Monday, March 14, 2011

Happy Pi Day from the Surprisingly Reluctant Baker

Today (3.14.11) is Pi Day.  Apparently it is traditional to celebrate with pie . . .

Joseph mentioned this a few days ago, remarking that his CHESS (Centreville Homeschool Enrichment Support Services) science teacher had suggested her students bring pie to class.

Great.  I was less than enthusiastic (already a lot of baking/cooking going on this weekend).  Joe doesn't like fruit pies (except for our Summer Blueberry), and I would need something non-messy for sharing in class anyway.  Pumpkin?  Eh.  Pecan?  Nah.

Then inspiration struck.  I remembered that there is a category of classic Southern dessert called chess pie!  Get it?  CHESS class/chess pie?  I found a recipe for a brown sugar version that should work in tiny slices.

David is home for spring break, so I asked my math major (currently sporting a double minor in computer science and physics) what kind of pie HE wanted.  Answer--cherry.

Great.  I don't make cherry pie any more.  It's too messy.  You take out one slice, and all the filling gushes all over.  And filling thick enough to stay in place would be pasty or gummy.  Cobbler is now my cherry dessert of choice.

Anyway . . . I decided to make David a personal pie, with cobbler for the rest of us.  Later realizing that was a silly amount of extra work, I divided the crust dough into multiple pieces.  Today I'll be rolling it out to fill custard cups.  We'll all have individual pies, so there's no more worry about errant filling.  I need to tiptoe down to the big freezer (in David's room) now to gather the cherries to thaw.

THEN, last night at dinner (I'd been cooking all day--chess pie, pie crust, beef stew, cheese biscuits, pound cake) the subject of Pi Day came up, and there was Daniel, who had been gone all day.  Did he need pie for school, too?  He didn't push, but was it fair to send one with only Joe?

Great!  I had to leave soon, to teach NFP, and would be gone from 6:30-10:00!!  But the wheels started spinning, and I found a recipe for a pie that used a crumb crust required no baking.  No way was I going to make another traditional crust!  So Joe and I quickly prepped the crust, which needed to chill.  After class (we actually got home around 9:30) I sent David out for the second block of cream cheese (the only thing not already in my house for creating three different pies plus the biscuits and citrus cake--bake much?) and stirred up the filling.

In the end I had fun brainstorming and baking.  I'm a little nervous about sending out two desserts I've never made before.  Hopefully they're either delicious or middle schoolers and 10th grade boys don't have the most discerning palates . . .  ;-)  Our family's first celebration of Pi Day may not, after all, be our last.

No comments: