filed under Dessert, Food Holidays, Southern Food

Pies for Pi Day

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March is one of those months that I hate to love. The weather is a tease, giving you beautiful spring days right next to bitterly cold ones (or, sometimes, excruciatingly hot ones). Not much is in season, but you can feel the expectation building in the air. And of course, I can’t help but to love March for Pi(e) Day.

Anyone who took math as a teen will remember (at least vaguely) that pi is a mathematical constant that is the ratio of any Euclidean circle’s circumference to its diameter. Pi is approximately equal to 3.14. Or, at least this is what Wikipedia tells me. For me, math class was more of a place to eat Bojangles and think about the boys I was crushing on. What I do remember about pi (besides that one kid who was always so cool because he could recite however many numbers) is that on March 14th each year, my math teacher would bring in pie. Because, you know, pi/pie. AWESOME. Pi Day is PIE DAY.

Each March 14th, I like to celebrate by making and eating pie. Since February is National Pie Month and because I am a year-round pie lover, celebrating Pi Day is a natural extension of my culinary passions. And as a Southern food blogger and enthusiast, my pies tend to be of the Southern variety. I thought, in honor of Pi(e) Day, I’d share some of my favorite Southern pie categories.

1. Chess

It goes without saying that, as a Southerner, chess pies are dear to my heart. A chess pie is a custard-like pie that includes flour, butter, sugar, and eggs. Chess pies come in all shapes and sizes, from vanilla to vinegar, and are the quintessential Southern dessert. Also, they’re incredibly easy to make and always in season.

Elena’s recipe for Irish Car Bomb Pie

2. Cobblers

Growing up, my favorite pie was my grandmother’s Blueberry Mountain Pie, a kind of pie also known as a dump cobbler. Essentially, you dump all the ingredients together and throw it in the oven. A cake-like batter rises around the fruit in the middle and the result is everything I love about summer. Perfect with a heaping scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Elena’s recipe for Mountain Pie

3. Icebox Pies

Icebox pies, typically of the no-bake, more-whipped-cream-than-you-can-imagine variety, can be found at every family reunion, church potluck, and baby shower in the South. I myself am partial to the chocolate peanut butter variety, but I’ll never turn down a frozen lemonade pie.

Elena’s recipe for Mojito Pie

4. Hand Pies

It might be my age, but these days I tend to be going to a lot of showers. Between baby showers and wedding showers, I’ve eaten my fair share of cucumber sandwiches the past few years. One of my favorite shower foods is hand pies. They’re cute, adorable, and come in all shapes and varieties. Nothing says “domestic bliss” like a heart-shaped strawberry rhubarb pie.

Now, go forth, eat pie, and celebrate math! My favorite equation? Pie + mouth = happy. Repeat.

Elena Rosemond-Hoerr is a photographer and writer based out of Baltimore. Born and raised in North Carolina, Elena writes about Southern food culture, blending stories and recipes to bring a piece of the South to everyone. You can find her delicious recipes on her blog, Biscuits and Such, and follow her food musings on Twitter @biscuitsandsuch.


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