In 7th grade math I was intensely bored. Next to my desk was a poster on the wall of pi. Having nothing better to do, I set to memorizing it. I eventually got up to 52 digits. During the following years of math club and being a big nerd that followed, this was always my geeky party trick. The really lasting effect (besides being able to calculate the area of a circle to an unnecessarily accurate degree), is that every March 14th I celebrate Pi Day. And obviously the best way to do this is by baking.
I’ve never been a big fan of fruit pies, but I’m also a big believer in the mantra “everything is better made fresh.” So last year I bought a copy of Me, Myself, and Pie, which has tons of interesting and delicious (but fairly straightforward) pies. I made a cherry pie last summer which was shockingly addictive. This time I made a blueberry pie and a vanilla crumb pie.
Everyone knows what a blueberry pie is. This had a little cinnamon and lemon zest in the mix, which gave it an interesting flavor (although I overdid it with the lemon…). The vanilla crumb pie tasted like delicious soft cake batter, maybe slightly cookie-ish. It was brown sugar and vanilla and a crumbly top and it was wonderful.
The most aggravating thing about the whole endeavor was, of course, making the crust. I had to make two batches until I figured it out. I’m basically just terrible at knowing when pie crust has the right amount of water in it. Obviously the answer to this is “make more pie crust.” Eventually I will conquer this beast and ask, airily, why did I ever think this was hard?
The vanilla crumb pie got a place of honor in my fantastic pi plate, which has the letter pi on the bottom and the numbers of pi scrolling around the edge. Both pies were brought to work and promptly devoured, while also giving me a chance to tell everyone about Pi Day if they didn’t already know. What better way to spread appreciation for math than through food?
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