Pi, as we all know, is 3.14 and since yesterday was 3/14 that made it “Pi Day”. I recently learned about the Serious Eats Pi Day Baking Contest and decided it was right up my alley. After all, it’s just one more excuse to bake. So, to celebrate Pi Day, I made this Strawberry Balsamic Pie and am entering it in the contest. This is the first contest I have ever entered, and I am super excited about it! Wouldn’t it be great if I won? (hint, hint) You can vote for me starting March 20 (the day the contest closes for entries), if you would like to make my dreams come true…
This pie is amazing, by the way. I love strawberries and balsamic vinegar; they are a perfect combination. The balsamic gives the sweet, slightly tart strawberries a rounder flavor. This pie filling also makes a great jam!
**Update: Unfortunately, I did not win any prizes in the Pi Day Contest, but I had tons of fun making this pie and it tasted so good that we devoured it in just two days. Thanks to everyone for voting!**
Here’s what you need:
6 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced (2 cups reserved)
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 Tbls cornstarch
2 Tbls balsamic vinegar
roll-out pie crust, or homemade pie crust
Here’s what you do:
To make the filling, combine all of the ingredients (minus 2 cups reserved strawberries) in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat 12-14 minutes until it thickens and begins to boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Transfer mixture to a glass bowl and cool completely. (At this point you could use an immersion blender to turn this into jam, if you didn’t want to make a pie.) Stir in reserved strawberries. This gives the pie better texture since the cooked strawberries get broken down by all that stirring. Use all of your restraint at this point to not lick the spatula. This filling is like molten lava and will seriously burn you!
Prepare pie plate by lining with one pie crust. Fill crust with slightly cooled filling and bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes. If the edges of the crust start to get too dark, cover with aluminum foil or a pie shield.
To make the pi top, cut out pi symbols from the remaining pie dough using a template. I found a pi symbol that I liked online, printed it out, traced it onto cardboard, and cut out the symbols using and exacto knife. This was a bit time consuming, but totally worth it. Line the pi symbols up on a baking sheet, sprinkle with sugar, and bake 400 degrees for 6 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, arrange the pi symbols in a decorative pattern on top of the baked pie. You could use this same method for any design that you would like. (Think: leaves in the fall, flowers in spring, the possibilities are endless.)