Friday, March 11, 2016

A slice of Pi

In just a few days it will be National Pi Day: 3/14/16. Pi: such a marvelous mathematical constant. Who all remembers their junior high (or was it elementary school) mathematics? “Pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.” This ratio is expressed as 22/7, or in decimal format 3.14159……. Wow, rounded off it’s 3.1416. Mind =  blown.

And who, by the way, remembers that goofy little phrase: Pi are squared? Pi are round, cornbread are square!” It seemed to be so funny in junior high.

Of course, whenever I hear the term Pi, the first thought that comes to my mind is a circle, but nothing dealing with ratios. It is, of course, Pi’s famous homonym: “pie.” Yes, I know there’s an actual “National Pie Day,” which occurred on January 23rd this year. I guess I could’ve written on this topic then instead of the topic I ultimately selected, but at the time I didn’t have my list to choose from.

So, here are my thoughts on that circle of goodness: pie!

I love pie! Apple pie, lemon pie, blueberry pie, the list goes on and on. Can’t you just smell the aroma of a freshly baked apple pie, or see an exquisitely flaky crust? Imagine that first taste of a blueberry pie, topped with French vanilla ice cream.

The last pie I made was, ironically, on National Pie Day. I made a turtle pie from a recipe I’ve modified over the years. I’ve just about perfected it, and will be happy to share it with any of y’all on one condition: I want one of your pie recipes. Deal?

This version has an Oreo cookie crust, with a layer of caramel on the bottom, topped with a chocolate and pecan layer. The crust is the one component that I’ve modified more than any other. The original recipe called for a standard, “blind baked” pastry shell, and while good I knew it could be better. I tried a shortbread cookie crust, and this definitely improved the flavor. The downside to this crust was it was a bit hard to cut without it breaking.

My next idea was either a graham cracker crust or an Oreo cookie crust. Since I was going for an authentic turtle flavor, I opted for the Oreo cookie crust. Yep, that’s it! Now I just need to increase the thickness of the caramel layer and it should be perfect.

Turtle pie

What is my favorite pie, though? Wow, tough choice! If I had to pick one, just one pie, I would narrow it down to two: A blueberry cream pie or a lemon pie. Now, most people think of lemon meringue pie by default. I’m one of those few that prefer no meringue on my lemon pie. All too often the meringue is too thick and detracts from the lemon flavor.

So, which is it, the blueberry or the lemon?

What do y’all think? Only one can be at the top of the list. That doesn’t mean I won’t eat any other pies, let’s not be foolish here. I just have to pick one for the top. It’s not like I’m picking out wallpaper, or voting for President, right? It’s not like picking a favorite will change the course of history. No butterfly effect here, right? Let’s see, if I pick the blueberry cream pie, it probably won’t cause rain in the Sahara Desert, and if I pick the lemon pie, a dozen lemurs most likely won’t be crushed by a meteorite… theory.

OK, enough stalling! I have to pick a favorite, if for no other reason than I’ve been teasing y’all this whole blog. Looking at all the variables, and considering such nuances as complex flavor profiles, and calculating the net fat grams…, forget that. “Pie” and “fat grams” do not belong in the same sentence, or even on the same planet.

The envelope please. And the title of Patrick’s favorite pie goes to……


So, for this coming Pi Day, I want to see a lemon pie at my house. Who wants to bring me one? I'll even share with the volunteers.

Until next time…….

carpe cerevisi


  1. I'm with you - lemon pie, hold the meringue! Lemon raspberry is a great combo too. Your turtle pie sounds fantastic too. Oh, boy, I guess I'd better go find my apron.

    1. I never thought about lemon and raspberry together. I'll have to add that to my list. As for today, I'm *still* not sure which one I want to celebrate Pie Day with.