Pi Day is observed annually on March 14. No, this celebration has nothing to do with cherry or apple pie; the day is used to celebrate the mathematical constant of pi (π). It is celebrated on this specific day in the United States because of the date’s numeric value, 3.14, which are the first and most significant numbers in pi.
Now, I will take just about any excuse to put my baking skills to use, and Pi Day presents the perfect opportunity to make something new! While I was in school, I was never very good at math, but every Pi Day, we got to bring in our favorite round treats and use pi to find the circumference, area, etc. of the circles. It was one of my favorite math classes of the year! Since I’m not in school anymore, I can use this day to make something homemade and delicious all for myself… Cherry Hand Pis!
The hand pies that I chose to make were inspired by a recipe that I found in a cookbook called Pie Academy. This recipe uses a homemade blueberry pie filling and a homemade butter crust. It looked pretty time-consuming, so I made some alterations to fit my schedule and taste. Instead of blueberry filling, I bought a can of premade cherry pie filling, and instead of homemade pie crust, I bought a box of puff pastry sheets. The only other things you need are an egg and some sugar to sprinkle on top of the pastry.
This recipe is so easy. I was able to finish up in under an hour (including baking time) and the finished product is super yummy. I mean, you can’t go wrong with cherry filling and flaky pastry, right? Here are the steps to follow:
STEP 1: Cut out circles from the puff pastry sheets. I was able to get 9 circles from each sheet, so that would yield 9 hand pies. I did not have a round cookie cutter, so I just used the top of a glass.
STEP 2: Transfer pastries onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, put about a tablespoon of filling in the middle of each round, and egg wash (whisk up the egg and apply with a brush) the edges.
STEP 3: Put the other nine circles on top and crimp the edges using a fork. Brush egg wash and sprinkle sugar onto the tops of the pastries.
STEP 4: Bake at 375F for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Optional: Make a powdered sugar glaze (powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract) and drizzle over the cooled pies.
And that’s it! Enjoy your homemade Pi Day Hand Pies. If you are looking for ways to tie in some other Pi Day activities, I found some websites that are full of activities for different age levels.
If you are interested in making a “from scratch” pie, here are a few pie-focused recipe books from EVPL’s collection. Click on the title to place a hold!
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Evansville, Indiana 47713