March 14 is Pi Day (you know, 3.14…), and any day that requires eating PIE is a day worth celebrating!
Best we can tell, Pi Day was first celebrated in 1988 by physicist Larry Shaw at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. Pi Day became an Exploratorium tradition and quickly spread across the country. U.S. Congress declared it a national holiday in 2009.
What kind of pie, though, will tingle those tastebuds? A tangy lemon chiffon or a chocolatey meringue? Maybe a fresh strawberry pie or a traditional apple? Is eating pumpkin pie in the spring akin to wearing white shoes after Labor Day?
No matter the flavor, there are techniques to keep in mind when baking a pie. Our friends at Magpies Bakery offered their tips for a perfect pie. And let’s be honest… a perfect pie requires homemade pie dough. And perfect pie dough, say the Magpies bakers, requires cold ingredients.
When making the dough, use COLD, COLD butter. Put ice in the water that you use to make the dough. And chill the dough before rolling it out.
Another tip they suggested is pre-baking the crust before you add the filling. This prevents soggy crusts. Put it in the pie pan, fill it will dried beans or pie weights to keep it from bubbling up (put a sheet of parchment paper in there first) and bake about 10 minutes, then cool and add the filling and finish baking.
If you’re baking a fruit pie with a top crust, be sure to cut vent holes so steam can escape as it bakes.
Last but never least, let your pie cool before cutting into it. This will prevent the filling from running when you dig in.
Happy Pi Day!