1 pint (16 ounces) worth of slightly softened vanilla ice cream with 2 (4 inch) cherry pies chopped into small pieces. Use a spatula to fold the pie pieces into the ice cream, working quickly to avoid a giant melty mess. Once the vanilla ice cream and pie have been thoroughly combined, gently fold in the small pi symbols and transfer the entire mixture into the prepared pie plate, using your spatula to spread and distribute the filling so the surface is smooth. Remove the piped chocolate pieces from the refrigerator and using the pattern as your guide place them on the top of the pie. Freeze for at least an hour to up to overnight to firm the pie up before cutting and serving. Enjoy!