Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pi(es) aRe (not) Squared: Kevin and the Bumbleberry Pie

(Editor's Note: These are the bakings and ramblings of roomie and frequent mess picker upper Kevin. As he is a man of great brevity, I will occasionally chime in with my usual parentheses. Also, pie is delicious, and this further solidified our majestic bromance.)

What better way to celebrate everybody’s favorite mathematical constant and consequentially also March 14th than a firm full of engineers bringing all the pie to the table (and the gauntlet has been thrown down to lovers of "e" everywhere).  I dusted off my baking skills to join in the festivities and with a little inspiration arrived at making a Bumbleberry pie.  What is a bumbleberry exactly?  Well I was about to find out as I embarked on the delicious and berry filled adventure to pay tribute to Pi.

Bumbleberry Pie
Servings: 2 Pies (What? You were seriously gonna celebrate Pi Day with just one pie?)
Time: 90 Minutes

Pie Crust
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups shortening
3/4 cup cold water
1 egg
1 tablespoon vinegar

Pie Filling
4 cups apples (about 3 apples) – cored and chopped
2 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups white sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons tapioca
1 egg yolk beaten with 2 tablespoons water to brush the top

Preparing the Crust
  1. Fold the shortening into the flour and salt until crumbly.
  2. Whisk together the water, egg, and vinegar in a separate bowl.
  3. Mix the wet mixture into the dry until it forms a ball.
  4. Divide the dough into four balls and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
(The rolling pin was at the old place still, so this was done by hand. Most impressive.)
Preparing the Filling
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2.  In a large bowl, mix together the apples, rhubarb, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and lemon juice.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar, flour and tapioca.
  4. Slowly mix in the blended dry ingredients with the fruit mixture.
  5. Divide the mixture into two pie plates each lined with one of the balls of dough.
  6.  Roll out the remaining two balls of dough to form the tops. 
  7. Brush on some of the egg wash.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for about 60 minutes until the top is a golden brown.
  9. (Let cool quaintly on a windowsill.) 

Though I was nervous that my pie-making skills had waned, a quick taste quickly restored my confidence.  The 2pm (no, no, not 3:14) pie festivities at work brought out quite the variety and everyone seemed to enjoy the oddly-named Bumbleberry Pie.

(I can't believe he didn't weave his lattice. What's that? I didn't either! Well, shut up.)
(When asked for a comment on how it actually tasted, Kevin simply responded "like an explosion of berries," so I decided to help him out. While this is a truthstory, it does not do justice to said explosion. There are a wild 5 different kinds of fruit in the pie (six if you count the lemon juice) causing it to pack a powerful punch. Instead of just getting lost in a sea of compoted pie filling, each component hits you at a different time leading to a truly killer pie experience that's kind of like a real life realization of the everlasting gobstopper from Willy Wonka. The end result is a nicely sweet and quite tart pie that truly does justice to the master of the circle- pi)

How to quiet any group of scientists.

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