The best way to celebrate Pi Day - π = 3.14 - is with pie! This is definitely true for me since I am not exactly a math genius, but I can bake. I also love eating pie, so for me it is a win-win situation, although I doubt a piece of pie on my plate will last longer than 3.14 minutes.
Pi Day was first celebrated officially in 1988 at the San Francisco Exploratorium where the staff and public marched around one of its circular spaces, then consumed fruit pies. Congress passed a resolution in 2009 officially designating March 14 as National Pi Day, and thus a day was born for bakers to take advantage of a play on the word Pi and make their favorite kind of pie.
|Pi spelled backwards is Pie!|
Recently I was contacted by the nice people at Zulka Pure Cane Sugar asking if I would like to try their product in my baking. Zulka sugar is an all-natural and unrefined, vegan, Non-GMO Project verified “Morena” style sugar that is minimally processed and comes straight from freshly-harvested sugar cane. Grown and harvested using sustainable practices, Zulka sugar is never refined, which preserves the fresh, real flavor and natural properties of the sugar cane plant. I was excited to try it, especially when I found out that there is no complicated formula you need to use to substitute it for regular white sugar - it is simply used as a cup-for-cup replacement. I'll definitely be on the lookout for these additional product's from Zulka - Brown Pure Cane Sugar, Powdered Pure Cane Sugar, and the Picante Pure Cane Sugar - which are coming soon to stores.
The pie I decided to bake for pie day is from Pie It Forward. I have been a fan of Gesine Bullock-Prado ever since I read Confections of a Closet Master Baker - I loved that she followed her dream. Her additional books are not only gorgeous to look at but her recipes are fantastic too. This recipe was for a Sugar Cream Pie, but I decided to amp it up a bit with a little Bailey's Irish Cream in honor of Pi(e) Day and St. Patrick's Day. It is also known as a Hoosier Pie, Indiana Pie, Quaker Pie, and a Finger Pie - but I promise no fingers were harmed in the making of this pie.
Since I was running a little short on time, and the fact that I had purchased a Sam's Club size box of Pillsbury Pie Crusts that I needed to use up ASAP, I decided to use a pre-made pie crust which was fine, but I do find that they tend to shrink quite a bit. The Zulka sugar worked out great in the recipe, everything blended perfectly and I really liked that I was using a minimally processed product, so I will definitely be looking for it on my grocery store shelf. This is a sweet pie and a small piece is really all you need to satisfy your pie craving. Of course that craving will come back again and again, and before you know it the pie will be gone. And that's perfectly fine, after all it is Pi(e) Day.
Bailey's Sugar Cream Pie
(Printer Friendly Recipe)
- 1 package Pillsbury Pie Crust (or use your favorite pie crust recipe)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ¼ cup Bailey's Irish Cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into very small pieces
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 350℉.
- To make the crust, line a 9-inch tart pan with the dough and freeze for 20 minutes.
- Remove from freezer and line the crust with parchment, fill it with pie weights or dried beans, and bake it for 15 minutes more.
- Remove the parchment and pie weights and bake the crust for 5 minutes more, or until the bottom loses its raw-dough sheen.
- Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan, whisk together both sugars, the cornstarch, and salt.
- Add the cream, milk, Bailey's Irish Cream, and vanilla, and whisk over medium-low heat until the sugar has melted.
- Increase the heat to medium high, continuously stirring, until the mixture thickens.
- Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust and dot the top with butter and sprinkle it with nutmeg.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the pie is set and golden brown.