Happy March 14 – Pi Day is here! Pi is the mathematical term for the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, approximately equal to 3.14, and even though we are not struggling through high school calculus, we can celebrate Pi day! How? With pie, of course!
Have you ever thought of celebrating Pi day? Pi and pie are homonyms, spelled differently but they sound the same, so eating pie on Pi Day is a natural fit. Folks all across the country celebrate Pi Day, from pizza pie to Shepherd’s pie to pastry pie. Some schools even have competitions to see which students can write Pi to the furthest digit. Pi day can be a tasty family tradition, too.
Pi Day Recipes: Homemade Pizza
Our family has a few delicious traditions of our own to serve up on Pi day. Our homemade pizza has become a family and neighborhood favorite. We bake the pizzas in our Lehman’s Primo charcoal grill because it gives a perfectly charred flavor with a crunch while maintaining a soft chewy inside. Absolute pizza perfection! Is your mouth watering? Mine is just writing about it!
Soon after purchasing our Lehman’s Primo charcoal grill, I went to the local wholesale warehouse and purchased 50 pizza boxes. Now on pizza night, we call the neighbors and let them know the free pizzeria is open. One friend started calling it our “pizza ministry.”
We live on a quiet country road where everyone knows the meaning of “neighborly.” Sometimes, during the winter, after a big snow, we look out the window and see a neighbor on his garden tractor who has already started plowing out our lane. Often, we aren’t sure which neighbor is blessing us because they are bundled up from head to toe. They are unrecognizable! However, it doesn’t really matter. By the time spring grilling season rolls around, we can “pay if forward” by calling neighbors and sharing pizzas.
To make our pizza pies, we fire up to 500 degrees and bake for approximately 8 minutes. We make our own dough and sauce. Ham and pineapple are Randy’s (my husband) favorite toppings. I enjoy sauteed onions, peppers and mushrooms. Our slightly smoked grilled pizza tends to rival any local pizzeria – just ask our neighbors.
For Valentine’s Day, Randy surprised me with a large bag of Cowboy Lump Charcoal with a poem attached. “Roses are red, Violets are blue. This is for pizza ministry because I LV U!” If the weather cooperates, the neighbors will start enjoying pizza before long.
Pi Day Recipes: Double Crust Apple
Another favorite pie our family has adopted is Double Crust Apple Pie! Pie is so popular at the Murray household. Our daughter, Alisa, served it at her wedding and, of course, we made it from scratch. We started the venture by purchasing glass pie plates from thrift stores, and we collected approximately thirty, one for each table. During the fall apple season, Alisa and I made the pies and froze them. On the morning of the wedding, we baked the pies and put one pie on each table. Some of our guests went ahead and dove into the apple pies before we started serving the main meal. And, of course, apple pie is delicious to begin or complete a meal.
No matter how you choose to celebrate Pi day, consider the humble pie; pizza, apple or create your own. And be sure to let us know how you celebrated Pi day this year.
Here are the Pi day recipes for you to try:Print
For Pizza Dough:
- 2 c warm water
- 2 T yeast
- 2 T sugar
- 2 t salt
- 2 T olive oil
- 6 1/2 c flour
For Pizza Sauce:
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 2–8 oz tomato sauce
- 2 T dried oregano
- 2 T Italian seasoning
- 2 t garlic salt
- 1 t onion powder
- 1/2 black pepper
Make the Pizza Dough:
- Combine in a large bowl: 2 c warm water and 2 T yeast.
- When dissolved, add: 2 T sugar, 2 t salt, 2 T olive oil and 2 ½ c flour. Beat until smooth.
- Then add 4 c flour. Knead until elastic, about 5 minutes.
- Place in a greased bowl and let rise until doubled. About 45 minutes. Form 4 balls. Pat and stretch to fill the pizza pan.
Make the Sauce:
- Combine in medium bowl using a wire whip: 6 oz tomato paste, 2-8 oz tomato sauce.
- Then add your favorite spices using a wire whip. We like: 2 T dried oregano, 2 T Italian seasoning, 2 t garlic salt, 1 t onion powder and ½ black pepper.
Add Everything to Your Pizza Dough:
- Add pizza sauce and your favorite toppings.
- We grill our pizza at 500 degrees for 8 minutes. Yum!
This recipe creates a thick, saucy-sauce (Is that even a thing?) that is full of flavor.
I use kitchen scissors to cut our pizza. I, sometimes, substitute some whole wheat flour. I think it adds a delightful nutty flavor.
Keywords: pizza sauce, pizza dough
For Pie Crust:
- 2 1/2 c flour
- 2 T sugar
- 1/2 t salt
- 16 T (cubed and cold) butter
- 1/2 c and 2 T ice water
For Apple Pie Filling:
- 3/4 c sugar
- 2 T flour
- 1–2 T apple pie spice (to make it yourself, see ingredients below)
- 6–7 peeled and sliced apples
For Apple Pie Spice:
- 4 T ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 t ground nutmeg
- 1/2 t ground allspice
- 1 t ground ginger
- 1 1/2 t ground cardamom
Make the Pie Crust:
- Pulse in food processor: 2 ½ c flour, 2 T sugar, ½ t salt
- Add: 16 T (cubed and cold) butter. Pulse 5-7 times.
- Add: ½ c and 2 T ice water. Pulse 5-7 times.
- Divide the dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready to roll out your dough.
Make the Apple Pie Filling:
- Combine: ¾ c sugar, 2 T flour, 1-2 T apple pie spice* (I have a recipe for that as well, see below.)
- Mix sugar, flour, apple pie spices with sliced apples. Fill the pie shell and add top crust.
- Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes then at 350 for 35 minutes. (Send someone out to buy the ice cream and serve this pie warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.)
*For Apple Pie Spice:
- Combine: 4 T ground cinnamon, 1 ½ t ground nutmeg, ½ t ground allspice, 1 t ground ginger and 1 ½ t ground cardamom.
- Store in an airtight container. This can be used for applesauce, apple crisp or other apple desserts.
I’m a little lazy, and rather than using a pastry blender, I like to use the food processor. Just remember to keep everything cold and don’t over process the dough. This is one time when chunks of butter are a very good sign. This is enough dough to make one double crust pie.
Keywords: desserts, pies, apple