Introduction: To 3.14 or Not to Pie

About: I am a University of Edinburgh electronics engineering student.

This in not a question anymore.

Here is my version of π or pie, however you call it. Not only it looks interesting, but is is amazingly delicious! You can expand your imagination and create beutiful and unusual engravings as I did. It is simple and you will like it! I am sure. 

So what about π? How do you mix maths with cherrys, jam and dough? Hmm ... sounds awkward indeed. The ratio of any circle's circumference to its diameter .... π = 3.141592653..... wait wait ... you put it in the oven and then eat it?! I am confused now.

Ok, let me explain this to you just follow the steps and you will get the idea.

Step 1: Ingredients

To make the π you need:

For the crust:
For the filling:
  • A jar of fruit compote - any fruit will work, so it is your choice
Tools you need for the overall process:
  • Food processor, dough cutter, or fork & knife
  • Kitchen alluminium foil 
  • Rolling pin
  • Soldering iron for the ingraving

Step 2: Making the Dough

1. Mix 1 1/2 cups flour, salt and sugar until combined.
2. Add the butter to the mixture in battches scraping it into small pieces. This will help you mix the ingredients easier.
3. Process the butter untill it blends well into the flour. Dough should just start to clump together into small pieces.

Step 3: .14 = Pi You See That! :)

1. Add the rest of the flour and mix it in the dough.
2. At this point you may need to add some water. Do not add more than 3 tablespoons of water at once.
3. Continue mixing the dough with a spatula using folding motion, pressing down on dough until it is slightly tacky and sticks together.

Step 4: Roll the Dough Flat

Take roughly half of the dough and form a ball. Sprinkle some flour on the table and then using the rolling pin roll the dough flat. I made it around 0.5cm (0.2 inches) thick.

Step 5: Get Creative

1. Now draw the π. Make sure that the symbol fits into the oven and eventually into your baking tray.

As you see my π came quite big. I used four A4 sheets to fit the drawing.

2. Cut the symbol pieces from the paper.

Step 6: Make the Dough Symbol

Transfer the drawings onto the dough and cut the shapes over the edges.

Then transfer the pieces on the baking thay after oiling it just a tiny bit.

Do not worry about the stitches. Cut narrow lines of dough and press them on the stitches. You can sprinkle over with cold water to make the blending better. Trim off the edges that stick out.

Step 7: Borders + Filling

Cut narrow lines of dough ~ around 1.5cm (0.6  inches). Place them on the side of the symbol pressing the lower edge against the flat dough to make it stich together.

It is time to put the fruits inside the 3.14. I have chosen cherries as they look like a circle if you section them. You can calculate their radius and relate it to the perimeter using π which is so cool! Maths rock when it comes to cherries!

Step 8: Top Crust

Using same technique as before, prepare some thin lines of dough to cover the π. The only difference is in the thickness - make them a little bit thinner than before.

Now cover the pie twisting these lines π/2 degrees apart from each other and you will get some very nice looking maths inspired pie!

Step 9: Bake the Maths in the Oven

The pie takes around π/2 degrees turn of the clock minute arrow to bake. Let me rephrase this:  bake the pie 15 minutes at 190 degrees.

Step 10: Engraving Tools

Now the pie is ready, but as we are all maths geniuses why not learn some more π stuff.

Usually π is rounded to 3.14 but why restrict ourselves? π is an endless irrational number which decimal representation never repeats .... so why not mix the pleasant with the useful.

I decided to engrave some of π's digits on the pie.

What you will need is alluminium foil and a soldering iron. This is dangerous and you could easily injure yourself. Ask an adult to help you best.

Here is how you do it:

1. Clean the tip of the soldering iron. You do not want any soldering lead there.
2. Fold the piece of foil into two.
3. Wrap the tip from all sides. Be careful not to punch a hole in the foil as you do not want any contact between the soldering iron and the pie!

Step 11: Engraving Technique

It is up to you what you write on the crust. I have chosen to write π = 3.14159 26535 89793 23846 26433 83279 50288 which is sensible in some way ... awkward way.

Before you start, make sure the crust is well baked and not soft, but crispy. (I would suggest that you make a biscuit from the dough to train on it, not on the π.)

Gently touch the surface of the crust with the tip. It will start burning slightly - move the tip slowly or make dots on the crust. It is easy when you get it!

NOTE: Some of the burned crust piles on the tip and you will have to change the foil. I changed it only once for the whole time.

Step 12: Finished!

Now we are ready!

There is nothing more to say than that the π has to be eaten! It is delicious and like-a-textbook at the same time. What more do we need?

Pi Day Pie Challenge

First Prize in the
Pi Day Pie Challenge