HAPPY PI DAY!!!!!
As I'm sure you've heard, today is Pi day. You probably also know that this year is EXTRA special because it is March 14, 2015, or 3.1415. This will not happen again for another hundred years! Though some people argue that March 14, 2016 is a more accurate 'Pi' day because you can round up 3.141592 to 3.146.
FUN FACTS ABOUT π:
-π is the ratio of a circle's circumference C to its diameter d. This ratio is constant regardless of the size of a circle.
-The earliest use of π was found on a clay tablet from Babylon dated between 1900 - 1600 BC. They calculated π to be 3.125.
-It has been theorized that rivers bend to π!! Referred to as sinuosity, the way a river bends can be found by the length of it's winding path divided by its distance to its source and mouth, measured with a straight line. First published on March 22, 1996 in Science, the theory states that on average, most rivers have a sinuosity of 3.14. Due to the lack of scientific data to prove this theory, Pi me a River was developed to use crowd sourced data to see if it was true! Out of 275 rivers, the average sinuosity is actually about 1.916 and not 3.14159. Due to the fact that the data was crowd sourced and there are some rivers with many different sources, often debated, the average sinuosity might not be 100% accurate. This is a real time debate, so stay tuned for more information.
Also remarkable; PIE. Or pies.
I made two pies to celebrate PI day!
One was a Peanut Butter Banana pie. The recipe comes from Collards & Carbonara - Southern Cooking, Italian Roots, written by the chefs of Hog & Hominy; Michael Hudman and Andy Ticer.
IT WAS SO GOOD!! (And so bad, health wise.) Since I didn't have a couple of the ingredients, it took me forever to make so I did not keep track of ingredients and measurements different from what is in the recipe!
The second one I made, was a Coffee S'mores Pie. DELICIOUS CITY. It should probably be named Mocha S'mores Pie because the blend of coffee and chocolate is more mocha-ey than coffee-ey (pretty sure neither of those are actual words). DELICIOUS CITY. The recipe is very approachable, no baking required. Plus, I got to use my kitchen torch. Win win.
Next time I make it, I am going to try to use marshmallows. I love burnt marshmallows, and even though the meringue was delicious, it wasn't the same!
Graham Cracker Crust
- 9 whole graham crackers, ground finely in a food processor
- 1/3 – ½ cup rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- 1 ounce semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, melted
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 12 ounces semisweet/bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2' cubes
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons finely ground coffee beans
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/3 cup sugar
- Graham Cracker Crust: Put graham crackers and rolled oats in food processor and pulse until finely ground. Next add the almond butter along with the melted butter and chocolate. Pulse again until mixture is incorporated. Pour mixture into pie pan and press along the bottom and sides. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Coffee Ganache: Place chocolate and butter in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream, coffee, and two tablespoons of water to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let mixture steep for 3 – 5 minutes. Strain coffee cream mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into the bowl with the chocolate and butter. Throw the leftover coffee grounds away (OR SAVE THEM FOR YOUR COMPOST!!). Stir mixture until the chocolate is melted and ganache is smooth. Pour into chilled crust, smooth if needed. Chill pie for at least one hour.
- Meringue: Beat egg whites in a medium sized bowl with an electric mixer. When the egg whites are light and frothy, add sugar in four separate additions. Beat for one minute after each addition. Continue beating egg whites until they are a solid white and leave little peaks when you take the beaters out of the mixture. Spoon mixture over the ganache, and swirl with a spatula. To achieve toasted marshmallow effect, use a kitchen torch until the meringue is golden brown in spots. Keep chilled!