Introduction: D20 Pie
It's a piecosahedron.
Get it? Get it?
Because it's an icosahedron and also a pie?
...I'll see myself out.
Ideal treat for:
- tabletop RPG enthusiasts
- math nerds
- pun aficionados
- people who like pie
Time: ~Two hours, plus baking time but I'm not counting that because it's possible to run off and do other things while that's happening
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Step 1: Ingredients and Stuff
- D20 cake pan from ThinkGeek (unfortunately now discontinued, so I guess contact them and tell them to bring it back, or make friends with someone who has one?)
- dough for pie shell. Needs to be a solid piece, so a crumb-based no-bake crust is not going to work for this. I used a simple sugar/margarine/eggs/flour recipe. Bonus is it does not poof up very much when baked.
- pie filling. Can be fresh fruit or frozen fruit or pre-made pie-filling-in-a-can
- spoon or swizzle stick or actual stick or something with a chunky handle, but not too chunky
- handheld mixer or food processor, measuring cups, baking paper... all the kitchen gear needed to mix up the dough for the pie shell
- maybe some gloves because this is going to be a bit greasy and goopy in spots. I use nitrile gloves because latex feels gross and smells gross.
Step 2: Makin' Some Dough
- 250g granulated (white) sugar
- 250g margarine or butter
- 3 eggs
- 750g all-purpose white flour
Amount of flour varies from 500-800g depending on size of eggs and whether or not margarine/butter was melted prior to mixing.
One batch is enough to make eight piecosahedra.
- Combine sugar, margarine/butter and eggs.
- Add flour a bit at a time, mixing it in until even.
- Keep adding flour until the dough is thick enough to hold its shape when lifted out of the bowl.
Step 3: Prep the Pan
Silicone is very bendy, so it helps to have a firm base under the cake pan, in the form of a baking sheet. I cover it with a silicone baking mat (baking paper works too), to catch any juice that might bubble out and prevent it from burning onto the baking sheet.
If you plan to use any non-stick spray, only put it on the bottom half of the mould, for reasons that will hopefully become clear in future steps.
Step 4: You Can Skip This Part
I don't bother with this step usually, but am leaving it here for people who want to use it instead of the less precise method in the next step.
Roll out the dough to a thickness of 5-10mm. Cut a circle-ish piece large enough to fill the bottoms of the cake pan.
Step 5: Making the Shell - Bottom
Time to start lining the cake pan. Instead of taking the time to roll out the dough, I just mash it unevenly flat with my hands, then squish it in place.
Step 6: Making the Shell - Top
Making the top of the pie shell proceeds much the same way as making the bottom, but with one extra step to open up a hole through which to add the pie filling later.
Step 7: Closing the Mould
Here is where it helps to not have non-stickified the top half of the pan, because it needs to be flipped over to attach it to the bottom half, and having the newly made pie shell fall out would be an annoying setback.
Step 8: Joining the Pie Shell Halves
Now for the trickiest part. The top and bottom halves of the pie shell need to be fused together, but because the cake pan is opaque and the openings are small, it can be done by feel only, and to an extent just kind of have to hope for the best.
Step 9: Filling Prep
Allow frozen fruit to thaw completely before using it, and pour it into a sieve to strain out most of the juice. We only want the fruity bits for the pie filling.
Large chunks of fresh fruit need to be chopped smaller. Large chunks of frozen-and-then-thawed fruit may need to be chopped smaller, or they may be mushy enough to work with as they are. I have never used pre-made pie filling, so I have no idea how that might need to be handled.
Step 10: Fill It Up
Grab a small spoon and start carefully pouring the fruit bits into the pie shells. Use the handle end to shove it farther down and get it into all the corners. Big chunks of thawed fruit may be soft enough that they'll squash through the hole with just some light pressure and without distorting the pastry very much.
If there is a lot of juice pooling inside, skim it off with an even smaller spoon, or suck it out with a straw, or soak it up with some paper towel (or a cloth towel you don't care too much about). If it's too juicy there is a very high likelihood it will bubble out and drip everywhere during baking, like some kind of fruit-themed volcano.
I suspect fresh fruit may be less likely to bleed juice everywhere, as it is less goopy than frozen-and-then-thawed fruit, but have not yet definitively tested this.
Step 11: Close It Off
Once the insides have been filled up to maybe 5mm below the edges, it's time to fold the overhanging dough into the opening to seal it up. It does not need to be quite as smoothed out as pictured here since there will be a tiny bit of rising during baking, and it won't stay flat forever.
Step 12: Bakin'
When using this dough recipe to make a standard pie, it calls for baking at 180°C for 20-30 minutes, but that could vary based on the vagaries of your oven, which rack is used, how thick the pie shell is, and any number of other things. Start it at whatever temp your pie crust recipe of choice calls for, and just keep an eye on it. So far my experience has been if you heat the oven from the bottom with fan circulation on, once the tops go brown and crunchy, the rest is probably baked through properly.
Step 13: Pop Out the Pie
Once you're fairly sure things have baked through all the way, remove the cake mould(s) from the oven and let things cool down until they're safe to touch. Pry it open and pop out the pies. It might take a bit of twisting and jiggling if the tops ended up overlapping the edges of the openings a little bit.
Step 14: Chow Time
They make excellent portable food too, since the all-encompassing pie shell holds up against the pressures of travel much better than a slice of regular pie would cope. They're also just fun to eat, especially if you do manage to get the pie crust properly sealed* and no juice leaks out, because then it potentially becomes unexpected pie for anyone to whom you might give one. Is it cake? Some kind of really weird cookie? SURPRISE IT IS PIE
*Which of course I managed during my first proof-of-concept attempt, and have failed at every time since then.
ENJOY YOUR NERDY PUN PIE
Runner Up in the