Nine perfect pie ideas for Pi Day

This weekend, on March 14—or 3/14—the world celebrates Pi Day. Pi represents the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter (approximately 3.14159, plus more than a trillion other digits). Pi(e), naturally, is the perfect food to ring in the day.

Our employees are filling you in on their favorite recipes. Whether you want something sweet or something savory (or even a pie-inspired beer!) there’s sure to be something you’ll think is a slice of heaven.

And if you’re tempted by all of them, feel free to follow the pioneering lead of one of our employees. He and his wife started celebrating Pi Day with a small pizza pi(e), but eventually they were printing Pi Day t-shirts and making up to 15 pies!

So, what are you waiting for? Unlike the mathematical constant, pie does have an absolute value and with all of the formulas below, you’ll undoubtedly be hooked on a filling.

​Apple Pie by Grandma Ople

Darcy S. is a self-described “pie freak” who loves to both make and eat them—particularly apple pie. “This is my favorite recipe I’ve found. I’ve tried lots and always come back to this one,” says Darcy. “The sauce makes it more of a caramel, apple pie.”

Ingredients

1 recipe pastry for a 9-inch double crust pie

½ cup unsalted butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1.4 cup water

½ cup white sugar

½ cup packed brown sugar

8 Granny Smith apples—peeled, cored, and sliced

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C). Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar, and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.

Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work crust. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off.

Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 F (175 C). Continue baking for 35-45 minutes, until apples are soft.

Buttermilk Chess Pie

Donna E. doesn’t know exactly where the name comes from, but she says her Buttermilk Chess Pie is “rich and tasty” with a custard-like texture. “I don’t know why they call it Buttermilk Chess Pie—maybe there is some history there?” she says. But she says she sometimes throws in a little almond flavoring so feel free to switch it up!

Ingredients

2 cups white sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

5 eggs

⅔ cup buttermilk

½ cup melted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 9-inch unbaked pie crust

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, combine sugar and flour.

Beat in the eggs and buttermilk until blended.

Stir in the melted butter and vanilla.

Pour filling into the pie crust.

Bake in the preheated oven until filling is set, about 45 minutes.

​Keto Chocolate Pecan Pie

Sarah R. says, “This is my fav pie recipe because I am obsessed with pecan pie … and chocolate … but am also gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined-sugar free. Finding a pie that meet all these criteria and is still delicious is almost like finding a unicorn. One in a million!” Sarah also points out this recipe has an additional unexpected healthy ingredient: shredded zucchini.

Ingredients

Grain-free, Paleo Pie Crust

2 cups (260 grams) ground blanched almonds

¼ teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 egg

Chocolate Pecan Pie Filling

6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

3-ounce unsweetened dark chocolate squares (dairy-free), melted

3 eggs

1 cup finely shredded zucchini (255 grams freshly shredded, 195 grams once liquid has been wrung out)

1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 drops liquid monk fruit sweetener or ¾ teaspoon alcohol-free Stevia

150 grams raw pecan halves, divided

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Lightly oil a 9-inch pie pan with coconut oil. Set aside.

To make crust, add almond flour, salt, coconut oil and egg to the bowl of your food processor. Process and pulse until a ball forms, about 30 seconds. Transfer to prepared pie pan. Press dough, pressing up the sides. Set aside.

Before preparing the chocolate pecan pie filling, be sure to “wring out” shredded zucchini. To do this, place shredded zucchini in a clean cloth and wring out lightly. I’ve included the measurements of the wet and dry zucchini so you can see the difference.

Add melted coconut oil, dark chocolate, eggs, zucchini, vanilla, and monk fruit or Stevia to the bowl of your food processor or high-powered blender. Process or blend on high until smooth, about 1 minute.

Remove the processor bowl from the base and stir-in 75% of the pecans. If using a blender, transfer chocolate mixture to a clean bowl, then stir in 75% of the pecans.

Drop the chocolate mix into the prepared pie pan. Top with remaining pecans.

Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until top is set and sides become golden. Once complete, allow to cool overnight.

Serve with coconut whipped cream.

​Deep-Dish Chicken Pie

“My favorite kind of pie? Savory, chicken pie. Not pot pie, mind you—chicken pie. It’s a southern thing. And it’s real good,” says Melissa P. It can also be made meatless, too. Melissa said, “To accommodate the vegetarian in my family, I’ve adapted the recipe. I make an individual-sized pie for her, replacing chicken with potatoes and chicken broth with vegetable broth. It’s not quite as good, but she likes it.”

Ingredients

1 package Pillsbury redi-made pie crust

6 tablespoons melted butter

6 tablespoons flour

2 cups chicken broth

2 cups chopped, cooked chicken (3-4 fillet breasts)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2/3 cup milk

Instructions

Bring to a boil melted butter, flour, salt and pepper. Stir often.

Let cook medium/low heat until thick.

Spray deep-dish pie pan with cooking spray.

Place 1 layer of crust in pan.

Top with other crust.

Trim excess crust from edges.

Bake at 425 F for 30-35 minutes until light brown.

Key Lime Pie

This pie recipe isn’t coming from the maker—it’s coming from his wife. Lisa J. gives all the credit in the world to her husband, a high school science teacher, who is the pie master in her house.

“When my husband first started teaching, my Dad was visiting and my husband made a pie. While we were having the pie, my dad told my husband that if the teaching ‘gig’ doesn’t work out, he could always make pie. My husband took that as high praise … which it definitely was,” says Lisa. In the years that followed when her dad would visit, he’d even request pie for breakfast—a tradition that is still followed on occasion in the Jacobson house.

Ingredients

1/2 cup key lime juice

1 can sweetened condensed milk

8-ounce sour cream

1 lime zest (2 key limes)

1 package unflavored gelatin

1 prepared pie crust

Instructions

Combine key lime juice, sweeten condensed milk, sour cream, and zest.

Color with 2 drops green food coloring if you wish. Set aside.

Sprinkle gelatin on 1/2 cup water in saucepan; let sit one minute.

Heat on medium heat for 2 minutes but do not allow to boil.

Add to mixture and stir well.

Pour in prepared pie crust and refrigerate for 2 hours until completely set.

Serve with whipped cream if you wish.

​Citrus Cranberry Pie

Melynn S., is widely known around City Center West’s marketing department as a great baker. Her favorite, “Taste of Home Citrus Cranberry Pie has become a bit of a Thanksgiving must,” says Melynn. She often doubles the filling and, even though she makes 20+ kinds of delectable holiday cookies, she uses a premade crust. “Pillsbury and even Aldi make a decent crust and it’s all about the filling on this one!”

Ingredients

3-1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

1 small navel orange, peeled, sectioned, and chopped

2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pastry for double-crust pie

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Orange Cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons grated orange zest

1/2 teaspoon orange extract, optional

Instructions

Preheat oven to 450°. Toss together first 8 ingredients.

On a lightly floured surface, roll 1 half of dough to a 1/8-in.-thick circle; transfer to a 9-in. pie plate. Trim crust even with rim. Add filling.

Roll remaining dough to a 1/8-in.-thick circle; cut into strips. Arrange over filling in a lattice pattern. Trim and seal strips to edge of bottom crust; flute edge. Brush lattice with egg; sprinkle with additional sugar.

Bake 10 minutes. Reduce oven setting to 350°; bake until golden brown, 40-45 minutes, covering edge with foil if crust is getting too dark. Cool completely on a wire rack; refrigerate until serving.

Meanwhile, beat whipping cream until it begins to thicken. Add remaining ingredients; beat until soft peaks form. Refrigerate until serving. Serve with pie.

Pastry for double-crust pie (9 inches)

Mix 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cut in 1 cup cold butter until crumbly.

Gradually add 1/3 to 2/3 cup ice water, tossing with a fork until dough holds together when pressed.

Divide dough in half.

Shape each into a disk; cover and refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.

​Peanut Butter Pie … and Rosy Red Raspberry Pie

Marley L. couldn’t help but submit two great recipes. “Like many farm wives, my mother was a fantastic baker and was well-known for her homemade pies, desserts and cakes,” says Marley. “Unfortunately, I do not share her ability to make the perfect flaky, buttery pie crust so I resort to store bought crusts.”

Peanut Butter Pie
Ingredient

1 pie crust, fully baked and cooled

1 3.9-ounce package instant chocolate pudding

1 3.9-ounce package instant vanilla pudding

1-3/4 cup milk

2 cups vanilla ice cream, slightly softened

½ cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup powdered sugar

Cool Whip

Instructions

Mix puddings and milk until smooth; stir in ice cream.  Keep refrigerated until ready to assemble pie.

Using a fork or food processor, blend peanut butter and powdered sugar until crumbly.  Set aside 3 tablespoons to sprinkle over top of pie.

Sprinkle crumbly mixture on the bottom of the baked and cooled pie crust.

Pour pudding mixture over crumbles and refrigerate.

When set, top with Cool Whip and sprinkle reserved crumbs over topping.

Keep refrigerated.

Rosy Red Raspberry Pie
Ingredients

1 redi-made shortbread pie crust OR 1-1/2 cups Lorna Doone cookies crushed with 2 tablespoons sugar and 5 tablespoons melted butter

1 8-ounce package softened cream cheese

1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup Cool Whip

3 cups fresh red raspberries

Sauce

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup water

1 tablespoon white corn syrup

3 tablespoons Raspberry Jell-O

Instructions

If using Lorna Doone cookies, mix crust ingredients well and pat into a 9-inch pie plate.  Bake at 350 F for 5 minutes; cool.  (Do not bake if using a redi-made crust.)

Sauce instructions

Mix sugar and cornstarch well in a saucepan before adding water and corn syrup.

Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly.

Remove from heat and whisk in 3 tablespoons raspberry Jell-O.  Stir until Jell-O is completely dissolved. Place in refrigerator for about 30 minutes until slightly cooled.

Gently wash 3 cups fresh red raspberries and drain on paper towel.

Combine cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Fold in Cool Whip.

Spread cream cheese mixture on bottom of cooled pie crust.

Place berries over cream cheese layer.

Pour sauce over berries and chill until completely set.

There Gose’ My Keys

As you might guess from the name, this isn’t your ordinary pie. Christopher H., a home brewer in his spare time, created this recipe for his key lime pie-inspired, refreshing summer beer. He said, I wrote this recipe last spring and between all of my friends and family, I went through two kegs of this brew throughout the summer.”

Ingredients

Fermentables

5 pounds Astro white wheat

4 pounds pale malt (2 Row)

.75 pounds acidulated

.5 pounds rice hulls

Hallertauer Mittelfruh Hops

.7 ounces

Yeast

1 packet German Ale/Kolsch

Extras

.25 ounces Coriander seeds—boil 5 minutes

1 tablet Whirlfloc—boil 5 minutes

Key lime tincture (zest from 20 key limes soaked in vodka for the duration of the ferment)

2 ounces lactic acid

.3 ounces salt

4.08 gallons mash water

2.91 gallons sparge Water

Instructions

At 1 hour add all the fermentables other than the acidulated. 149 F.

After 45 minutes add in the acidulated. 149 F.

Mash out 149 F for 60 minutes.

Add Coriander and Whirlfloc with 5 minutes left in the boil.

The lactic acid, tincture, and salt at the secondary fermentation.

Fermentation 1

65 F for 14 days.

Fermentation 2

Take the beer off of the trub, add lactic acid, tincture, and salt, and let it sit for another 7 days at 65 F.

OG 1.053  FG 1.01  ABV 5.6  IBU 10.4  EBC 8.9

*OG is Original Gravity—the amount of fermentable sugar in the wort before fermentation. FG is Final Gravity—what the gravity should be at after fermentation. ABV—is the percentage of alcohol by volume. IBU—measurement of how bitter the beer will be. EBC is European Brewery Convention—scale of color of the beer.