The Whole Dish Blog: Observe Pi Day the British Way – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News


Today marks a math-themed observation of Albert Einstein’s birthday. But what would a party be without pie?

Pi Day has been combining calendar, mathematical constant 3.14 and delicious filled pastries for nearly 35 years. Founded by San Francisco Exploratorium employee Larry Shaw, the event arguably sparked more student interest in science, technology, engineering and math alongside culinary arts.

Amid surveys of students’ taste for math and understanding pi, academic institutions and educational organizations can’t help but incorporate favorite pie flavors. Among 900 American students surveyed by Brainly, the largest online homework help community, chocolate (22.7%) was the top flavor of pie, followed closely by apple (22.1%). At the bottom of the pack in the polls, we find lemon meringue, blueberries and cherries. The polls also revealed that 18.6% of respondents had no favorite pie flavor.

The chocolate would certainly earn high marks in my household, but I have to believe my 8 year old son would express more enthusiasm for the pie made in the British tradition – full of meats and other savory morsels. Although we love potpies, a real British pie is a whole different creature: packed to the edges with protein in a sturdy, bacon-packed pastry case, it’s usually served in pubs across Britain with mashed potatoes and peas.

Without the peas, my son would choose this dense and rich dish any day for dessert. Featured on the “Great British Baking Show”, it calls for baking in a springform pan.

Tribune News Photo service

pork pie

Pastry shop:

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup bread flour

1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

5 tablespoons lard (or vegetable shortening substitute)

1 egg

1 teaspoon of cream or milk


1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 ounces dried apricots, thinly sliced

1/2 pound fresh chorizo, casings removed

1/2 pound fresh bratwurst sausage, casings removed

1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion

To make the batter, whisk together the two types of flour and the salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub until it crumbles. Stir lard into 1/3 cup boiling water until melted; drizzle with flour and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together. (If dry, add a little more hot water.) Shape into 2 discs, 1 with two-thirds of the dough, 1 with the rest. Wrap and refrigerate.

For the garnish, season the chicken with salt, thyme, zest and pepper. Stir in the apricots. In another bowl, crumble both types of sausage together; stir in onions.

Butter an 8 inch springform pan. Roll out the largest disk of dough into a thin 14-inch circle and insert it into the pan. Divide into half of the sausage mixture. Scrape throughout the chicken mixture. Finish with the rest of the sausage. Roll out a smaller portion of dough and cut into an 8 1/2 inch circle. Climb on this lid. Cut and crimp the edges. Snip in a vent.

Whisk the egg and cream together. Brush the top of the pie with the egg wash. Place the mold on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 F, brushing top once or twice with egg wash, until golden, 60 to 70 minutes. Let cool. Slice into wedges. Enjoy hot or at room temperature.

Makes 1 deep 8 inch pie that serves 8.

Recipe adapted by the Chicago Tribune from the “Great British Baking Show”.

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