To be brutally honest, any day is a good day for Pi and what could be better than a Raspberry Pi, or a Pi Pie, or the true nirvana: a Raspberry Pi Pie.
Now, I might be a little irrational about cleaning up the kitchen after making stuff but I really don't like a mess on the bench. Whilst tiding up after my wifes latest creation, I found that there was some leftover pastry but not enough for any of the baking tins that we had. Since the amount of pastry was constant, a different baking tin was needed.
This gave me a bit of a pi in the sky idea about making a unique baking tin. Nobody can afford to buy a premade tin for every shape that you may want but can a tin be made out of a common material that most people have and would it be strong enough to cope with pastry being pushed into it? It turns out that aluminium foil that has been folded serveral times is perfect for this task!
Right, lets get onto making this little Cutie Pi.
Step 1: Tools and Ingredients
- As said above, I used some pastry that was left over from my wife' creation so I would be eating humble pi if I didn't link her Easy Apple and Blackberry Pie in here. Just in case you don't want to link across, the ingredients are as follows, but remember that this will make enough for a 23cm pie rather than the small amount that I actually used:
- 250 g soft butter
- 3/4 c castor sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 1/2 c flour
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Raspberry compote. I used a store brought compote but similar recipes are open source and can be found via google or similar.
Fresh or frozen berries. The raspberry pi is all about tweaking and adapting, in this case the only berries that were in my freezer were blackberries and blueberries, both of which are delicious and make great pi fillings. Don't be tempted to just use a compote as the filling will be far to sweet.
- Aluminium foil. Extra wide if you can find it as it means that less joins will be required.
Step 2: Form the Tin
- Tear off approx 15cm of foil.
- Make the first fold at a width that is slighly more than the height that you want the tin to be.
- Continue folding until all the foil is used.
- Make a small fold on the top edge to give a litte more strength.
- Repeat until you have enough strips to form the shape that you want.
- Bend the folded foil strips into the desired shape. Overlap the strips and wrap another piece of foil around to form a continuous strip.
- Make small strips and use them to hold the form to the shape that you want.The sides will move and bulge as the pastry is added if these are not used.
- Put the completed form on top of some parchment paper inside a baking tin. The tin ensures that if you have a leak in the pastry, the mess doesn't go all through the oven. Believe me, the clean up goes on forever and ever if you don't do this!
As the shape that I was making was fairly small, the strips didn't need to be very strong. If a larger shape was desired, then use more foil to make the sides a bit more rigid. Adding a small bend on the bottom edge would also give a bit more strength.
Step 3: Pastry
- Check out RCEM's Easy Apple and Blackberry Pie for complete details on making the pastry, but in summary:
- Beat butter, sugar, egg and vanilla essence togther until creamed.
- Add flour and baking powder, stir until combined.
- Turn out and knead until smooth
- Roll the pastry out to the desired thickness (approx 3.1415mm worked well for me). Roll on top of a piece of clingwrap to stop the pastry from sticking to the bench.
- Transfer the pastry into the tin. I did this in several pieces and then molded them together with my fingers.
- Take small pieces of pastry and fill any holes or tears in the pastry. You need to make the pastry as complete as possible otherwise the filling will leak out as you cook it.
- Cut the top edge to a uniform level, this isn't actually necessary and if you don't, you just get yummy pieces of crust sticking up!
Step 4: Add Filling
- Put a layer of berries into the formed pastry. If they have been frozen it is advisable to slightly defrost and pat off excess moisture with a paper towel. If you don't do this the crust may not brown up and become crisp.
- Spoon the raspberry compote over the top. I put enought in to cover the fruit but add as much as you want. The product I was using wasn't very sweet so I could get away with using a bit more.
I was going to make a pattern for the top but Pi says NO to patterns!!!
Step 5: Cook and Enjoy!
- Put into an oven that has been preheated to 375 degrees fahrenheit and cook for approx 30min or until the crust is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let the Pi cool down.
- If you have made a complex shape, such as Pi, it will be much easier to cut the foil and slowly peel off the cooked pastry. The filling should have reduced and solidified so even if you do break the crust a little, it shouldn't make too much of a mess.
Cut into whatevery ratio that you desire and round out the serving with a bit of ice cream or yogurt. Whilst this Pi is not a circle, don't eat to much otherwise it will have a direct relationship with your circumference.
I rushed the making of the baking tin a little and it would have been better to draw out a pattern that you formed the tin on top of rather than just free-styling it like I did. The result is still fairly cool but it could have been better.
More foil folds on the sides is better. While I only made a small pie, it would have been easier if the sides were a little stiffer. It worked ok as it was but could have been improved.
I am sure that there is a common fraction of society that doesn't enjoy Raspberry Pi; however, I am not one of them and hope that you also enjoy this treat!
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