Celebrate Pi(e) Day on March 14 with these Islander-baked pie recipes

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Chocolate pudding, macaroons. What else is there to say? —Sheryl Dagostino

“Cut my pie into four pieces; I don’t think I could eat eight.”  ―Yogi Berra

That’s also how I feel about pie. One slice turns into two slices, and all of a sudden I’m standing in front of the garbage, debating whether to eat the last slice of pie or throw it out, because I can’t possibly be the kind of person who can eat an entire pie in one day. If that scenario doesn’t ring a bell, I don’t think we can be friends. If I had to choose a pie to rule them all, I’d say it would be a simple buttermilk pie — something about the perfectly spiced and sweet custard lying on a flaky crust. I’m a simple girl like that, but if you’re looking for more recipes, here are three Islander-baked pie recipes for your Pi(e) Day celebration.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

By Clarissa Crossland of Oak Bluffs

“My strawberry rhubarb pie is made with a freshly churned buttery-rich crust. I think what makes this the best pie, and why it earned me a blue ribbon, is that I used all fresh organic ingredients! I grew the rhubarb in my garden, and used fresh Island strawberries. I even made my own butter for the crust. I put a lot of love into it.”

Crust:

½ tsp. salt

1 cup fresh home-churned butter (or unsalted butter if you don’t have time to churn)

2 cups all-purpose flour

7 to 8 Tbsp. cold water

Filling:

1 lb. chopped rhubarb, chopped into ½-inch chunks

2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and halved if small, quartered if large

4 Tbsp. cornstarch

⅔ cup granulated sugar

⅓ cup brown sugar

2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice

1 Tbsp. orange zest

Crust:

Add salt and butter to the flour with a few splashes of cold water, cutting into the butter with a pastry cutter. Keep working dough until the largest chunks of butter turn into pea-size formations. Drizzle in more water, knead the dough with your hands, forming a ball. Split in half, one for the bottom crust, one for the top.

Filling:

Combine rhubarb, strawberries, cornstarch, sugar, orange juice, and orange zest in a bowl and mix together. Roll out bottom crust, place in pie dish. Add the filling; for my pie I made a lattice crust and brushed it with an egg wash, and finished the top with a sprinkling of turbinado sugar.

Bake at 400° for 30 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350°; bake for another 20 minutes, or until pie is golden and bubbling.

Ritz Cracker Pie

By Carolyn O’Daly of Katama

“This is a recipe I got from my mother’s best girlfriend. I do not generally put caramel on top, but you certainly can! It doesn’t sound like it, but it is really delicious. Make it — you’ll see!”

3 egg whites

½ tsp. baking powder

1 cup sugar

½ cup pecan or walnut pieces

19 crumbled Ritz crackers

Whipped cream

Beat egg whites, baking powder, and sugar until stiff. Fold in nuts and crackers.

Pour and bake in a greased pie pan at 325° for 30 minutes. Let cool and top with whipped cream.

Chocolate Pudding Pie with Macaroon Crust
By Sheryl Dagostino of West Tisbury
“This is actually two recipes: the crust and the pudding. Please make the crust first; you’ll want at least six hours for the pudding to set and chill in the crust in the fridge, so keep that in mind. Preparing this the day or night before is a good idea.”

Crust (adapted from Martha Stewart’s Plain Macaroons recipe):

½ cup honey

2½ cups organic unsweetened shredded coconut

2 large egg whites

1 tsp. vanilla

Pinch of sea salt

Unsalted butter or unrefined organic coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a standard glass pie plate using butter or coconut oil. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. Place mixture into the greased pie plate and press down with fingers or the back of a spoon. Spread evenly on bottom and up sides of pie plate. Bake for about 15 minutes, until nicely golden. Let rest at room temperature for 10 minutes. Place in refrigerator to chill while you make the pudding. The macaroon crust can be prepared the day before and stored overnight in the fridge.

Double chocolate pudding (adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe):

6 extra-large egg yolks

½ cup coconut sugar or maple sugar

¼ cup cornstarch

3 Tbsp. raw cacao powder

Pinch salt

2 cups milk

1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

1½ tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 Tbsp. heavy cream

Beat the egg yolks and sugar until light yellow and thick in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on medium-high speed. On low speed, add the cornstarch, cocoa powder, and salt. Bring the milk to a boil in a medium saucepan and, with the mixer on low, slowly pour the hot milk into the chocolate mixture. Combine well, then pour the mixture back into the pan.
Cook the mixture over low heat, stirring constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon, until thickened. If the mixture begins to curdle, remove it from the heat and beat it vigorously with a wire whisk. Remove the pan from the heat, add the chocolate, butter, vanilla, and heavy cream, and mix until the chocolate and butter are melted.
Pour hot pudding into your chilled macaroon pie crust. Spread and smooth top evenly. Place parchment paper or plastic wrap directly on top of pudding (this will prevent a skin forming and keep your pudding creamy). Place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or overnight, to set. Serve with fresh whipped cream sweetened with maple syrup and a dash of brandy, if you dare.

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