This frivolous holiday is coming along at just the right time - instead of panic buying, let’s stay home and bake! It’s Pi Day, after all, a celebration of all things round. If you have children at home too (since so many schools are closing), the pastry is endlessly versatile. It might be a grubby, overworked little lump at the end of the session, but think of it as disposable playdough.
Here is my mother-in-law’s foolproof crust recipe:
Measure six tablespoons of chilled water into a cup, and add one tablespoonful at a time through the funnel while the pastry is mixing, holding back the last spoonful to see if it is needed. When the pastry makes a lump, it’s ready. Form it into two round patties, and chill for about half an hour, then it’s ready to roll.
As for the filling, anything goes! My favorite might be stargazy pie just because of the name - a ring of pilchards with their eyes raised to heaven, very memorable.
Savory pies make a whole meal. I favor chicken pot pies with no bottom crust, just a lid, nothing could be more simple. Remember to glaze it with a beaten egg for the most tempting color - there really is no substitute.
Note my secret ingredient for fruit pies: 3 parts roasted almonds, ground with 2 parts sugar and one part flour. It soaks up juice and stops the pastry getting soggy.
And what better way to indulge round baked creations than on a round table? Round tables are accommodating and friendly, they can take odd numbers and no-one is left marooned at a corner, so we have added round tablecloths to our offerings. And don’t forget some napkins!
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