easy as pi(e) ideas

Although I generally write the date differently, March 14th is Pi day. I’ve been baking lots of pies lately and thought I’d gather a few ideas and link to my favorite parve/vegan pie crust recipe. As it falls on Shabbat this year I’ve decided to begin my observance on Friday night with at least an apple pie. There are also a few new-to-me recipes as contenders for the main course, though I’ve not yet decided.

If you want a savory pie, it is almost impossible to disappoint with a pot pie. I never made them until recently, growing up they were a special treat and were a single serving delight that went from (store) freezer to oven to plate. I don’t know why it took me so long to make a real food (and even more delicious) version. I like Wynelle’s Pot Pie from Sundays at Moosewood, the cheesy roux adds an extra level of comfort to an already cozy dish. If I want a simpler meal, I roast a bunch of vegetables, add them to my pie pan, cover with mushroom gravy, add a top, and bake until golden.

I have also been making more pizza and the other day made simple broccoli calzones. You don’t need any special equipment to bake pizza, I use my normal cookie sheet.

If you don’t really want to bake an entire pie (why not?) you could roll out the crust and make individual mini pies … or hamentashen. This year I ignored all my regular recipes and used my pie crust. Again, what took me so long? They were the best hamentashen I’ve ever made! (Plum butter is very delightful with smoked Gruyere). Just because Purim was last week doesn’t mean you can’t make them tonight. And again, you don’t need fancy cookie cutters. I like to use a food prep bowl.

A quick tip on the crust, it is important to use very cold water. Mum’s recipe calls for ice water. As I’ve dumped the ice cubes into the bowl a few times, now I just put a the water into the freezer while I get the rest of the ingredients together. When I’m in a rush (or haven’t finished the dishes) I mix the crust in the pan I’m baking it in, the dough comes together quickly and doesn’t stick.

What are you going to make to celebrate π?