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.

i-8ec91dfc46b76d5bcdf7e873218840ab-Untitled-1 copy.jpg

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.

i-7f1af19265c64321299b9d09d741a84a-Apple Pie.jpg

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.

i-70296e1a42862860e7875dd3815f80d3-CookieCakePie III.jpgCookie Cake pie sometimes has trouble deciding what checkbox to select.

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.

i-fafa80e8436201ac5fe3ce32b2835621-pie whole 3.JPG

The 2010 Pi Day Pie Bake-Off Heats Up

Either we set our oven temperature too high or the competition is heating up here in the 2010 Pi Day Pie Bake-Off.

Yesterday we posted Annie Wang’s Archi-meaty pie, Leigh’s Rabbiteye Blueberry Pie, and Stephanie’s “Grown-Up” S’mores Pie with Guinness, and ScienceBloggers James Hrynyshyn and Pamela Ronald posted their own Strawbarb and Swiss chard-Gruyere pies, respectively.

Today we bring you three more: Mareena Wright’s Cauchy’s Coconut Cream Condensation Test Pie, Zinjanthropus’s USO and Banana Pie with Anthropoid Bread Crust, and Nathan Lau’s Chocolate Haupia Pie. We’re starting to wish Pi Day came around more than once a year.

Mareena Wright, an avid reader of Casaubon’s Book, made a coconut cream pie inspired by the Cauchy condensation test. Growing up, coconut cream pies were the standard unit of currency for bet-placing in my house, so all I have to say is, YUM.


Next up is Zinjanthropus’s USO and Banana Pie with Anthropoid Bread Crust. Zinjanthropus studies (and blogs about) human and primate evolution, so it is fitting that this pie takes its inspiration from the foraging habits of early hominids. Zinjanthropus’s post is seriously worth a read, but basically, the pie combines sweet potato and banana in an “anthropoid bread” crust (anthropoid bread is, obviously, a relative of monkey bread). Speaking as an extant primate, I think those foragers were onto something.


And last we have Nathan Lau’s Chocolate Haupia pie. Haupia is a Hawaiian coconut-based dessert, somewhat like pudding. The haupia in this pie is combined with chocolate, which seems like a pretty reasonable way to make something even more delicious than it already sounds. It all gets poured into a macadamia-nut crust, as Nathan helpfully demonstrates with photos on his blog House of Annie.
i-8d6af54979de8ccc5370f5129a5e35a9-chocolate haupia pie slice_thumb[1].jpg

Don’t mind if we do…

I Pie, You Pie, We All Pie for Pi Day

The first entries in the ScienceBlogs/Serious Eats 2010 Pi Day Pie Bake-Off are starting to roll in, and it already looks like its going to be difficult to choose come voting day. We probably shouldn’t be writing this post at lunchtime, but here we go anyway with the first three pies:

First, from Annie Wang at frites & fries, the ingeniously titled Archi-meaty pie. Because Archimedes was Greek, the pie itself had to be Greek too, made with lamb, feta, honey, apples and raisins.


Next up is Leigh’s Rabbiteye Blueberry Pie, originally posted on her blog 5 Acres & A Dream. Freshly picked blueberries don’t need much dressing up, and Leigh’s no-fail pie crust recipe makes them shine (or she claims…you be the judge).


And last but not least, Stephanie from 52 Kitchen Adventures sent us her “Grown-Up” S’mores Pie with Guiness. Just like the fireside version, the pie is made with graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate—plus the beer that puts it squarely in the “for adults” category.


If you think you can beat any (or all) of these pies, check out the 20210 Pi Day Pie Bake-Off page for more details about the contest, and make sure send us your pie by the end of Sunday, March 14! And check back here after that to vote for your favorite pie.

In With the Old

i-5f5a9e6c4788dd04817f9562463ff1b6-dinoman.jpgShakespeare wrote that “past is prologue,” but it’s not always that easy to read. Brian Switek on Laelaps tells the tale of P. H. Gosse, a man who tried to reconcile the fossil record with the Book of Genesis, at the same time Darwin was writing his Origin of Species. Convincing no one, Gosse estranged even the faithful with his image of God as “a trickster who planted gags to fool geologists.” But given the ample evidence that dinosaurs were once alive, the debate continues: were they warm-blooded? On Not Exactly Rocket Science, Ed Yong shows us a new study which says yes, based on the “hip heights of 13 species of dinosaur including Tyrannosaurus, Velociraptor and Archaeopteryx.” Finally, in the realm of sheer speculation, Richard Dawkins has thrown some weight behind the what-if evolutionary concept of a “humanoid dinosaur.” As Darren Naish writes on Tetrapod Zoology, “our body shape clearly works well for an intelligent, tool-using, sentient animal, but where is the convincing evidence that it is the only possible body shape for such a creature?”

Links below the fold.
Continue reading “In With the Old”