Miscellaneous

It’s March 14th– Pi(E) Day!

Pi(e) Day

Alright gang–get excited because it’s March 14th— π Day! Or Pi(E) Day as far as I’m concerned! And what better way to celebrate 3.14159 than to feature a delicious round up of ALL THINGS PI(E)!

First up, the savory pies —

Let’s talk about Pot Pies. All kinds of veggies, chunks of delicious proteins swathed in a rich and creamy sauce–then topped with a flaky, buttery crust—all in one dish! Super dreamy…..

Here’s my take on Shrimp Pot Pies but the recipe can be easily adapted for chicken pot pies, turkey pot pies, or even lobster pot pies.

Shrimp Pot Pie

Shepherd’s Pie is another wonderful comfort food and is the perfect way to use up leftovers. And seriously, how can a layer of mashed potatoes over anything be a bad thing?

Shepherd's Pie

It seems like many cultures around the world have some type of “meat pie”….. Empenadas, Natchitoches, Piroshkis, Sambusas, Pasties – and the Vietnamese are no different! We have Bánh Pa Tê Sô (also spelled Pâté Chaud) and are the perfect bite when you’re on the go.

Bánh Patê Sô (Vietnamese Savory Meat Pies)

And of course–the beloved pizza pi(e)! Pizzas come out of my oven at least every other week and this cast iron skillet method will change your life!

Spring Skillet Pizza Pie

Now on to the sweets!

Hand Pies are a blessing for people like me who struggle with rolling out large sheets of pi(e) dough to cover full pans. They’re easy to make and no slicing required–which makes it a great dessert for picnics or dessert bars. These are filled with mixed berries but the filling options are endless!

Mixed Berry Hand Pies

And of course, there’s one of my personal favorites – Key Lime Pie. I like to add an extra nod to the islands by using crushed macadamia nuts inside the crust and also on top.

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Fan of the classic combo of peanut butter and chocolate? Then you’ll LOVE this Peanut Butter Cream Pie. The filling is light and fluffy and topped with a layer of whipped cream and tons of mini chocolate peanut butter cups, crushed peanuts, chopped pretzels and a drizzle of melted chocolate.

Peanut Butter Cream Pie

Big sis makes some mean icebox pies and this Peach Divinity is no exception! Perfect for summer BBQs….or let’s be honest— ANYTIME!

July 2015 Fam Din

She also makes a stellar Caramel Apple Pie — and trust me, you’re going to want to A LA MODE that baby!

Caramel Apple Pie a la modeNext up – Boston Cream Pie that my other sister makes. Which, truthfully, kind of confuses me because it looks less like a “pie” and more like a cake. But heck–it’s tasty nonetheless.

Boston Cream Pie

And here’s a GORGEOUS Strawberry Tart I made using berries we just picked at the farm! Before you say it–yes, I know it’s a tart but it’s kind of a pie-like creation so I’m including it anyway.

I’m such a rebel.

Fresh Strawberry Tart

For my last Pi(e) Day idea — my ode to the flavors of apple pie….in cocktail form! The Spiced Apple Pie combines cider with dark rum and all kinds of spices in a wonderful drink. Yes, please!

The Spiced Apple PieSo many different pies, so little time!

What’cha waiting for? Get out there and whip up some deliciousness and celebrate the mathematical constant π (Pi)!

I realize this just solidifies my geekiness 🙂

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Desserts/Pastries

Mixed Berry Hand Pies for π Day!

Mixed Berry Hand Pies

HOLY COW!!! I almost missed it—again! But thanks to my fab Twitter feed, I was reminded in the nick of time that today is…….. π (Pi) Day!!!!

Yup, the mathematical constant π (Pi) that is approximately 3.14159 is celebrated every year on March 14th. 3/14 = 3.14 Get it????? Oh so clever!

Mixed Berry Hand Pies

So, what does one do to celebrate π Day? Well– I guess if you’re a big math fanatic, you may spend your day racing through equations or preparing for the next Math Olympics. OR you can spend your day baking and eating delicious pies.

Seeing how I’m rather mathematically inept, I chose the latter and made these fun Mixed Berry Hand Pies. Crispy, flaky crust filled with tart fresh berries. Scrumptious!

And in case you’re feeling extra naughty today, you can choose to deep fry the hand pies instead of baking them. Why the π not?

Mixed Berry Hand Pies

And with that Friends, Happy π (Pi) Day!!!

ps. Obviously I was too busy shoving my face with these hand pies to wipe my fingers clean of powdered sugar before snapping this pic. Ooops!

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Mixed Berry Hand Pies
Makes 10-12 pies

Ingredients:

2 cups diced fresh strawberries
1 cup diced fresh blackberries
½ teaspoon lemon zest
seeds from ½ vanilla bean pod
1½ tablespoons sugar (more if berries are too tart)
1½ teaspoons cornstarch
flour for dusting
1 pound pie dough*
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon heavy cream or water
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicon mat.

In a bowl, gently mix together the berries, lemon zest, vanilla beans, sugar and cornstarch. Depending on the sweetness of the berries, more sugar may be added. Set aside.

Dust a workspace with flour and roll the pie dough to about 1/8 inch thickness. Use a 5-6 inch round cookie cutter to cut circles out of the dough. Place about 2 spoonfuls of the berry mixture in the center of a pastry circle. Fold over the dough to cover the filling and gently press the edges together to seal. You may also use a fork to crimp the edges to secure the seal. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Transfer the hand pies to the baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and heavy cream/water. Brush the tops of the hand pies with the egg wash and make a small nick with a sharp knife on top to allow the steam to release while the pies bake.

Bake the hand pies for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Don’t worry if some of the berry filling bubbles out. Once done, allow the hand pies to cool on racks for about 10 minutes. Dust the hand pies with powdered sugar and serve.

Fried Option: If you opt to deep fry your hand pies, do not brush them with the egg wash or cut an air vent in the filled pies. Once formed, refrigerate them for at least 20 minutes. Fill a heavy bottom pot with 2 inches of vegetable oil and heat to 375 degrees F. In batches, fry the hand pies for 1-2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Transfer the hand pies to cooling racks to drain excess oil. After 5 minutes, dust them with powdered sugar and serve.

*When it comes to pie dough, I’m a big fan of using Cook’s Illustrated’s Foolproof Pie Dough recipe or Martha Stewart’s Patee Brisee recipe. Both yield great results AND they’re both ideal to make double batches of to freeze when you need them.