Pies! and Science!

I couldn’t help myself, I needed to make some pie for Pi day. Leaving aside the valid point that Pi might not be the best constant to be using, it is an excellent reason to make (and eat) pies every March 14th.

When I got home this evening, I realized that I didn’t have enough ingredients to make a full sized pie. Instead of going to the market like a normal person, I remembered that I have baby pie pans, and could make mini pies instead. Here is where the science (math) comes in. If a recipe of pie crust makes 2 crusts for 9″ pies, and I make half a recipe, how many different baby pies can I make? Ah, it’s like the 3rd grade all over again!

Let’s start by determining how big the baby pans are.

4.5″ in diameter. So, if a 9″ pie pan is 9″ across, plus 1.5″ depth, it would be the equivalent surface area of a 12″ circle. So the area of that circle is …

and if our baby pans are 4.5″ across with a depth of .5″ it is equivalent to the surface area of a 5.5″ circle. So the area of the mini pan is…..

so 113.04/23.74 = 4.76. We can make about 4 and a half pies from a half recipe. Now, which four pies shall we make?

Mini Peanut Butter Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 oz cream, whipped
  • 1 pre baked mini pie crust

Begin by whipping the cream, place in the fridge for later. Beat the peanut butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth.  Fold in the whipped cream. Spoon into the baked pie crust, and drizzle with chocolate syrup.

Mini Fresh Strawberry Pie

Ingredients:

  • 12 fresh strawberries
  • 2T sugar
  • 1T cornstarch
  • 1 pre baked mini pie crust

Cut up half of the strawberries and put them in a small saucepan with the sugar and cornstarch.  Place over medium heat and begin to crush the berries with the back of a spoon.  Cook until bubbling and the juices have thickened.  Let cool. Place a spoonful into the bottom of the pie crust.  Slice 5 berries in half, and pick the most attractive ones to cover the top.  Choose one small berry for the center.

Baby Brown Sugar Pie

Now, I know you might be thinking that this pie is ugly, but you have to trust me that it tastes amazing. This pie should only be made in mini form.

Ingredients:

  • Brown sugar
  • Butter
  • 1 unbaked mini pie crust

Spoon brown sugar into the pie crust until it nearly reaches the top. Top with a generous pat of butter. Bake at 400F for about 15-20 minutes or the sugar has become molten. Let cool.  Enjoy the sweet buttery candy flavor of this pie in small bites!

Mini Nutella Pie


Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon corn starch
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • dash of vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons of Nutella
  • 1 pre baked mini pie crust

Combine the cocoa powder, sugar, and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Add the milk, and whisk to blend.  Place the pan over medium heat and cook until thick (you’re making a pudding!). When it’s thick, remove from the heat and add the vanilla and Nutella. Stir well. Spoon into pie crust. Rainbow sprinkles make an excellent garnish.

Happy Pi Day everyone! I hope you enjoy eating some delicious pies and refreshing your memory about our favorite irrational number! 

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