Saturday, March 14, 2015

Happy Pi Day!

It's Pi Day and this year it's extra special because we get to add two more digits to the equation (3.1415) and that won't happen for another hundred years!

It's really not too late make homemade pie to celebrate that wonderful, always the same, more than a trillion digit number that's the ratio of every circle's circumference to its diameter.

The record for memorizing digits of Pi certified by Guinness Book of World Records is 67,890 digits, recited in China by Lu Chao in 24 hours and 4 minutes on November 20, 2005. Now that's very impressive but not necessary, knowing the first five digits will suffice. There's even a handy symbol too — π, which is the Greek symbol for the letter "p" which was taken from the Greek word for "perimeter." 

Now back to the pie part of Pi Day, this chocolate cream pie is so simple to make and a family favorite. It can be made in 30 minutes and then just needs to chill in the fridge for a couple hours before serving. 

Here's the recipe:
Chocolate Cream Pie
(makes 1 9-inch pie)

First, make and bake a 9-inch pie crust. I used my favorite shortening crust recipe.
Pie Crust: 
1 1/2 cups flour
2 /3 cups vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and sugar. Add Crisco and using your fingers, break it into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs with some large pieces remaining.
Add the water, just a few tablespoons at a time until the dough is moist enough to pull together into a ball. Roll out on a floured surface for the bottom crust.

Place the dough in a pie pan and crimp the edges. Bake for 5 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes or until the crust is set and golden brown.
1 2/3 cups water
3 tablespoons cornstarch
5 tablespoons cocoa
1 (14 ounce) can eagle brand sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yolks, beaten
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a medium-sized saucepan, use a whisk to mix the water and cornstarch and cocoa until smooth.
Stir in Eagle Brand milk and the three egg yolks.
Cook the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly until it becomes thick. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.
Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes before pouring into the baked pie shell. 
Let the pie cool at room temperature for 15 minutes before transferring to the refrigerator. Let the pie cool completely before slicing and serving.

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