According to the National Pie Council, January 23 is National Pie Day because “celebrating the wholesome goodness of pie is as easy as 1-2-3.”
In case you were wondering, there is indeed a National Pi Day, which is celebrated on March 14 (3.14, get it?). Unfortunately, there is not much to celebrate about a mathematical constant, except that pi does represent the ratio of a circle’s circumference to it’s diameter. And a pie is a circle, so I’ll probably make a pie on National Pi Day, too.
Not that I need any excuse to make pie.
As you know, it was only a year ago that I overcame my fear of piecrust, with my father’s 80th birthday as incentive. Since then, heady with my first success, I’ve churned out numerous pies of all sorts. Today’s version is a compromise: one kid wanted apple, the other wanted blueberry. So, we’ve invented Bloobapple Pie. Or Blapple Pie. Don’t expect them to agree on anything.
I’ve discovered that it is indeed perfectly fine to double the recipe for Mark Bittman’s Flaky Piecrust, which you need to do to make a double-crust pie.
While the dough was chilling, I preheated the oven to 450 degrees and made the filling.
4 cups peeled and sliced Macintosh apples
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
large pinch kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Toss the apples and fresh blueberries with the lemon peel, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and cornstarch. If using frozen berries, it is better to add them last. Do not thaw them. Unless you like a uniformly blue pie filling. Toss with the lemon juice and turn the fruit into the prepared piecrust. Cover with the top crust, crimp the edges, and brush the top with a little milk to help it brown.
Put the pie plate on a cookie sheet and place in the bottom third of the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 350 degrees and bake for another 35 to 45 minutes.
I learned this from my Mom, Part 2:
Take the piecrust scraps and roll them out on a floured counter or board. Cut them into 2-3 inch isosceles triangles (a pie-wedge shape). Sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon sugar and put a tiny dot of butter in the center. Roll up the triangle from the base to the point. Brush the cookies with a little milk. Put them on a baking sheet lined with parchment (see above for what happens if you don’t use parchment). Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
Also see above for what happens if you don’t take the picture immediately. I’m lucky there were any left.
By the way, there is no National Isosceles Triangle Day, but isosceles triangles are featured on the flags of St. Lucia, East Timor, Guyana, and Djibouti. Clearly, these are countries that also appreciate the wholesome goodness of pie.