Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Pi ... a little late

Pie is better than cake. I am not even going to entertain the idea that you are reading this and disagreeing with me. I have only once ever gestured towards a brawl over a difference of opinions, and let's not break my track record.*  Pie is glorious and should be celebrated weekly, if not daily, but alas, not all have realized the awesome potential of pie. I, like many others, see March 14 as a great day to celebrate the best dessert, the best dish ever created.

There was a point in my life when I was pretty good at math. I was "that girl" who took advanced calculus in college, for fun. (I know, my river of dork runs deep and has many unexpected turns.) Pi, the 3.14 variety, was something I was grateful became integrated into graphing calculators. I still sort of miss my TI-83, but mostly for the Tetris. 

Pie crust
1 cup sweet rice flour
1/3 cup tapioca starch
2/3 cup potato starch
2./3 cup corn starch
3 tsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 eggs
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup half and half
ice water

1. Mix all dry ingredients together.
2. Cut cold butter in to pieces, cut into dry ingredients until the largest pieces of butter are about the size of peas.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and vinegar.
4. Pour the wet ingredients into butter mixture. Mix together.
5. Wrap in plastic or place in zip-top bag and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

Apricot Filling
2 cups dried apricots (slab kind are tarter)
2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
4 tsp corn starch

1. Combine the apricots, water, sugar, cider vinegar, and salt.
2. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook uncovered till the apricots plump and half the liquid is gone.
3. Remove the apricots, set aside, and reserve the liquid.
4. Whisk the cornstarch into the remaining liquid.
5. Bring to a simmer and cook until the liquid thickens.
6. Add the apricots back in and allow to cool.

Putting it all together
1. Divide dough in half. Roll dough out between 2 sheets of parchment paper. Dust the dough first with tapioca starch if a bit sticky.
2. Add in the filling.
3. Roll the second piece of dough to form top crust.
4. Crimp edges and dock top (make steam vents, perhaps in a dorky math symbol)
5. Bake at 350F for 45-60 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Allow to cool completely before cutting.
7. Enjoy with strong coffee.

*I really should apologize to Marisa and our other guests that lovely evening at a piano bar, where we brought the average age of the audience down by 40. It was not appropriate for me to go to such extremes to explain my position that Frank Sinatra - womanizing aside - is far superior to Tony Bennett in every way possible. But honestly, I bet Marisa likes cake.


  1. What do you end up doing with the half and half? You list a 1/4 cup under the pastry ingredients but it's never used in your recipe.

  2. Sorry if it wasn't clear - you mix the egg, vinegar, and half and half together (add ice water if needed) which combine form the "WET INGREDIENTS" that hold the pie crust together!