6 All-American Pies for a Patriotic Pi Day Celebration
Happy Pi(e) Day! Every year, the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter (approximately 3.14159) is celebrated on the date that comes closest to matching the approximation, March 14. In 2009, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution recognizing Pi Day, with the hope that celebrating would encourage school children to become interested in math and science. One popular way of celebrating this mathematical day is to enjoy a nice slice of pie.
The history of pie making dates back to the Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks, according to the American Pie Council. The “pye” as it was known then, came to America with the English colonists. The original American pies were baked in narrow pans called “coffins.” The crust (possibly the best part!) was not eaten in colonial days, but rather it served the purpose of holding the ingredients as the filling baked. Over the years, pie developed cultural ties strong enough to inspire the phrase, “As American as apple pie.” In honor of Pi, Americana, and the history of pie, here are six all-American pies to gobble up today.
1. Cherry pie
From George Washington and the cherry tree to the National Cherry Festival held every year in Traverse City, Michigan, the U.S. has strong associations with cherries. King Arthur Flour invokes these ties to Americana with its recipe for presidential cherry pie.
- One prepared double pie crust or your favorite recipe
- 5 to 6 cups sour cherries, packed in water or individually quick frozen
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup quick-cooking tapioca (or ½ cup Pie Filling Enhancer)
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter, optional
Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Divide the dough in half, and roll one half into a 13-inch circle. Transfer the circle to a 9-inch pie pan. Drain the cans of cherries, reserving ⅔ cup of water from one of them. Place the cherries and reserved liquid in a large mixing bowl.
Combine the sugar, cinnamon, and tapioca (or filling enhancer). Stir this into the cherries until everything is evenly combined. Stir in the almond extract and salt. If you’re using tapioca, let the filling sit for 20 minutes before using it to fill the pie shell.
Spoon the filling into the pastry-lined pan, and dot with butter, if desired. Roll out the second crust and place it on top of the filling. Cut a design into the top to vent steam, and squeeze/seal the top and bottom crusts together, fluting with your fingers or a fork. You may also choose to make a woven lattice crust.
Place the pie on a parchment-lined (to catch any spills) baking sheet, and bake in a preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling. Remove the pie from the oven, and cool it on a rack before slicing, so the filling can set.