So last night my husband, Nate, and I were discussing the Pi Day Challenge as I immediately knew upon seeing it that I wanted to make a Pi Day Pie. I already had a list of pies that I make often, as well as list of pies I've been meaning to try. I wanted to make something really special as one of the prizes is a KitchenAid Stand Mixer---something my kitchen has been sorely missing. With as much baking as I do, people are surprised when they learn I don't have one. Hopefully all that will change.
As my husband and I were talking, I mentioned I wanted to make a Pi shaped pie and we discussed the feasibility of wrapping cardboard in tinfoil to make a pie plate. That was when Nate suggested making a raspberry pie pi and loving wordplay and themes as I do, I knew it had to be done.
Step 1: The Pi
Using the projector in my classroom, I traced the Raspberry Pi logo onto poster paper and then cut out all the of the red and green areas.
Step 2: The Crust
When I make a double crusted pie, I usually use this recipe from King Arthur, the only thing I change is that I substitute some of the water for vodka because supposedly it makes a flakier crust and helps in situations where there's too much water or some other mistake. It's also a lot of fun to tell people there's vodka in the pie crust, you can't taste it or smell it.
-2 ½ cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
-1/4 teaspoons salt
-¼ cup vegetable shortening
-10 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter
-6 to 10 tablespoons ice water and vodka
First, mix the salt and flour together and then cut in the shortening. When it's mixed, add the butter and work in with a pastry blender (or a stand mixer if you happen to have one). Don't worry about the pieces being tiny or perfectly blended, mixed butter sizes add to the flakiness of the crust. Add in the vodka/water a couple tablespoons at a time until the dough becomes cohesive and you can make two discs. Wrap both discs in plastic wrap and stick in the fridge for 30 minutes or overnight.
Two days passed between the time I made the pie dough and actually had time to get to work on the rest of the pie, I had to wait about a half hour for the dough to become workable.
I had a little trouble getting the dough wide enough to encompass both the berry shape and the leaves, so I did them separately. After the pie was baking, I cut out the leaves and baked them separately for about 20 minutes. After the leaves cooled, I watered down a couple drops of green food coloring and "painted" the inside leaves.
Step 3: Shaping the Crust
Dust a little flour on your counter or mat, put the dough on top and then dust again.
Using your rolling pin, roll out the dough about 1/4" thick. Thicker keeps the pieces together better.
Once your dough is rolled out enough for the pattern to fit, place the pattern on top and using a very sharp pointed knife, cut off the excess dough.
Step 4: The Filling
For this particular recipe, because I wanted the raspberries to really puff out, I used 2 bags of frozen raspberries. You can get away with just 1 bag. In a bowl, coat the berries with about a half a cup of white sugar and a tablespoon of corn starch---the corn starch, once the berries start boiling will aid in thickening later. You can adjust the sugar amount to your preferences.
Once thoroughly mixed, I poured the berries and sugar/starch into my pie plate and put the top crust on top. I sprinkled more sugar on top of the dough and then put the pie into my pre-heated oven. You can do an egg wash before sprinkling the sugar, to get a nice shiny golden crust, I didn't this time because I'm hoping Nate will try the pie (he's vegan).
Bake at 400 for 40-50 minutes or until the crust is golden and the berries are bubbling.
Step 5: The Result
When your pie is done baking, pull it from the oven and let it cool a bit before digging in. Letting the pie cool down gives the corn starch a chance to work and make your filling gel up rather than be liquidy.
The final step is to slice yourself a piece and enjoy!