Tag Archives: pi day

Mixed-Berry Pie for Pi Day

Mixed-Berry Pie / Especially Edible

Thanks to Pi Day, everyone in the food blogosphere gets an update on their elementary-school math: Pi, the the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, is always the same number, approximately 3.14. An irrational number used to find the area of a circle, its digits go on forever, but the next two are 15, making this year’s Pi Day – 3/14/15 – even more special than any other year’s March 14.

What do food bloggers do for Pi Day? Make pies, of course. Shepherd’s pie, pumpkin pie, pizza pie – it’s all fair game. I decided to go with a traditional fruit pie. No ground-breaking interpretations of pie here.

Mixed-Berry Pie / Especially Edible

Since I missed the last holiday I celebrated on my blog – National Banana Bread Day – by about a mile, I’m going to make this post short and sweet. I made my first pie of the year, a mixed berry recipe from Food Network, for my grandparents, who were visiting from South Dakota. The crust was a trusty Martha Stewart recipe that, I should note, is the only Martha Stewart recipe besides her apple-cheddar dog treats that has turned out well. (I love Martha Stewart – and I think most of her haters are just uncomfortable with a woman so unapologetically in power – but her website’s cookies tend to spread like pancakes and her macaroni and cheese to congeal in a puddle of grease.) I’d never made a lattice-top pie before, but thanks to the wonders of step-by-step guides on the Internet, it actually turned out pretty well. And the process wasn’t nearly as hard as I’d anticipated – about as easy as weaving those paper placemats kids make alongside memorizing the value of pi.

Mixed-Berry Pie / Especially Edible

As cool as Pi Day is, I’m enough of a nerd to remember celebrating Mole Day – October 23, or 10/23 – in high school chemistry class. Mrs. Hogfoss, an institution at my Catholic school who probably taught some of my classmates’ parents, drilled Avogadro’s Constant – roughly 6.022 x 1023 – into our heads. For the sake of brevity, let’s just say it’s the number of particles (say, atoms or molecules) contained in one mole, a unit of measurement based on the number of atoms in 12 grams of pure carbon-12, the isotope of carbon with an atomic mass of 12. (Are your eyes still open? Good.) Chemistry and math geeks will probably point out a dozen – a baker’s dozen, for the sake of irony – in that definition, but it’s as good as the combination of my memories from high school and a little help from Wikipedia gets. At any rate, Mrs. Hogfoss celebrated October 23 by marching into the chemistry lab with a stuffed mole (actually a stuffed Oregon State University beaver with its tail lopped off) wearing a red cape with Avogadro’s number emblazoned on the back.

I would much rather celebrate Mole Day than Pi Day – it’s a lot more unique, for one, and I’ve never tried to make Mexican mole sauce. (OK, so the pronunciation is different . . . so sue me.) That, however, will have to wait until this fall. For now, pie is on the menu. Enjoy.

Mixed-Berry Pie / Especially Edible

Mixed-Berry Pie


For the Crust

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp. salt

1 cup cold unsalted butter, diced

1/4-1/2 cup ice water

For the Pie

2 cups blueberries

2 cups raspberries

2 cups strawberries

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 brown sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 1/2 Tbs. butter


For the Crust

Combine flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse briefly to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. While the processor is running, slowly add the ice water through the feed tube until the dough comes together.

Remove dough from the food processor and divide in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

For the Pie

Preheat the oven to 350.

Roll one half of the chilled dough into a 9-inch circle and slide onto a pie plate, trimming the edges and folding them under. Crimp the edges by pinching the dough between your thumb and index finger.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and cinnamon.

Mix the berries together and sprinkle with the flour mixture, stirring the fruit or turning it with your hands until all the pieces are coated.

Mound the berries into the pie crust.

Roll out the second half of the chilled dough into a 9-inch circle and cut into strips approximately 3/4-inch wide. Weave your lattice-top (see this excellent guide from Simply Recipes for better instructions than I could ever write). Press the ends of the strips into the edges of the crust, then brush the top with melted butter or an egg whisked with 1 Tbs. water.

Bake for 45 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool. The pie will set as it cools; if you can resist digging in right away, you'll get a much firmer and less liquidy pie than the one in my photos.

Pie recipe adapted from Food Network . Crust recipe from Martha Stewart .