Day of the Century: Pi(e) Day

One of us loves math:

Ev on Pi dayWhile the other one loves cooking:

Blueberry Pi(e)In a typical year,  Pi (π) Day is celebrated around the world on March 14, and the celebration officially kicks off at 1:59 PM (3.14159, the approximate numerical value of π ).  This year, the party started early on 3/14/15 at 9:26:53 AM (3.141592653).  Only 39 digits past the decimal are needed to accurately calculate the spherical volume of our entire universe, yet π has been calculated to over one trillion digits past its decimal in the modern age of computing.

Pi (π) is the ratio of a circle’s circumference (distance around the circle) to its diameter (width of the circle). π is a constant, meaning that for all circles of any size, π will be the same. π appears in formulas for areas and volumes of geometrical shapes based on circles.  For example, the area of a circle:

A = πr2

where ‘r’ is the radius (distance from the center to the edge of the circle).

And, the circumference of a circle:

C = 2πr

In one of my favorite books, Contact , it is suggested that the creator of the universe buried a message deep within the digits of π…And while I love the book Contact, and I do appreciate math, P-I-E is also my favorite dessert!  In which case, we had many excuses to nerd-out this weekend…

Hands down, pie is always better with a homemade crust.  So here’s a crust recipe for you to savor!

Perfect Pie CrustIngredients (Makes 2 Crusts)
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar (optional)
2 sticks cold butter
ice water

Directions
1) Mix flour, salt, and sugar together in large bowl.  Chop butter into small pads, and add to the flour mixture.  Use a fork to crumble the bits of butter into 1/4 inch flakes (don’t over mix!).
2) Add 2 tbsp ice water.  Start mixing the dough by hand.  As the water is absorbed, add one tbsp water at a time until the dough ball holds together firmly.  The dough should not crumble when worked, nor should it be sticky to the touch.  Overall, about 4 tbsp of water will probably do the trick.
3) Split dough into two equal parts, one for the top crust and one for the bottom crust.  Wrap dough in plastic bags and place in refrigerator for 1 hour.
4) Roll dough out onto floured work surface and place in pie plate or flat onto cookie sheet.  Put back into refrigerator while preheating the oven and mixing the filling.

I often leave out the sugar, even if I’m making a sweet pie.  I like to use leftover pie crust and leftover soup to make little pot pies in muffin tins for a completely new meal!  If you do use the sugar and you have leftover crust, roll it out, sprinkle on some cinnamon and sugar, roll it up into a tube, and cut it into little pinwheels.  Bake on 350F for 10-15 minutes for a few little cinnamon treats!

Learn more about Pi (π ) Day here!

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