In celebration of Pi Day I've made a Pineapple Pistachio Pie (PiPiPi) recipe to share. The shapes made on the top of the pie are meant to reference Pi; the relationship of the diameter (width) of the inner circle to it's outer circumference (the distance around the circle).
Update: Further experiments have shown that other people in the house have decreased the size of Pi when I wasn't looking.
Step 1: Pistachio Nut Crust
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 sticks (16 tbsp) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ½ inch pieces
½ cup finely ground pistachio nuts (preferably unsalted, if salted disregard the salt called for)
4 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4-6 tablespoons cold water
Finely chop the pistachios and then tap the bowl to separate the larger bits from the finer bits. Set aside the larger bits to use as a topping later. In a medium mixing bowl combine the nuts, flour, sugar and salt. Add butter and mix until mixture forms small chickpea-size pieces. Add cold water 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix until it is just moist enough to hold together. Form dough into a ball, divide it into two, wrap each ball with plastic wrap and flatten into discs. Refrigerate for at least one hour before rolling out and baking. Dough can be stored for 3 days in refrigerator or 2 weeks in freezer.
Step 2: Pineapple Filling
1 pineapple with top, bottom, skin and spine removed
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup pineapple juice (from the puree)
Juice of a lime (about 3 tbsp)
1 tsp lime zest
Pinch of salt
¼ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp cornstarch
3 tbsp softened butter
Cut half of the pineapple into small cubes and puree the other half in a blender. Put the puree into a sieve or clean linen cloth over a bowl with a rubberband to hold the cloth and leave it to drain the excess juice for 10 minutes. While the puree is draining, zest the lime then squeeze out the juice. In a saucepan combine the pineapple chunks, puree, sugar, lime juice and zest, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, butter and salt and stir. Mix the cornstarch with a ½ cup of the left over pineapple juice then add the cornstarch mixture to the pineapple mixture and stir well. Bring to a boil then simmer. Cook for 30-45 minutes stirring occasionally until the texture resembles jam. Remove from heat, cool and set aside.
Step 3: Shapes
Set the bottom of the pie pan down on a large piece of heavy paper stock and draw a line around the bottom. Find the middle of the circle with a drafting compass and make a smaller outer rim about an inch away from the outside of the circle and then a smaller inner circle within the outer rim. Divide the outer rim into three equal pieces and a smaller fourth piece. Divide the inner circle in half. Cut out the shapes and set aside.
Step 4: Rolling the Dough
Remove discs and allow them to sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes to soften. To form to the bottom of the pie roll out one disc onto a floured work surface until about 12 inches in diameter and about â
inch thick. Roll from the center outwards and rotate the crust slightly to prevent sticking. Gently fold crust in half then in quarters and transfer to the 9 inch pie pan and press down gently so it lines the bottom and sides of the pan. Trim the edges, leaving about a ½ inch overhang and then fold the edges under to make the rim. Pinch the crust along the edge with your thumb and index finger to crimp the rim. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Take the second ball and roll it out as above. Cut out the shapes, place on a lightly floured cutting board, remove the paper, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. If you wish you can dab the top with a beaten egg mixed with a little milk or water (will make the rim and shapes glossy and golden) before putting in the refrigerator to harden.
Step 5: Baking
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour the filling into the pie pan and arrange the shapes on top. Place pie in oven (middle rack) on top of a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes then cover the rim with strips of aluminum foil and continue baking for another 35-40 minutes, rotating pan for even baking, until the top is golden brown. Allow to cool on a rack for 30 minutes and refrigerate for a few hours if possible to resist.
Step 6: Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream, well-chilled
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp confectioner's sugar
Whisk cream until it is peaking slightly. Add vanilla and sugar and continue whisking until the peaks are firm (about 3-4 minutes). Sprinkle with extra chopped pistachio nuts.