Every year on March 14th, we celebrate the little symbol that represents a circle’s circumference in relation to its diameter, or 3.14. If you’ve forgotten all your 8th grade algebra or just can’t process any numbers right now, this is why it’s important to us at Plated: Pi sounds like pie, pies are round (like circles), and therefore, Pi Day is really a day to eat more pie. Here at Plated, we’ll use any excuse to grab an extra slice, be it fruit or cream, sweet or savory, double-crusted or crumble-topped.
Our chefs have a few strong opinions about the crust/ crumble situation. Chef Liz gives the crumble the boot, saying, “A crumble is not a pie, rather, a pie-shaped crumble.” For her, it’s all about a clean-slicing pie, preferably blueberry, with a dollop each of vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. Chef Taylor also goes with tradition: “Double crust or lattice, because it’s a classic.” (Proof of Chef Taylor’s pie chops here.) Her favorite is a blackberry pie with a crisscross lattice on top. And as for those crazy intricate woven lattice tops that look like they were assembled by robots? “If you have the time for it, be my guest,” says Chef Liz.
We also couldn’t stop riffing on just how many kinds of pie there are—fruit pies, cream pies, cookie pies, hand pies, pizza pies, tamale pies, pot pies. We love them all, but especially on Pi Day. We’ve got some of our favorite recipes for pie in all its delicious forms, some of which will make you very excited for spring.
Black, blue, and basil pie
Blueberries and basil go beautifully together and are a perfect pair for diving into spring, dessert first. Blackberries have a tartness that rounds out the filling and makes the purplish color even richer. We’re taking a shortcut with store bought pie dough for this recipe, but feel free to use your own.
2 refrigerated pie crusts
4 cups blueberries
2 cups blackberries
1/3 cup whole basil leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Juice of ½ lemon
¾ cup sugar
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, stir together blueberries, blackberries, sugar, basil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and cornstarch in a large bowl. Set aside while you roll out the crust. Whisk 1 egg in a small bowl.
2. Roll 1 pie dough to a 12-inch circle and fit into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Fold any overhanging dough over and crimp edges. Roll remaining pie dough to a 12-inch circle and cut into 8 1-inch strips. Arrange dough strips in a crisscross pattern on top of the pie, sealing ends of strips to edges of crust. Brush lattice and edges of dough with egg.
3. Place pie on a baking sheet (so any juices that bubble over don’t burn on the bottom of your oven). Bake 45 minutes to an hour or until crust is golden and filling is bubbling, shielding edges of the pie crust with foil if needed. Cool pie completely on a wire rack before slicing. Enjoy!
This no-bake treat is basically the lovechild of a peanut butter cup and a classic cream pie. The graham cracker crust is filled with peanut butter whipped cream, then topped with dark chocolate ganache and (why not?) more whipped cream. We made them individually sized because you definitely won’t want to share.
A classic is a classic is a classic. This pecan (pih-KAN? PEE-kan?) pie combines nuts with a gooey brown sugar, butter, and honey filling. Try stirring a splash of bourbon + a few drops of vanilla extract into the whipped cream for even more flavor. It may be more common in the fall, but a slice of this pie is delicious any time of year.
Ginger-chai cream pie
This coffee shop-inspired pie combines cool and creamy custard with ginger and warm spices like cinnamon and cardamom. It’s basically an iced chai latte in dessert form, and a fun update to the more classic chocolate or coconut cream pies. Grab a straw, er, fork, and dig in.
1 refrigerated pie crust
2 cups whole milk
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
1 ½-inch piece fresh ginger
2 chai tea bags
½ cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1. Preheat oven to 450°. Roll pie dough into a 12-inch circle and fit into a 9-inch pie crust, folding and crimping any overhanging edges. Line pie shell with a large piece of foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans, spreading in an even layer. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 12-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove from oven, remove pie weights and foil, and set aside to cool.
2. Trim and discard skin of ginger. Combine milk, cinnamon, cardamom, and whole ginger knob in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Cook until tiny bubbles form around the edges of the pan (just below a simmer). Remove pan from heat and add chai tea bags. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Remove tea bags and whole ginger knob and discard. Return pot to medium-high and cook until warmed through, 2-3 minutes.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt, and eggs. Slowly strain milk mixture into bowl, whisking constantly. Pour milk mixture back into pot. Heat pot over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Set aside to cool until thickened (about the consistency of pudding), about 20 minutes. Spoon filling into prepared pie crust, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.
4. Pour heavy whipping cream into a chilled bowl. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and beat with an electric mixer at high speed just until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute. Spoon whipped cream into center of pie and loosely spread to edges, swirling with back of spoon. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon and enjoy!
Dinner in pie form is always a winner. We add parsnips and thyme in our version of this comforting pot pie. Instead of a traditional double crust, the creamy, vegetable-loaded filling is topped with a lid of flaky puff pastry. Be sure to get a piece of the buttery, golden crust in every forkful.
Of course, the wider world of pie includes pizza, too. We’re channeling our collective Italian nonnawith this one, adding the cheese before the sauce (trust us, it’s delicious), and baking in an ovenproof skillet for a taller, thicker, crispier slice. Serve with a garlicky kale and Parmesan salad and see how fast this dinner disappears.
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