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Pi Day Explained with Easy Pie Crust

Today is 3/14: Pi Day. Pi the number, not pie the food. What is pi? Pi is a mathematical constant that can be defined as the circumference of a circle divided by its diameter. It is also the key to finding the area of a circle, and that is the first application I remember way back when. πr2=A.

Pi is an irrational number and never repeats. Probably best known by the symbol, π, or the abbreviated 3.14, pi defined up to 50 decimal spaces is:
Ï€ = 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510…

Much to my parents’ dismay, I opted for a liberal arts degree in college. Coming from a family of engineers, CPAs, nurses and doctors, a liberal arts degree just doesn’t cut it. With some sort of guilt hanging over my shoulders, I spent a good deal of time in calculus classes and differential equations, filling my head with all sorts of information that is rather useless when it comes to psychology, Spanish, photography and food writing. However, one day a year I have redemption for the numerous credit hours I spent with proofs, limits and my fair share of trigonometry. Dad, this one’s for you.

What does someone who now spends her days in the kitchen or at the computer writing about the kitchen do with this knowledge? Well, you make pie to celebrate 3/14 or Pi Day, of course.

Easy Pie Crust adapted from AB
1 1/2 cups (12 tablespoons) cold butter
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) cold lard (or shortening, if you must)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cold water

Cut butter and lard into small pieces. Place flour and salt in a food processor and mix just to combine. Sprinkle butter and lard pieces over the flour. Pulse until the dough is clumpy. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of water over the dough. Pulse a few more times. Repeat with remaining water just until the dough holds together when you grab a handful of it and squeeze it together.

Pour the dough onto parchment, form into two balls and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or until ready to use.

Makes (2) 9″ pie crusts

What to fill your Pi Day pie crust with? Well, my first choice is a galette filled with fresh fruit. They’re easy and no-fuss, which is why they are usually my first choice. I can also get behind a traditional pecan pie, as it’s one of my favorites. Want to think outside the box? Apple pie cheesecake is the way to go.

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