Introduction: PI-CEPTION

The dream is real.

While this pie appears to have nothing to do with pi, its construction had everything to do with the use of pi. Just as pi is complex, so is our pie. Each bite brings with it a new depth as your mouth is transformed with the changing flavours and textures. You travel from the seed-filled sweetness of the raspberry, down into the bitter-sweet wonders of the blueberry filled midlands. Once you hit the innermost level your mouth will receive the smooth texture of the spiced apple and cranberry. There will always be the unlucky few who get caught in the emptiness of limbo, not knowing where to bite next. The maze top also provides a whole other realm outside of the sweetened filling that can serve as a pathway to your slice through the skilfully placed inception points leading into the various levels below. Or it can just serve as a fun game to play with berries. These adventures are best when shared and enjoyed with close friends.

Pie in action: 

Step 1: The Making of PI-CEPTION: Part 1

The Crust

5 cups All Purpose Flour
1½ cup Shortening
3 Tbls Butter, chilled
2 Tsp Salt
14 Tbls Water

Toss together flour and salt. In a medium size bowl, cut butter and shortening into flour until pea size crumbs form. Add water gradually until the dough can be mound together. Lightly pack the dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

Step 2: The Making Of: Part 2

The Pie Filling

Apple-Cranberry : The Spicy
1 large apple, cored peeled and cut into slices
½ cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
¼ cup orange juice
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
Optional: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, or cayenne pepper

Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan to thicken. Once the color changes slightly, stir in the sliced apples. Next add the orange juice and cranberries. Allow to boil until the apples soften and the mixture thickens, about 30 min. Optional: spice with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, or even cayenne pepper. Remove from heat and let cool.

Blueberry : The Tart
2½ cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
¼ cup sugar
½ cup water
½ tsp lemon juice
¼ package of pectin

Put 1 cup of blueberries, sugar and water into a medium size sauce pan over high heat. Bring to a boil and add lemon juice. Boil for 5 minutes, then add the pectin. Boil for another 10 minutes and remove from heat. Stir in the rest of the blueberries and let cool.

Raspberry : The Sweet
4-5 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen
1 tsp lemon juice
½ cup sugar
1 cup water
1/8 cup honey
¾ package of pectin

In a medium sauce pan, combine 2-3 cups of the raspberries, sugar and water. Bring to a boil over high heat and add the lemon juice. Boil for another 5 minutes. Stir in the honey completely before adding the pectin. Bring to a rapid boil and leave for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add remaining 2 cups of raspberries. Set aside and let cool.

Step 3: The Making Of: Part 3

Constructing the Pie

Materials :
9” Springform Pan, greased and floured
Pastry dough
Parchment Paper
Tin Foil
Dried beans
Kitchen towel

Roll out one crust worth of pie dough to fit into the 9” pie pan. Keep in mind that the pan is 3” deep so you have to be very generous with extra dough. Carefully place the dough into the pan and cut off the extra dough. Lay a rolled up kitchen towel along the inside to ensure the sides do not fall down while you prepare the boundaries and the top.

Level 1 Boundary = 9” pie pan = 22.5cm diameter = 11.25cm radius
Level 2 Boundary = 7.25cm radius = circumference = 2pr = 45.6cm
Level 3 Boundary = 4.25cm radius = circumference = 2pr = 26.7cm

Height of pan = 3” = 7.5cm
Therefore, roll out dough to ½” thickness and cut out strips 5cm wide by 45.6cm long and 26.7cm long using a ruler and a knife.

Place the boundaries into the middle of the pie pan in a circular fashion. Adhere the dough to the outer crust using egg white and by gently smoothing the bottle of the wall into the base with the tips of your fingers. It feels similar to building with clay. Lay the two boundaries down. Plan out where to put the limbo layer and make the appropriate cuts through the other two boundaries. We chose to have the limbo touch all three layers but this doesn’t have to be so. Once again, seal any junction using egg whites and working the dough together.

Cut parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pie crust. You will have to make an outer ring and inner rings to go around the boundaries. Lay tin foil around the edge of the pie, folding the foil over the side of the pan at the top. This prevents the side crust from sagging while it cooks. Generously fill the bottom of the pastry crust with dried beans, filling in each layer evenly, including the limbo area. Cover the crust with a damp cloth and place in the freezer for 10-20 minutes.

Remove damp cloth. Place crust in preheated oven at 425OF and cook for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cool remove beans, foil, and parchment paper. Fill respective compartments with filling.
Innermost circle: Apple Cranberry
Middle circle: Blueberry
Outer Circle: Raspberry
Limbo: leave empty

Step 4: The Making Of: Part 4

Making of the top :
5 circles:
11.25cm radius = 70.7cm circumference
9.25cm radius = 58.1cm circumference
7.25cm radius = 45.6cm circumference
5.25cm radius = 33.0cm circumference
3.25cm radius = 20.4cm circumference

Roll out dough.
Cut-out strips 5cm wide by at least each of the lengths above.
Lay out strips in a circular manner curving the strips in a half-pipe, as though you are starting to fold them in half.
Place the sides of the half-pipes flush against one another. Stick them together using egg white and pressing together the sides so they adhere. Don’t worry about being delicate; better to press the dough together firmly. Treat the dough like plasticine or clay.
Cut out holes and build walls to create the maze using leftover bits of clay to complete the maze.
Match the top up with the filling and cut out holes into each of the levels, including “limbo”.

Use egg white to adhere the maze top to the filling bottom.
Brush the top with an egg wash and bake at 400F for 20min until golden brown.
Let pie cool.

Remove from springform pan. Now enjoy playing with the maze on top, trying to roll the berry into its respective inception point. Check out our attempts:

Step 5:

Remember: Pi-CEPTION is best enjoyed when shared with friends.

Check out our pie in action at: 


Producers            ---- Bean and BB
Artistic Director    ---- BB
Writer                     ---- Bean
Creative Director ---- Triple D
Support Crew      ---- Mama Bear and Triple D
Clean-up Crew   ---- Wiggle Butt

Serious Eats Pi Day Pie Contest

Second Prize in the
Serious Eats Pi Day Pie Contest