The Prettiest Pi Day Pie: a yearly 'constant' celebration

It’s time to serve up a tasty slice of Pi Day pie.

Maybe it’s been a few months since your last pie and you’re looking for an excuse to get out the old rolling pin. Or maybe you love math and are dying to pay homage to this constant – the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Or maybe you just appreciate a good homophone. Whatever the reason … TOMORROW IS Pi DAY!

Steps for making Pi day pie via @kingarthurflourMarch 14 is an unofficial celebration of Pi(e) around the world, and so is this #PiDay pie! Click To Tweet

Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the mathematical symbol used to represent the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, which is approximately 3.14159. Pi has been calculated to over one trillion digits beyond its decimal point. As an irrational and transcendental number, it will continue infinitely (like our love of pie) without repetition or pattern.

Our Decorative Pie Crust Tips post blew us and our readers away with its detail. So again, we turned to expert Toronto baker Samantha Chiu (of Instagram fame) for inspiration and her best tips on Pi(e) Day crust perfection.

And she did not disappoint! This pie-tastic masterpiece has us excited to celebrate. Come along with us to see how she does it!

Pi Day pie

Steps for making Pi day pie via @kingarthurflour

Step 1: Pie dough and filling

Make a batch of your favorite Double Crust Pie dough, divide it into two pieces, flatten each into a disc, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Stir together the ingredients for your favorite fruit filling, like apple, blueberry, or cherry.

Steps for making Pi day pie via @kingarthurflour

On a well-floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll one disc into a circle large enough to properly fill the pie pan; typically we suggest 13″. Transfer the dough to a 9″ pie pan. Watch this video for tips on how to move your rolled dough. 

Spoon the prepared fruit filling into the crust-lined pan. 

Steps for making Pi day pie via @kingarthurflour

Step 2: Make a lattice top

Roll the second dough disc into a circle. Make sure the dough is chilled; cutting lattice strips is much easier with cool dough than warm.

Use a knife and ruler (optional, but helpful) to cut 1/2″-wide strips — you’ll need 17 strips.

Steps for making Pi day pie via @kingarthurflour

Start weaving by placing dough strips under and over each other. Once all the dough strips are woven and their edges trimmed, the pie should look like this:

Steps for making Pi day pie via @kingarthurflour

Step 3: Bake the pie

Brush the crust with egg wash (1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water). Top with sparkling sugar, if you like. Bake the pie for the recommended time and temperature in the recipe.

Steps for making Pi day pie via @kingarthurflour

Step 4: Pi-tastic numbers

Make numbers using leftover pie dough scraps.

Create a paper template by tracing an outline of the numbers onto a piece of paper and cutting out the shape. Use a knife to trace the paper template onto the pie dough. Alternatively, use number cookie cutters.

Bake your cutout numbers on a parchment-lined baking sheet for about 15 to 18 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Baking numbers separate from the pie ensures they won’t over-bake, as they need less time in the oven than the pie.

Remove the numbers from the oven. Once cooled, sprinkle them with confectioners’ sugar, for visual pop.

Steps for making Pi day pie via @kingarthurflour

Step 5: Show off and celebrate!

Arrange the numbers atop the cooled pie. If you’re going to be moving the pie around quite a bit and need the numbers to stay in place, add just enough water to some confectioners’ sugar to make a soft paste; “glue” the numbers to the crust with this sugar paste.

Serve Pi Day pie with vanilla ice cream!

There you have it, a Pi Day pie stunning enough to grace any table on 3/14.

Try it yourself: Use our Pie Crust Guide for helpful hints and recipes (our Complete Guide to Pie Baking and How to: pie playlist have even more inspiration!). Then share your results with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, using #kingarthurflour.

Gwen Adams
About

Gwen Adams grew up in northern New Hampshire, on top of a mountain, surrounded by nature and not much else. After graduating from Lyndon State College in 2010, Gwen sought a career that combined her passion for writing with her love of baking. She found ...

comments

  1. John Shepherd

    I love IT! I love baking Breads but have not tried my hand at Pies. Thank heavens for Pillsbury pie crusts. Can I buy the Greek Pi Symbol some place and the number Cutters. I love the idea of using the Pi and numbers to enhance the look of the Pies. Great idea Gwen, I love it.

    Reply
  2. Ellen Davis

    I’m making blueberry hand pies for pi day.I made some yesterday as a dry run for making pies for pi day. I used an English muffin ring to cut circles. I cut a pi symbol into half of the circles as the vent. Otherwise I just followed the recipe. This made 9 circular handpies and one irregularly shaped hand pie from the left over bits. Looked great and were very yummy. I planned to make more today so that tomorrow i could bring them to my colleagues at the school I worked at before I retired. Now it looks like tomorrow will be a snow day , so they will need to be a pi plus 1 or 2 day treat.

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Hi Ellen,
      You could make them at the end of the week for Saint Pie-tricks Day! (groan) ~ MJ

    2. Ellen davis

      Made them today. Made two batches of crust, because I didn’t think I could knead the sour cream into a doubled recipe. Made double batch of filling. Used 2.25 in biscuit cutter. I rolled the crust thinner because pies would be smaller with less filling and I didn’t want to overwhelm filling with crust. Used 1/2 tbsp filling in each. Cut pi into top crust and put a little green sparkling sugar on each. This made 40 st pi-tricks pies that I will drop off tomorrow morning. Thanks maryjane for the punny solution to my problem.

  3. Susan

    I couldn’t believe my luck! Our high school business class is having a Pi Day Pie contest, tomorrow. The pies will then be cut and sold at lunch to raise money for scholarships. Couldn’t find a better idea for a pie for Pi Day than this! Thanks so much for sharing your ideas!

    Reply
  4. Susan Tierney-Cockburn

    I’m baking strawberry rhubarb pie for Pi Day! My grandmother introduced me to rhubarb and this pairing is my favorite!

    Reply
  5. Amy Roberts

    My son heard me talking about this “Pi” idea for dessert. He is like no way I’m on spring break from school and you know I hate math..lol. Dad and I thought differently and yes, we now have a blueberry pie for Pi day. I made the numbers and symbol out of the crust scraps but not as many as the picture showed. Thank you for the idea.

    Reply
  6. Laura Cooper

    We’re in the midst of a blizzard, so making a Pi-pie to commemorate 3-14 seemed like the perfect idea. Thank you for giving us the inspiration: ours is an apple-blueberry-raspberry pie.

    Reply
    1. Gwen Adams, post author

      Hi Evie,

      She didn’t tuck and crimp her pie – simply placed her lattice on top. But absolutely feel free to tuck and crimp your pie if that is more familiar to you! -Gwen

  7. Candice Byrd

    My “nerdy” mathematical husband took 2 pi pies to school to share with the other teachers. Once they got it, they loved it.

    Reply
  8. Michelle

    Hi, I have always baked my Pi letters along with the pie. What temperature are you setting the oven to bake them separately?

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Hi Michelle,
      You can bake the letters at the same temperature as your pie, generally around 400°F. They bake quickly, so it’s best to stay nearby so they don’t scorch. ~ MJ

  9. Mary

    I keep looking at pies, and all I see are 9″ pies. The problem with a 9″ pie is that a family of 2 has no business eating all the calories in that large a pie. It yields 8 slices and 4 of them will go soggy after the second day. I have figured out that a 7″ pie pan yields 4 appropriately sized slices….2 for tonight and 2 for tomorrow. I can make a peach pie with a lattice crust with one pie crust and half the ingredients of the 9″ pie. Fast forward 2 days. End of pie. Period. Perfect. I found a 7″ pie pan on Amazon (diameter from rim edge to rim edge…inside diameter about 6.5″) but everyone complains (rightfully so) that they are cheap tin and they rust. C’mon King Arthur. How about convincing one of your venders (like USA pans) to make a quality 7″ pan with a non-stick finish, then promote it in your catalog by featuring recipes for pies that bake perfectly in that 7″ pie pan so that I don’t have to do the math to cut a recipe in half. Call your feature “Pie for 2”. Or publish a booklet of baked and refrigerated pies for 2.
    PLEASE.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We certainly understand where you’re coming from, Mary, and we appreciate your genuine feedback. We’ve shared it with our Merchandising Team to consider the next time we talk about the future of our selection of pie pans. Until then, you can always try making hand pies! Kye@KAF

  10. Mary

    I looked at those hand pies. There’s a high ratio of high-calorie crust to filling….and if I make the whole recipe I’m still stuck with 6 or 9 pies, some of which will go soggy…..and I’d still have to do the math to cut it down. I wish I could send you a picture of the adorable little 7″ peach pie I just made, pictured for contrast alongside an unused 9″ pie pan. There is something about a slice of pie that is so satisfying….and pretty.

    Reply
  11. Mary

    Talk about timely. Today’s newspaper (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) featured an article about cooking for 2 by Food Editor Daniel Neman. I emailed him, telling him of my one-person campaign to get a quality 7″ pie pan. This is his response:
    “I hadn’t even heard of a 7″ pie pan before, so you have opened up a whole new world to me. I just did a little math and determined that your pie is about 40 percent smaller than a 9-inch pie (38.5 square inches, compared to 63.5 square inches). So that’s perfect.

    I do hope someone does start making a good-quality 7-inch pie pan. I think the world is ready for it.”

    So now I am a committee of two.

    Reply

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