Friday, March 14, 2014

International Pi Day

March 14 (3.14) marks International Pi Day.  A day to celebrate the mathematical constant of the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.

Pi is approximately 3.14159, but continues indefinitely without repetition or pattern, and is an irrational and transcendental number.  It has been calculated to over a trillion digits past the decimal.

Fun Fact: March 14 is also Einstein's birthday.  Instead of celebrating with the traditional cake, we recommend celebrating with pi(zza) and/or pi(e).

Here's a general rubric for a fruit pie from the Kitchn:

Pie Crust (store bought, homemade, whatever you prefer and time allows)
4-6 cups chopped fruit
1-2 tablespoons cornstarch (or other thickener, i.e. flour, quick cooking tapioca)
1/2 cup brown or white sugar
Lemon zest from 1 lemon and some juice if you like
Pinch of salt
1/2- 2 teaspoons spices (cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves; whatever fits your fancy)
1 tablespoon butter

Line pie plate with crust.  If you don't have a pie plate, directions are below.

Combine the filling ingredients, except for the butter, and place in crust.  Top with butter.

Top with second crust, a crumble or streusel topping, depending on personal preference.

Bake at 400* for 40 minutes, or until bubbly.  You may want to put aluminum foil around the edge for the first 20 minutes to make sure it doesn't get too brown.

No pie plate modification: You can make this without a pie plate, just call it a "rustic fruit tart".  You'll need only 1 crust.

Roll the crust out on a cookie sheet.

Make the filling, but use 4 cups of fruit instead of 6.  Mound in the middle of the crust.  Fold the edges in and  partially over the fruit.  Top with butter.  Bake at 350* for 40 minutes or until bubbly.

Cool and Enjoy!

Cookbooks featuring pies can be found in the Non-Fiction section under number 641.8.  Books about Pi can be found in Non-Fiction under number 512 for Juvenile and Adult.

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