Want to make the ultimate decadent treat to celebrate Pi Day? Even better, do you want to make a treat that uses pi types of desserts in it? This is the pie for you!
Why is it pi types of desserts? Easy. Pie + cake + cookies = 3 desserts. Add ~0.1415926 of ice cream, and you have... a pi pie!
We will be making this pie in stages. You will make the various batters first, then bake them together later.
This is not a quick and easy recipe, but you can make it faster by using a premade pie crust and using mixes for the cookie and cake parts.
I dedicate this recipe to my inspiration, Allie Brosh, whose post Cake vs. Pie: A Scientific Approach (http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/03/pie-verus-cake-scientific-approach.html) challenged me to see how I could combine the goodness of both, plus more.
Also, a free giveaway for all pi lovers. Download the cool poster I made for Pi Day here: http://susanmidlarsky.com/blog/blog_files/pi_day_activities.php
I am a teacher who specializes in math, so celebrating Pi Day and making math fun is very important to me and my students. If I win the contest, it will mean I can do more cool math activities on the iPad with my students. (My iPhone is a bit small for that.) So please vote for me!
Step 1: Make the Pie Crust
For best results, make this pie in stages. Start with the pie crust. You will need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 stick and 1 tbsp butter, cut into pieces
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup iced water, more or less
Chop the butter up into bits, then combine with the flour and salt. Mix with fingertips until the dough forms grape-sized pieces. Chunks of butter should still be visible. Stir in the iced water. Knead the dough lightly until it forms a ball. Add a bit of water if necessary. Put in a plastic bag and shape into a log. Store in an airtight bag with the air pressed out and chill for 1 hour to 3 days.
Roll out the dough to a 12" round about 1/8" thick and line a buttered and floured 10" pie pan. Chill for half an hour.
Note: This crust takes a lot of work. It's delicious and worth it, though. I was told by a taster today, "I usually don't like pie crust, but this is great."
Step 2: Make the Cookie Dough
My favorite type of cookie is chocolate chip, so that's what I chose to make. You can use a mix, but it won't be as good.
This recipe is adapted from the classic Nestle Toll House cookie recipe.
You will need:
1-1/8 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 lg egg
1 cup chocolate chips
Optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugars and vanilla until creamy. Add egg and beat well. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
Step 3: Make Basic Chocolate Cake
This recipe is modified from the One-Bowl Chocolate Cake Recipe III on Allrecipes.com. I actually made this batter first because my butter was frozen when I started cooking. This is the easiest batter in the recipe.
You will need:
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup & 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 egg (I beat it and saved the other half for breakfast the next morning)
1/4 cup milk
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup boiling water
Stir together dry ingredients. Add all wet ingredients except the water and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed of mixer. Stir in the boiling water.
The photo below shows the wet cake batter poured into the crust. Don't do this yet. I just forgot to take a photo of the cake batter while it was being made, but I wanted to show what the batter looked like in this step.
Step 4: Bake Together
Before starting, bring cookie dough and cake batter to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut out a circle of parchment paper and fit it into pie shell. Add weights like beans or rice (I used mixed ball bearings that I had on hand) and bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and take out parchment paper and weights.
Layer cookie dough on top of pie crust. Be gentle, as bottom of pie crust will still be soft; press cookie dough in with fingers. Cover exposed pie crust with foil and bake for 5 minutes. (I reused the foil from my weights. I did take photos of this step, but they disappeared into the ether.)
Remove from oven. Pour cake batter into half-baked pie. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into cake layer comes out clean.
Let pie cool.
There are many photos in this step. To see the cake layer photos, click the arrow to scroll the photos to the right.
Step 5: Ice Cream, and Eat Up!
There are two ways to go about this. You can serve this pie a la mode, bringing its combination to greatness one slice at a time. Or, if serving at a party or other occasion where the pie will disappear quickly, soften ice cream slightly and then spoon it on top of the pie. Keep in freezer until it's time to serve.
The advantage of the a la mode method is the pie can be warm when you add the ice cream. Mmmm!
This is the first time I made this pie, and I have to say - wow. The crust is light and flaky, the cookie part is chewy and melty, and the chocolate cake is delicious. With vanilla ice cream on top, it becomes the ultimate treat.
The cross section photo shows there is more cookie than cake in this pie. This suits me well, but you can adjust amount if your preferences are different, or just reduce the amount of cookie dough (and bake cookies with it!) if you want to add an ice cream layer.
I can say with certainty that this pie is approximately 3.1415926 times better than any other pie I have eaten! I hope you make it and enjoy it too.