A Good Day for Pi(e)
This post written by our resident Farm Foodie – Debra Dubief
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love some kind of pie, but I do know plenty of people with absolutely no affection for π or pi. For this reason I thought instead of giving you yet another suggestion to celebrate the Irish in you, I’d instead give you reason to embrace your inner geek. C’mon, you know you’ve got one. Maybe not for numbers or science or food, but chances there is probably something you enjoy dissecting a little more than most. And somehow math or science is probably involved. So this week before we get to saints, green beer and corned beef let’s give nod to the lesser known Pi Day, 3.14.
This pseudo-holiday was supposedly started by a physicist at San Francisco’s Exploratorium in 1988 who celebrated with staff and visitors by eating pie. I had never heard of it until our kids brought the idea home from school where, each March 14th, teachers routinely brought in pies to expound on the wonders of pi. What a great idea to embrace something so mathematical, yet abstract, with something so imminently satisfying. And how convenient that pie is also circular in shape.
At our house we have been “celebrating” Pi Day for a few weeks now – ever since my husband decided to make an old favorite from our bakery days. We’ve now consumed three of these buttery apple crumble pies in as many weeks and may just have to have one more because I do like pi. Of course, I wouldn’t tell you about something so luscious without sharing.
I love this pie with a mix of firm heirloom apples like Bramley, Cox Pippin and Spitzenberg. But if you are craving apple pie in March these varieties can be a lot harder to find. Most recently we used a mix of Granny Smith and Honeycrisp that was outstanding, but when the pickings are really slim Granny Smiths alone still make a killer pie.
Apple Crumble Pie
For the pie:
1 9”-unbaked pie shell – keep chilled until ready to fill
6 medium apples, approximately 3 lbs
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 ounces (1 cube) cold butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup flour
2 tablespoons toasted hazelnuts, finely chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Peel, core and slice apples into approximately 1/2 inch thick slices. Place apple slices, sugar, flour, spices and lemon juice into a large bowl.
Toss well to combine and set aside while you make topping.
Combine topping ingredients in a small bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the mixture is crumbly.
Fill cold pie shell with apple mixture and sprinkle with topping, pressing lightly so that all the topping sticks to the pie.
Place on sheet pan and bake for approximately 60 minutes, until apples are soft and juices are bubbly.
Check pie after 45 minutes or so and lay a sheet of foil over the top if crumble is getting too dark.