Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy Pi Day!

Today I celebrated pi day. So did all the other math geeks in the world. It is 3/14, officially known as Pi Day. And if you're a math geek foodie then you also celebrated Pie Day.

I forgot about Pi/e Day last year. But this year I was ready. I debated for days about what type of pie to make for Pi/e Day. My favorite pie is always pumpkin pie. But it seemed out of season. My favorite fruit pie is peach, but as I noted last year at this time, peaches are not in season either. Apple is always a good choice, I thought about banana cream, discarded any thoughts of cherry or blueberry. Finally I settled on pear. It doesn't hurt that pear is also a homonym of another numerical term, pair.

But what kind of pear pie to make? A quick online search revealed that there were two main types of pear pies - a regular fruit pie and a creamy or custard pie. And there were two main types of toppings - a crumble topping or a pie crust topping. I figured a custard would mask the pear flavor so I decided to stick with a regular fruit pie. And who doesn't love a good crumble?

Look at that, most of the pie is already gone before I had a chance to take a picture! Pi/e Day puts people in a good mood, so don't forget to celebrate it.

Pear Crumb Pie

Thin sliced Bartlett pears (the super hard green ones), brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and lemon juice mingle to make a tangy filling. The butter, brown sugar, and flour makes an easy crumble. I am not tied to this crust, so use a favorite crust recipe if you have one. I served this with fresh whipped cream (1 cup cream, 4 tablespoons of powdered sugar, a splash of vanilla).


  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dash ground nutmeg
  • 6 cups thinly sliced peeled pears (about 5 pears)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup cold butter
In a bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in shortening until crumbly. Sprinkle with water; toss until mixture is moist enough to shape into a ball. On a floured surface, roll out pastry to fit a 9-in. pie pan. Flute edges. Combine filling ingredients; spoon into the crust. Bake at 400 degrees F for 35 minutes. For topping, combine flour and brown sugar; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over filling. Bake 20 minutes longer. Cover edges with foil during the last 20 minutes to prevent overbrowning if necessary.


  1. My sister and I make a cranberry-pear pie that's oh-so-nice in the fall.