Thanks to the wonderful Jules at Go Jules Go, I became aware of something wonderful, the Pi Day Pie Challenge. The short is this: Pi Day is March 14th (3.14). A pi pie is a pie made in honor of Pi Day, and it is extra delicious because it is the tastiness of pie with the awesomeness of math. It’s practically algebraic!
Prior to this I had only made about four pies in my life, and only the last — a pumpkin pie I made for a dinner with friends that had fresh, garden-grown pumpkins — was a success, so I immediately was wary going into this. However, I had something on my side: Pushing Daisies, and a pie discussed in that show, a “tart apple pie with gruyère baked into the crust.” Gruyère, for those who don’t know, is a wonderful cheese. Pushing Daisies is — well, let me explain.
Pushing Daisies was a show that aired a few years back with a short first season, that was cancelled in its second season. And it was magnificent. I will not deny that the second season wasn’t nearly as good as the first, but that’s partly because the first seasons was practically perfect. It was the story of a pie maker and his childhood sweetheart, whom he could never touch because it would kill her (again), as they assisted a private detective solve murders, often aided by the pie maker’s single employee who secretly loved him. Sound weird? It sort of was.
Pushing Daisies had everything; romance, comedy, drama, action, and mystery, and instead of being overloaded by any of these elements it came together to form a cohesive and unexpectedly wonderful creation (like a cheese, apple pie!). It somehow managed to be better at any of those aspects than 90% of the television that focused on merely one or two of them. More than anything, it had heart and it had magic. If there was a reason the second season failed it was because it tried to force what seemed to come so easily to the first. The first season of Pushing Daisies is probably my favorite season of any show ever because of how amazingly well crafted and thoughtful it was.
In the show, the sweetheart has two aunts who are recluses that love cheese, and she can’t see them so she tries to help them by giving them pie laced with homeopathic mood enhancers and, more importantly for this, cheese baked into the crust. I used this crust recipe but augmented the filling so it was a bit more substantial, plus I only had winesap apples, which are actually not tart. The end result was this: the filling was fine, but the crust is delicious. It’s so good. Even the dough was so delicious that I couldn’t stop raving about it, and the smells that wafted from my oven as it cooked were intoxicating.
You know how when you’re in grade school the most common retort to something like, “I love this pie!” is, “If you love it so much why don’t you marry it!”? Well, I would marry this pie crust. I would. It’s basically like the flakiest, moistest, most perfect cheese puff pastry I’ve ever had.
This pie is an ode to pi and a requiem for Pushing Daisies. It’s the Pushing Daisies Pi Pie. It’s simply heavenly. And because it’s so delicious, it will, like the show, probably not be around for long, but my life will be better for having experienced it.