Pie Winners!

Whoever coined the phrase “easy as pie” probably never had to cut 100 tiny digits out of crust. But hard work has paid off for Claudette, whose 100-Digit-Pie is the winner of the 2nd Annual Pi Day Pie Bakeoff! Congratulations, Claudette, you just won $314.16! And although rounding to the nearest cent pains us, the Treasury has not responded to our request to print up some π-dollar bills.

The winner.

Honorable mentions go to Aimee Schiwal, Stephanie Paterson, Brownie, and Joan Cook, whose Area 51 Pie, Blueberry Cherry Pi Pie, Pie R-squared (Raspberry Rhubarb) and same named pi(e) (a)r(e) square(d) were chosen as the Judges’ Pick, Most Photogenic, and Best Concept Pies (in a tie). Congratulations, you all will be receiving Simple as 3.141592 t-shirts from mental_floss.

Judges’ Pick Area 51 Pie by Aimee Schiwal.

Most Photogenic Blueberry Cherry Pi Pie by Stephanie Paterson.

Best Concept Pie R-squared (Raspberry Rhubarb) by Brownie.

Best Concept Pie-Tier pi(e) (a)r(e) square(d) by Joan Cook.

Many thanks to our our amazing co-host and co-sponsor Serious Eats, to everyone who submitted a pie (because they were all incredible), and to everyone who upheld democracy by voting for their favorite. Any day is a good day for baked goods and irrational numbers, but as we’ve shown, March 14 is something special.


ScienceBlogger Pies!

If coming back for seconds is indulgent, then this eighth helping of Pi Day Pies makes us pure hedonists. But hey, the dessert table is the new water cooler.

First, Travis Saunders and his girlfriend cobbled together their own entry on Obesity Panacea, a vegetarian Raspberry Pie that uses agar instead of gelatin. With apple juice, maple syrup, almonds, and oatmeal, this pie looks healthy as well as delicious.

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On Adventures in Ethics and Science, Janet Stemwedel offers another vegetarian pie that combines “rich chocolate, tart cherries, and almonds.” Mind the parentheses in the Chocolate Almond Cherry (Tofu) Pie to achieve your desired texture.


Joanna Pool made two pies on The USA Science and Engineering Festival blog, including the Irrationally Good Chocolate and Basil Pie from a recipe on hogwash. The other pie was—try not to cringe—a vinegar pie. She says it turned out well, but we’ll just take her word for it.


Josh Rosenau rallied a panoply of pies on Thoughts from Kansas, writing “rhubarb pie is the king of pies, with rhubarb-strawberry the queen. Apple pie is the president, a leader but never an aristocrat.” This Tarte Tatin is simply stunning.


James Hrynyshyn opts for the so-called queen of pies with his metrically-measured Strawbarb Pi. He even serves it up on a Pi Plate that takes Pi to nearly 100 digits. Simplicity and complexity side by side.


Vince LiCata teams up with his son on to construct the ambitious Chocolate Pudding Meringue Pi Pi Pie, but warns it “may be frightening to children or people who know how to make pies.” Our arteries are alarmed, but our tongues are gung-ho.


And finally Pamela Ronald serves up a savory option on Tomorrow’s Table with her Swiss Chard-Gruyere Pie. The greens are fresh from her garden, and combined with eggs, milk, and cheese, and crust, look utterly delicious.


And that’s it! If we somehow missed your pie, let us know and we’ll find room for one more.

Eyes on the Pies

Like Little Jack Horner, we at ScienceBlogs are not above sitting in a corner and sticking our thumbs into pies. Which is why we’re not allowed to have pies in the office. Plums are all fine and dandy, but what else we could pull out of these amazing creations?

Domestigoth gets creative with the Citric Acid in your Eye Pi, incorporating a chocolate crumble crust, delicious citrus custard, and some semi-sweet double bonds. Yes, that’s right, chemistry. In a Pi Day pie. It smarts so good.

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Team Kellon applies brute force with the Method of Exhaustion Chocolate Pi(e). Hey Archimedes, how many polygons does it take to approximate the area of a circle? When whipped cream is involved, we won’t settle for close enough.


Laurel turns her Peeple’s Pie into a diorama, with placid blueberry waters, majestic meringue peaks, and a flock of Peeps that unlike real waterfowl won’t fly away when you creep up on them with a fork and knife.


Using pi, Aimee Schiwal calculated that a circle with an area of 51″ has a diameter of 8.05824. Which means she gets to name her pie Area 51! Even an alien would dig this Neapolitanesque layering of chocolate mousse, strawberry ice cream, and vanilla whip.


Erica on Butternuts made a French Almond and Apricot Pie, which looks a bit like a sunflower. She raves, “it may be the best pie I’ve ever had – I’m serious.” We don’t doubt her—if looks could kill, this pie would have us all pushing daisies.

A Pie in the Sky

We’re running out of pie references to use here, so bear with us.

In this post we have a Chicken Tikka Masala pie from Duchess Shiraz, a classic Apple Pi pie from Kate Gaudry, a Stuffed Mac & Cheese Pie with 4-Herb Crust and an Avocado’s Number Pie from Veronica Vadakan, and a Cookie Cake Pie (WHAT!) from Dorothy Nguyen.

Duchess Shiraz of the Duchy of Domesticity blog went the savory route with her Chicken Tikka Masala pie. With ginger, garlic, cilantro, garam masala, chili powder, turmeric and more, this pie promises to be long on flavor, short on time in existence.


Kate Gaudry stuck with a tried and true recipe for her pie entry, baking Granny Smith apples into a perfectly golden, pi-decorated crust. If you don’t like this Apple Pi pie, you must be Canadian.

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Veronica Vadakan of the blog Tiny Sandwiches loves Pi Day so much she sent us two pies! We want to show you the Stuffed Mac & Cheese Pie With 4-Herb Crust first so we can try to forget that we’re not eating it right now and move on with our lives. Apparently this one was submitted to the PDX Pie-Off last year and lost to some Moroccan thingy or other.

i-e92be1d3c08163dcd64cb6964541e5c3-mac-pie.jpgPortland, seriously? What is wrong with you?

Veronica also made this Avocado’s Number pie, with a gingersnap crust, coconut milk, lime, and of course avocados. She writes, “you can judge for yourself if Amedeo Avogadro would tuck into a slice himself.” Well, given that Amedeo Avogadro was a widely known opponent of avocados who cursed their existence with his dying breath…probably not.

i-3a7ef8c232f994cd1d0d5b94aac4a0f9-avocadopie.jpgHowever, we will still eat it.

Dorothy Nguyen of the Kitchen Koala is lucky that her Cookie Cake Pie isn’t called the Cookie Pie cake or the Pie Cake Cookie, or we would have to disqualify it. But since it self-identifies (for the most part) as pie, we’re on board with it.

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What’s this? Pies?

Forget the chase, let’s cut to the filling.

Inspired by Harold and Maude, Matthew Rowley searched high and low for a Ginger Pie recipe before putting one together himself. Like the film, this custardy creation brings together young ginger and aged rum, but unlike the film, nobody has to die.


If you already had pie for dinner, go ahead and have this savory Chicken, Leek, and Mushroom Cobbler for dessert. The recipe calls for dry cider and dry sherry, and while cooking turns all that fun into flavor, we won’t tell if you sample the ingredients.


Shelley mixes things up with the Haw Berry Kumquat Pie, using Beijing Haw berries and, you guessed it, kumquats. The result is a “tart, sweet, and citrus-y” pie with a “fragrant almond crust.” Check out the full recipe and learn more about the significance of these fruits.


Donna Currie works eight digits of Pi into her recipe, calling for “3 kinds of fruit, 1 basic pie crust recipe, 4 ingredients in the crumb topping, 1 nutty ingredient,” etc. The resulting 3.1415926 Pie looks very colorful and well-rounded.

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Don’t worry, there’s more where these came from.

Happy Pi Day! And More Pie

Well, it is finally Pi Day—mathematicians and scientists rejoice!

The number of pies in our inbox doubled overnight, and we woke up to a virtual bakery’s worth of pastries. What did we find? We’ll have to break it into two posts…

In the first we have Stephanie Patterson’s Corned Beef Hash pie and Blueberry Cherry Pi pie, Joan Cook’s Pi(es) (a)r(e) square(d), Brownie’s Raspberry Rhubarb pie (another take on r2, and Jason Goldman’s Bacon and Chocolate Mousse Fibonacci pie.

You want pictures? We have pictures.

Stephanie Patterson hedged her bets and sent us both a savory pie and a dessert pie. The first is a Corned Beef Hash pie, and we think Stephanie is smart—she’s clearly chosen a recipe that can do double duty for both Pi Day and upcoming St. Patrick’s Day. Her second pie, a Blueberry Cherry Pi pie, looks like it belongs on the cover of Martha Stewart for Mathy People magazine. It also uses vodka in the crust-making process…anyone care to explain the science behind that?



Next up is Joan Cook’s cleverly titled Pi(es) (a)r(e) Square(d) pie. The recipe for this beauty is posted on her blog Linguina, where she also reveals that some other office—meaning not the ScienceBlogs or Serious Eats offices—got to enjoy this pie in person. Lucky ducks.


With a different take on the “pi r squared” theme, we have Brownie’s Raspberry Rhubarb pie. As Brownie explains on her blog Blondie and Brownie, “the area of this particular pie is approximately 70.88 inches and the r-squared so happens to be raspberry and rhubarb.”

The area of this pie would be quickly reduced to zero if we got our hands on it.

The last pie in this post is Jason Goldman’s Bacon and Chocolate Mousse Fibonacci pie. To learn how Jason’s pie was envisioned, you must read the post on his blog The Thoughtful Animal, in which he and ScienceBlogger Scicurious debate the merits of combining chocolate and bacon. Last year, voters chose Dave Bacon’s Spicy Pi Bacon Squared as the winner of the Pi Day Bake-Off. Could a bacon chocolate pie take first place again this year? Are our readers bacon loyalists? We shall see.


The Pies are Piling Up

As the deadline for the 2010 Pi Day Pie Bake-Off approaches, the entries are stacking up. In addition to the pies we’ve already posted here on Page 3.14, three of our own ScienceBloggers have thrown their hats in the ring. It’s a good thing we don’t actually have the pies here at ScienceBlogs headquarters to judge, because we’d be running out of counter space for them.

Wait a second, what are we saying? We can definitely find space for them if you want to send them to us…

In this next batch we have a One-Hundred-Digit berry pie from Claudette, a Banana Cream pie from Brendan Jinnohara, and an Ordered Pear pie from Deena Prichep. So much fruit pie in one post! Let’s have a look, shall we?

Claudette’s amazing One-Hundred-Digit pie is made with cherries and four different kinds of berries: raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries. The filling and dough are both pretty standard, but Claudette’s pie becomes a standout with the addition at the end of one hundred digits of pi cut out of pie crust! This might have to become part of next year’s bake-off campaign.


Brendan Jinnohara’s Banana Cream pie entry is a serious contender in the Most Photogenic prize category. It’s so pretty we can’t really imagine eating it. Though, we would still like to. He calls his crust a “No Fear Pie Crust,” which sounds encouraging, like we could actually make it. The banana filling contains cinnamon…okay, Brendan, we’re intrigued.


Mostly Foodstuffs blogger Deena Prichep’s Ordered Pear pie features a fractal pattern of pears atop a custardy frangipane filling. Deepa will be the first to point out this might actually be more of a tart than a pie, but as she says, “Pi Day is not about divisions — its about bringing us together around a love of math. And pie.” Well said.

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