Happy Pi Day!

It is March 14th…which means it’s time to celebrate the number  π!


For those of you scratching your head…the number π is 3.14159265…  So nerds everywhere declared that March 14th (3.14) would become π day!

Photo from Wikipedia

So how do you celebrate π day? With pie of course of course! So for my lab I’ve made two types of pies: “Raisin pie” and Grasshopper pie.

(And just in case you’ve forgotten why π is such a beautiful number, check out the wiki page on its history and use.)

Raisin Pie

I called this pie “Raisin pie” because the name is a little more “eater friendly.” The real name of this pie is Funeral pie, and it was traditionally made in the Pennsylvania Dutch region of America for those grieving the passing of a family member or close friend. Morbid right? But I wanted to test out this pie because it just sounded so strange. It’s basically a fruit pie made with raisins. The result is a super-sweet dessert that might just satisfy your sweet tooth for days.

Here is what you’ll need:

1 home-made pie crust

2 C raisins or any combination of your fave dried berries

2 C water

0.5 C granulated sugar

0.5 C packed brown sugar

3 T corn starch (thickener)

1/4 t salt

2 T cinnamon (or a rounded 1.5 T)

1/4 t allspice

1 T apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

3 T unsalted butter


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and make your pastry shell for the pie. In a medium sized sauce pan, combine the raisins with 1C of the water. Heat over medium-low heat while you combine the solids (~5 minutes). (This will just warm the raisins and re-hydrate them.) In a medium bowl, combine the white sugar, brown sugar, corn starch, salt, and spices. Mix well with a fork to combine. Slowly add the remaining 1 C of water, mixing the entire time. Stir until well combined, then add this mixture to your hydrated raisins. Heat this new mixture until it is just starting to boil and thicken slightly (~5-10 minutes).

MMmmm plump raisins

Then add the acid (either lemon juice or vinegar) and butter. Heat until the butter is completely melted and combined into the raisins. The filling will now be a lovely glossy dark purple.

Remove the filling from heat, and let cool until it is just warm (~20 minutes). Fill the pastry shell and bake for 25 minutes in the oven. That’s it!

So Sweet!!

This is pie super-sweet, so be ready for the sugar rush!

Grasshopper Pie (aka Dean Bailey Pie)

This pie holds a special place in my heart because Dean Phil Bailey at Cal Poly often made this pie when he had undergraduates over to his house for an end-of-the-semester celebratory dinner. I still swear that his pie had something special about it that I can’t replicate (love???), but it’s a close 2nd to his pie.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 oreo cookie pie crust (I’m lazy and just buy mine from the grocery store)

3 C vanilla ice cream (get a good one!)

Creme de mint liquor


This is too simple to be true. Scoop out about 3 cups of vanilla ice cream. Pour creme de mint on top. And stir. The ice cream will melt and you add the liquor and turn a lovely green color. Add the creme de mint until you feel the mint flavor is just right. (I think I generally use about 1 cup, but I’ve never measured it.) Once the ice cream is completely melted and the liquor is nicely mixed in, pour the mixture into your oreo pie crust, and re-freeze. (At least overnight.)

Green with envy (and mint!)

The result is a delicious minty-chocolaty, cold delectable that only took you 5 minutes to make. Also – this pie is perfect for the upcoming St. Patty’s day! 😀

So go make yourself a pie tonight to celebrate. Or pick up a pizza pie! Any kind of pie to celebrate the number π!



2 thoughts on “Happy Pi Day!

  1. Pingback: Happy Pi Day! | Heather HomeMaker

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