Food

3.14 Pie

Thank you to everyone who suggested names and who voted! I loved the creativity – American influences, Italian slants, giving potpourri, as a combination of a bit of this and a bit of that, a food angle. The results of the vote were:

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And that means that the pie has been named 3.14 Pie, after National Pi Day in America, which apparently falls on the 14th of March. I rather fancy the word equivalent of Pi Pie. Thank you to the Maths teacher who suggested that name – obviously it required a Maths enthusiast to know the existence of such a day despite not living in, or being from, America. This pie just became all about promoting Maths and calories in one go – I can’t think of a better way to increase my enthusiasm for Maths than adding a bit of butter, cream and sugar. For those who missed my last post, the original aim of this pie filling was caramel pie filling, intended to fill some excess pastry bases that I had. However, primarily because I didn’t follow a recipe, I ended up with something that wasn’t caramel pie, though it still tasted good. I think this improved with a bit of time to set, so make it 12 to 24 hours in advance of when you need it. All the cup measurements below were made using a 250 ml mug. This comes with apologies for the couple of blurry method photos.

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What you’ll need:

A ten-inch sweet shortcrust pastry base. If you want to make one yourself, you can follow the recipe I gave in my Chocolate and Raspberry Tart post.

3 tablespoons of butter

1 1/2 cups of half cream and half milk, divided into 1 cup and half a cup

1 cup of white sugar

2 eggs

3/4 cup of flour (I think I used plain flour)

1 1/2 cups of milk, divided into three lots of half a cup

1/2 cup of maple syrup

1-2 teaspoons of vanilla essence

What to do:

1. Put the butter, 1 cup of cream/milk and sugar into a saucepan over a low heat. Keep it over the heat, stirring occasionally until the butter and sugar have melted/dissolved and been fully mixed into the milk/cream. Once this has happened, bring the mixture to the boil and leave to simmer for a few minutes. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t boil over – if it does start to boil up, lift the saucepan off the stove whilst the mixture sinks back down, and then turn down the heat a bit before putting the saucepan back onto the stove.

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2. Whilst the contents of the saucepan are simmering, crack the eggs into a bowl, sift the flour into the bowl with the eggs and then whisk the eggs and flour together. Pour the final half cup of milk/cream into the bowl with the eggs and flour and whisk to mix everything together.

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3. Turn the heat under the saucepan right down and then pour a small amount – the equivalent of just a few tablespoons – of the hot mixture to the eggs and flour and whisk together thoroughly. This tempers the eggs and helps to prevent them turning into a cooked eggy mass when you do the next step…

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4. …which is to turn the heat up a bit and then pour the eggs and flour into the saucepan and whisk everything together. Keep the saucepan over the heat, stirring occasionally, and cook the mixture for a few minutes. Next, still keeping the saucepan over a low to medium heat, gradually add the milk and maple syrup. This is done by adding half a cup of milk at a time, whisking the milk into the hot mixture and allowing it to cook for a couple of minutes before adding the next half cup. The maple syrup is added before the last half cup of milk, and like the milk should be whisked into the hot mixture, which should then cook for a couple of minutes before adding the final half cup of milk in the same way as the first two half cups (rinse the cup out with boiling water before measuring the maple syrup so that it pours from the cup into the saucepan easily and doesn’t stick to the cup). Once you’ve added all the milk and maple syrup, keep the mixture over a low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, for as long as it needs to ensure it is fully cooked. If you’re not sure, taste the mixture to test it – the main thing is to make sure that the flour has cooked.

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5. When the mixture has cooked, turn off the heat and leave to cool for about 10 minutes. Then add the vanilla essence to the saucepan and whisk into the mixture. Allow to cool for a few more minutes before pouring the filling into the pastry base, and then leave to set in the fridge for quite a while – ideally overnight.

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