Did you know that March 14th is Pi Day? One more excuse to bake and eat pie (even better: 3.14 slices of pie)! In this pie lovefest, the Fine Cooking staff celebrates Pi Day by sharing their favorite pie recipes.
When it comes to dessert, my husband will always choose a fruit pie over anything else. So I've made quite a few, and my favorite is a lattice-topped sour-cherry pie, by Rose Levy Beranbaum. Rose's pie crust has a few unusual ingredients cake flour, cream, cider vinegar) that make it incredibly tender, and I'm addicted to the tart flavor of fresh sour cherries. Of course, they're not exactly in season on Pi Day, so I always make a point of stocking up each summer: I pit them, freeze them on a sheet tray, and then freeze them in giant Ziploc bags. A few quarts is usually enough to satisfy my cherry pie (cherry pi?) cravings until the next season rolls around.
—Sarah Breckenridge, Web producer
My middle name should be "Pie," that's how much I love it. But I'm usually torn between three different kinds. My mom's specialty is this banana cream pie recipe from Saveur. My dad is famous for his apple pie, but that's such a well-guarded secret that even I don't have the recipe for it. And one of my personal favs is the sour cherry pie Sarah loves so much. So how to choose this pi day? I think that this year, I'll go with the latter, made with the frozen sour cherries I bought at my farmers' market last year. I'll use the Julia Child crust my mom uses for her pie, and thicken the filling with flour, not cornstarch.
—Denise Mickelsen, associate editor
I'm more of a cake girl myself but I absolutely adore a good apple pie. I like using our All-Butter Piecrust and a filling made of mixed tart and sweet apples which I macerate with sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a splash of lemon juice. But my secret is, instead of dotting the mixture with butter once in the shell, I dot it with little pats of home made caramel. Top it with some vanilla bean ice cream and we are good to go! Happy ∏ Day!
—Juli Roberts, editorial assistant
Ever since I made the Double-Crust Jumble Berry Pie it has become my favorite pie. I must admit I've never tried it with frozen berries. I've always made this pie at the peek of berry season using the freshest summer berries and it's amazing. This is one pie where seconds are a must. And, it's great for breakfast, too!
—Pam Winn, associate art director
I, too, love the lattice sour cherry pie that Sarah mentioned, but sour cherry season is so short that it's only a once-a-year-if-I'm-lucky treat (I'm not organized enough to freeze cherries like Denise and Sarah). So to get my sour cherry pie fix any other time of the year, I make this Apple Pie with Poached Dried Cherries. I could eat this pie for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and as a bonus, the recipe has great make-ahead instructions for freezing the unbaked pie for up to 6 weeks, and then baking it straight from the freezer.
—Jennifer Armentrout , senior food editor