March 14, 2018
30th Anniversary of Pi Day!
Happy Pi Day!
Celebrated each year on March 14th (3.14), Pi Day is dedicated to the mathematical constant, Pi. First recognized 30 years ago in 1988 by physicist Larry Shaw, Pi Day observers often celebrate with a slice of their favorite pie in honor of the number’s delicious sounding name.
Notated by the Greek letter “𝛑”, pi represents the ratio between a circle’s circumference (perimeter) to its diameter (distance from side to side passing through the center), and is a fundamental element of many mathematical fields, most significantly Geometry. Though modern mathematicians have calculated more than one TRILLION decimal places beyond the standard “3.14,” pi is an irrational number that continues on to infinity! It’s an important ingredient in the formula for the area of a circle, A=𝛑r².
Today’s delectable Doodle - baked & built by award-winning pastry chef and creator of the Cronut® Dominique Ansel - pays homage to this well-rounded mathematical constant by representing the pi formula (circumference divided by diameter) using — what else — pie!
Go behind-the-scenes of today’s Doodle below!
Feel free to whip up your own Pi Day pie with Dominique’s personal recipe below!
Salted Caramel Apple Pie
by Dominique Ansel
(Makes 1 pie)
4 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
½ tbsp salt
3 sticks unsalted butter, cold and cubed
2/3 cup cold water
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, and salt on medium-low speed (about 30 seconds).
Increase speed to medium and stream in cold water, followed by cold butter cubes. Continue mixing on medium speed (about 2 minutes). Stop mixing just before the butter is fully incorporated (the dough will look streaky and the pieces of butter should be about the size of peas).
Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and divide in two balls. Flatten each into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour.
Apple Pie Filling
8 apples, peeled, cored, sliced (I like to use Honeycrisp apples)
1/3 stick unsalted butter
¼ cup cornstarch
¾ cup sugar
1/3 dark brown sugar
¼ cup bourbon
1 cup apple cider
pinch of nutmeg
1½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp sea salt
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together cornstarch, sugar, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Add apple slices and toss until apples are evenly coated.
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add apples into melted hot butter. Pour in apple cider and bourbon. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender (about 30 minutes).
Remove from heat, let cool to room temperature.
Salted Caramel Sauce
2 cup sugar
2 2/3 cups heavy cream
4 tbsp light corn syrup
½ cup dark brown sugar
2 tsp fleur de sel
In medium pot, bring all ingredients to a boil, gently stirring occasionally. Once the mixture has reached 230°F (it will get noticeably thicker), remove from the heat and pour into a non-plastic container (i.e. a pyrex or metal mixing bowl). Let cool to room temperature.
Once at room temperature, whisk well and then chill in the fridge until needed (TIP: the caramel sauce can be made up to 2 weeks ahead; you can also drizzle it over ice cream or add into your coffee!).
1 hour before you’re ready to assemble the pie, remove the sauce from the fridge and bring to room temperature.
To Assemble & Bake
Pie dough (chilled)
Apple pie filling (cooled)
Salted caramel sauce (cooled)
1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
On a floured surface, roll out 1 call of dough into a 12-inch round, then transfer to a 9-inch pie dish, pressing gently down and up the sides. Pour cooled apples into the pie shell. Drizzle some of your salted caramel sauce across the apples.
Roll out the other ball of dough. Cut strips that are 1” wide and 12” long. Arrange half of your dough strips across pie. Form a lattice by arranging the other half of the strips diagonally across the first strips. Seal the edges by pressing around the rim of the pie with a fork. Trim around the edges as needed.
Brush the surface of the pie with egg wash. Bake for 35-40 minutes until crust is deep golden brown. Let cool on a rack for 30 minutes, then drizzle more of the salted caramel sauce on top and serve.