Saturday, March 17, 2012

Letters to a Home Town "A Pie for Pi Day" (with a recipe for Maple Apple Pie)

It was recently noted that I had not yet shared any recipes on my blog, so I went in search of a Maple one in honor of the season. What I found was this Letter from almost exactly 2 years ago - A pie for Pi day!

A Pie for Pi Day

  I didn’t even know it was a holiday until a few years ago. Unless you are a bit of a nerd, there is a good chance that you have overlooked it too; March 14th is Pi Day (aka π Day).
            For those who could use a refresher, Pi is a mathematical (and physical) constant representative of the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle. Numerically it is equal to 3.14159265358979323846……. For most math, science and engineering calculations, 3.14159 is close enough. For purposes of celebration, 3.14 or March 14th is perfect! (A bonus: It also happens to be Einstein’s birthday.)
So what does one do in celebration of Pi Day? Well, make and eat pies of course! Pies come in all kinds: cherry, rhubarb, mincemeat, pecan, shepherd’s, key lime, peach, and don’t forget pizza pie! Everyone has a favorite.
Our current household favorite is a Maple Apple Pie. A concoction inspired by a late night pregnancy craving, this pie is a conglomeration of multiple recipes referenced but not followed.
In honor of the Pi day just passed, and maple sugaring season in full swing, here is an approximation of how it is made, (editorial comments included).
Maple Apple Pie (9”)
1 stick Butter
¼ c Maple Syrup
1-1/4 c Flour
Mix it all up, make it into a ball and set in a cool place.
(I have heard that if you are partial to a flaky crust then the butter should still be hard. I let the butter get soft because I don’t have an electric mixer it makes my life easier.)
5 or 6 Medium sized Apples (I am partial to Macintosh)
1/4c Maple Syrup
½ tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Cinnamon (if you’re like me and aren’t very good at shaking an even coating - mix with 1 tsp Sugar)
Peel and slice the apples and put them in a big bowl. (Keep in mind that how many you need is directly proportional to how many slices eaten as you cut.)  Mix together Maple Syrup and Vanilla pour it over the apples. Toss it all around until apples are completely coated. Set aside and pull out the ball ‘o crust.
 Roll out ½ the dough for the bottom crust and put it a 9” pie pan. (Stir the apples and syrup again any time you think of it)  Dump about half of the apples into the crust, dust with a light coating of cinnamon (and sugar), then add the rest of the apples and dust them with the remaining cinnamon. Roll out the rest of the dough and make a top crust (I make lattice crusts because solid ones always rip when I try to put them on – and because lattice crusts look cool). Bake at 350˚ for about 25 min. (until the crust turns golden).
Happy belated Pi Day!   
            I hope this letter has found you and yours in good spirits and good health. Until I write again…

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