There's no shortage of baking books out there, but Rosanna Pansino has a style all her own. A book adaptation of her popular internet show, The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook is a collection of good basic recipes that become science, gaming, space or fantasy masterpieces. Why make cupcakes decorated with pretty flowers or swirly frosting when you could make geode cupcakes? Or how about a batch of emoticon cookies? Geek culture has never been so sweet....
We asked Pansino if she has a favorite recipe from the book--here's her answer and the recipe:
Every year I like to make some sort of Pi inspired pie. Washington grows more apples than any other state in the United States, and growing up in Seattle my Mom always had fresh apples around. In high school I enjoyed taking AP calculus and even had a teacher who would make Pi Pies to celebrate Pi day, March 14th! I have so many good memories of Pi Pie that I couldn't help but share one of my favorite takes on this themed dessert. This recipe is very special to me and is why I wanted it to be the first project in The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook.
APPLE PI PIE
THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE DESSERTS of all time. I’ve been baking Pi Pies every year since my first calculus teacher brought one to class. They’re a special treat for Pi Day, a global celebration of math that falls annually on March 14—3.14, the mathematical constant. Each year I update my recipe to try to create the ultimate Pi Pie, but this is one of my favorites and I’m excited to share it with you! Math and baking . . . can it get any sweeter?
THE THINGS YOU’LL NEED
- Pie Dough (page 22 and below**)
- 3 ½ pounds Granny Smith apples
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 ½ tablespoons salted butter, cubed
- Egg wash: 1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water
- Large (2-inch) and small (3/4-inch) number cookie cutters
- 9-inch deep-dish pie plate
*RO TIP: If you have extra apple slices, you can bake them separately as a snack!
2½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) cold
1. Make the dough: Combine the flour, sugar,
salt, and butter in a large bowl and mix with
a hand mixer until the mixture resembles
coarse meal. Add just enough ice water so
the dough holds together when pinched.
2. Divide the dough in half and form two flat
disks. Wrap each disk in plastic
LET’S GET STARTED!
1. Prepare the pie dough and place it in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before using.
2. With a sharp straight edge (not serrated) knife, cut the apples vertically, from stem to blossom end (to avoid the core), into even 1/4-inch-thick slices.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. Gently fold the sugar mixture into the bowl of apple cutouts, making sure not to break the numbers. Do this until all the numbers are evenly coated.
5. Add the lemon juice to the mixture and carefully fold again.
6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half the dough 1/4 inch thick and fit it into the pie plate. Trim off the excess dough along the rim of the pie plate and save for decorations.
7. Pour the apple pie filling into the pie plate. Try to make the numbers as level as possible so the top crust will lie flat. Place the cubed butter evenly over the filling.
8. Roll out the second half of the dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out a circle the same diameter as your pie plate and place it on top of the pie. Save the excess dough for decorations.
9. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Crimp the edges of the dough with your fingers to make a decorative trim.
- Brush the egg wash over the pie. This helps the crust turn a nice golden brown and acts as an adhesive for your decorative numbers and pi symbol.
- Roll out the excess dough and use the small cookie cutters to make the numbers of pi (3.141592653589793238462643 . . .). Mold a pi symbol for the middle of the pie.
- Place the pi symbol in the middle of the pie. Carefully place the dough numbers around the pie (just inside the crimped border) in the order of pi.
- Cover the top of the pie with aluminum foil so the crust doesn’t brown too quickly. Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for 20 minutes more. Remove the foil and bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes more.
- Let the pie cool before serving.
Copyright © 2015 by Rosanna Pansino from THE NERDY NUMMIES COOKBOOK published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
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