Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Pineapple Pie for Pi Day

Happy Pi Day! It's that time of year to celebrate pi and of course pie. For math nerds, pi is used in the equation to determine the area of a circle, but for pie enthusiasts pi day (March 14 aka 3.14 aka pi) is an occasion to celebrate the most delicious circle-shaped dessert in the history of desserts: pie (sorry cake and cookies).

I love making pie. I love eating pie. I love everything about pie. Last year I started a resolution to bake at least one pie a month, and I've kept that resolution going this year as well. It's a delicious goal, and I hope to maintain it as long as possible.

There are many varieties of pie I could have made this year in honor of pi day, but I decided to try something very outside of the box.

I'd never eaten or made a pineapple pie before this. I have made an amazing hummingbird pie which contains pineapple, but not an explicitly pineapple pie. I found this recipe in First Prize Pies, and it's not just a standard pie filled with pineapple, but rather the fresh chopped pineapple is held together by a beautiful lime custard.

It's a cross between a custard pie and a fruit pie. The filling is very reminiscent of key lime custard with juicy bursts of pineapple, all wrapped up up a flaky crust topped with a shimmering layer of sugar.

I have never before made a predominantly custard filled pie that was topped with pastry crust (they are usually single-crust pies), but this was excellent! I loved the additional layer of crust on top, and the raw sugar adds some additional sweetness to cut through some of the tartness of the filling.

This year Pi Day falls on a Wednesday, but you can still celebrate the occasion with a homemade pie this coming weekend, or even this evening. Yes, homemade pie dough should rest at least an hour or preferably overnight before rolling it out, but you can probably cheat it a little to whip up some homemade pie in honor of this very special day.

Pineapple Pie
Makes 1 (9-inch) pie
(From First Prize Pies)

4 large eggs
1 cup (200 g) sugar
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoons dark rum (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (30 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (1/2 stick/55 g) melted butter
2 cups (362 g) chopped fresh pineapple (from 1 medium-large pineapple)
Pie dough for one double-crust pie
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Raw sugar, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs, then whisk in the sugar, lime zest, rum (if using) and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and butter until full blended, then whisk them into the egg mixture. Stir in the pineapple.

Roll out one half of the dough into a circle about 11 inches in diameter. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate, trim the overhang to 1 inch, and fill it with the pineapple mixture.

Roll out the remaining circle of dough to about 10 inches, lay it over the pie, and trim and crimp the edges to your liking. Brush the top with egg wash, sprinkle with raw sugar, and cut slits in the top crust.

Bake the pie on a baking sheet for 20 minutes, rotating it once halfway through. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake it for another 30 to 40 minutes, until the crust is nicely browned and full baked and the filling doesn't jiggle under the crust when the baking sheet is moved. Allow the pie to cool completely before serving. This pie can be kept refrigerated for up to 1 week; allow it to come to room temperature or heat it gently in a warm oven before serving. This pie can also be frozen after baking: Wrap it well in plastic, then in foil, and freeze it for up to 2 months.


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