Introduction: Raspberry Pi Pie Croquembouche
Second Prize in the
Pi Day Pie Challenge
To make a Raspberry Pi Pie Croquembouche, you will need some time, as it's a bit time consuming to cut out and make all of the 2 inch individual pies, but trust me, it's worth it for a great Pi Day celebration! If you're wondering what a Croquembouche is, it's traditionally a cone shaped tower of cream filled puff pastry, however I was inspired by a macaron croquembouche and the latest release of Raspberry Pi to come up with the Raspberry Pi Pie Croquembouche. There's also some math involved, including pi...but don't worry I did the math for you (since as you can see in a later step my math was actually off, I actually just figured out how many pies to make by trial and error ) so you're in luck!
Step 1: Ingredients/Supplies
For the Raspberry Pi Pie Croquembouche you will need a few ingredients as well as a few tools. In the ingredients, you will need one box of 2 refrigerated Pillsbury pie crust, good raspberry jam, rolling pin, cookie sheet, round toothpicks, 2 inch shot glass or round cookie cutter and rolling pin (as well as a 2 small spoons, a fork and a sharp knife (not pictured).
For the tower you will need a foam cone that is 3 7/8 x 11 7/8, a piece of 12 x 12 scrapbooking paper, hot glue, double sided tape and a plate. Covering the tower is optional, however it makes a much nicer final product as when you remove each pie, you see the decorative paper, versus the bare styrofoam.
Step 2: Decorate the Cone
First take your pie crust out of the fridge and while it is warming to room temp according to the box (about 15 min) decorate the cone and glue it to the plate. Take the 12x12 piece of paper and form it in a cone around the styrofoam cone. Use the double sided tape to stick it to the cone, trim off the excess and fold the top down to cover the cone. Use the extra paper you've trimmed off to cover the remaining triangle on the cone, and then trim as closely to the base as you can.
Heat the glue gun and right before you're ready to glue down the cone, microwave the plate for 30 seconds. Having a warm plate will help the glue adhere to the plate. Work very quickly, and put a nickle sized amount of glue on the plate and immediately put on the cone. Set this aside.
Step 3: Roll Out and Cut Dough
Unroll the pie crust. Use a rolling pin to gently roll it thinner. This is a tip I learned from someone who actually worked with the pie crusts at Pillsbury! She made a fantastic pie for a party and I was asking her about the pie, that's when she told me her insider secret.
Once you've rolled out the pie crust, use your shot glass to cut out roughly 30 circles, roll out any of the scrap dough and cut out more circles. This will be repeated with the second crust as well, but I did the pies in two batches due to space constraints. Make sure to save all the scrap dough as you will need to squeeze as many pies out as possible.
Step 4: Assemble the Mini Pi Pies
Using a sharp knife, cut out a pi vent in the top of every other round that you have. This vent will keep the pie from unsealing, and has the added benefit of looking very cool. Take one plain round, put a tiny dollop of raspberry jelly on it (not too much or it will over flow). Place a pi round on top and use your fingers to gently seal the edges. Then use a fork to go around the edges to crimp them down. Place on a cookie sheet.
Step 5: Bake and Cool Mini Pies
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees, bake the mini pies one tray at a time for approximately 12 minutes. You should smell a delicious raspberry scent when they're ready and they should be golden brown. Remove from tray with spatula and cool thoroughly on a wire rack. While they bake, do some math to figure out the area of a cone (using pi!) and estimate how many pies you can eat while waiting for them to cool. As you can see my math was off b/c I didn't account for the pies overlapping...The answer is close to 10xPi...I want to say I used 31.4 pies on there, but it was closer to 32 or 33. Basically we ate two of the pies and I only had one pie left over after building my tower...imho it's the safest if you eat the extra pies AFTER you build the tower :)
Step 6: Build the Tower of Raspberry Pi Pies
Poke a toothpick into the styrofoam. You may need to use a metal skewer to get the hole started where the paper overlaps. "Drill" a hole into the back of the pie with another toothpick, if you try to force the pies on the sides are thin so they may break. Keep adding toothpicks and pies until the whole tower is covered. Brush off the crumbs from the plate. Now take a photo and celebrate Pi Day!
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