Friday, March 14, 2014

Happy Pi Day!

Today is March 14, otherwise known as Pi Day.  The date 3.14 is the first three numbers of the mathematical constant Pi - the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159.

There are many websites for Pi Day - just do a search and you will find all sorts of great information and creative ideas.  Here is one link

Math is fun  but I like the other kind of pi - the kind that you eat!

 My husband's family has an apple farm in upstate New York so apple pie is a particular favorite. Here are a couple of favorite apple pie (pi) recipes from our family.

There is nothing like a crisp apple to eat fresh but they also are wonderful baked in pies with lots of cinnamon.  This recipe is a favorite because it can be made pretty quickly (there is no crust) and it always is delicious.  You can use any type of apples - you might want to adjust the recipe for the sweetness to suit the variety you choose.

Robert's Swedish Apple Pie

5 medium apples, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, mixed together
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 egg
3/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup nuts (optional)

Butter or spray pie pan (8 or 9 inch) and fill 2/3 full with apple slices.
Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar mixture on top of the apples.
Melt butter, add sugar and egg and mix well.
Add flour and nuts, pour over apples.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes (until apples are cooked and pie is golden brown)

During one of the Layout a Day challenges, I did a page that shows the steps of making a more traditional pie.  If you want to see larger images of the steps, they are in the post HERE.
This is the apple pie I remember from my childhood.   I got in the habit of making the faster Swedish Apple pie when our boys were young and now they think of that as the more nostalgic recipe.

Here is the recipe

Pie Crust:

1 3/4 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of oil (I use canola oil)
3 tablespoons of cold water

Mix flour and salt.  Add oil and stir together.  Sprinkle water over the mixture and mix well until a ball is formed.  Divide into two slightly unequal pieces and use the larger one for the bottom crust.  Roll out between two sheets of waxed paper and flip into the pie dish.  Trim around the edge of the pie plate and repair any gaps with the extra pieces of crust.  Any leftover bits of dough can be added to the second piece for the top crust.

Apple Filling:

Peel and cut up apples into quarters and then thinner slices.  You will need enough apples to yield about 3 1/2 cups of sliced apples.

Mix together:
4 tablespoons of flour
1 1/4 cups of sugar
1 tablespoon of cinnamon.

(You may want less sugar if the variety of apples you choose is sweeter).  Put half of this mixture in the prepared pie crust and then add a layer of apples, stacking the apples neatly in a circle pattern.  Then add the rest of the mixture and another layer of apples.  Dot the top of the apples with butter (optional) and then place the top crust over the pie.  Pinch the two crust layers together and make a scallop pattern around the edge of the pie.  Cut some venting slits in the top crust with a paring knife.

Bake in a hot oven (425 degrees) for 45 - 50 minutes.  You may want to place a cookie sheet under the pie to catch any drips of the apple juice bubbles out of the crust.

This pie had a little of the filling bubble over on the left side but it still tasted delicious!

Have a wonderful day - and maybe some pie for dinner!

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