Pi Day is as much a holiday for the math nerds as it is the baking enthusiasts (and pizza lovers, for that matter). What better way to celebrate the natural wonder that is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its radius by creating your own perfectly round and edible version? Here are a few ideas for yummy pies to bake in honor of 3/14; you could make 3.14 of them, if you want to be super meta, but in that case we’ll have to leave the measuring to you.
A true Pi Day pie
For those of you who always have to do the most: Here’s how to create a true Pi Day pie.
King Arthur Flour Bakery and Baking School in Norwich, Vermont has a tutorial on its blog that shows you how to make the Pi symbol and the numbers 3, 1, and 4 out of leftover pie dough to decorate any pie for the holiday. Create a paper template of the Pi symbol and the numbers, trace them onto the pie dough, and then cut. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, then top on the pie of your choice. Great job! Find the recipe at blog.kingarthurflour.com.
Chocolate pecan slab pie
Ok, forget everything we just said about the perfect harmony of circles in nature — you should actually make a slab pie, instead. Smitten Kitchen’s Deb Perleman believes that sometimes, eight wedges of pie is not enough, and you need a whole casserole tray of crusty goodness. Her chocolate pecan slab pie, included in her latest cookbook, “Go slab or go home,” includes a recipe for a pie that makes 12 to 18 servings. Her secret: Add a little apple cider vinegar to help balance the gooey sweetness. Find the recipe at joythebaker.com.
Again, we’re flexing a bit on this circle concept. In the wintertime, you need comfort food, and a shepherd’s pie is a top contender for the most feel-good meals ever invented. Meat, mashed potatoes and peas combine into a heaping, hearty dish that's just the dinner you deserve after a long day at work. (And the leftovers work great for lunch the next day.) Science-obsessed nerd chef Alton Brown makes the British classic with ground lamb, russet potatoes, corn and English peas. Yum. Find the recipe at FoodNetwork.com.
Pumpkin pie with rum whipped cream
Who says you have to wait until Thanksgiving to eat pumpkin pie? This decadent recipe comes to us from Ina Garten, aka the Barefoot Contessa, and it’s suitable for any occasion, if not the day of Pi. This dessert, from everyone’s favorite calm, WASPY, Jeffrey-doting chef, begins with Garten’s perfect pie crust — which combines butter and vegetable shortening. Then it's filled with a mix of pumpkin puree, spices, sugar, eggs and cream. As if that weren't enough, she tops it off with a rum whipped cream that uses heavy cream and creme fraiche. Ina, thank you. Find the recipe at thebarefootcontessa.com.
Pimento Cheese and Tomato pie
Channel the balmy south with this recipe for tangy pimento cheese and tomato pie. This divine quiche-like dish uses a cornmeal crust, tomato slices, and a rich filling of blended piquillo peppers, cheddar cheese, sweet onion and heavy cream. What Nor’Easter? Find the recipe at foodandwine.com.