Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

NAIT's pie crust recipe (for Pi Day and everyday)

𝝅 for a pie 

There are two ways to impress your friends and family on Pi Day, March 14, the annual celebration of 𝝅, the mathematical constant that represents the ratio of a circle's diameter to its circumference.

You could memorize and recite the irrational number, which has no end and no repeating pattern, to 100 decimal places. Here it is:

3 . 1 4 1 5 9 2 6 5 3 5 8 9 7 9 3 2 3 8 4 6 2 6 4 3 3 8 3 2 7 9 5 0 2 8 8 4 1 9 7 1 6 9 3 9 9 3 7 5 1 0 5 8 2 0 9 7 4 9 4 4 5 9 2 3 0 7 8 1 6 4 0 6 2 8 6 2 0 8 9 9 8 6 2 8 0 3 4 8 2 5 3 4 2 1 1 7 0 6 7 9

Or, you could impress those same friends and family by making them a pie, which involves much tastier fractions. To help, here are the pie crust recipes used in NAIT's Baking and Pastry Arts program (they'll be sturdy enough for any filling you want).

Chances are, at the end of the day (Pi Day, that is), you're the only one who will remember those 101 digits. A great pie, however, will not be so easily forgotten.

apple pie with criss-cross crust topping

Pie dough, using butter  

Yields two 8-inch pies

Ingredients

  • 3 cups pastry flour
  • 1 tsp salt       
  • 1 cup cold butter
  • ½ cup cold water
                                

Method

  1. Dissolve salt in water.
  2. Blend butter with flour until the pieces are around the size of peas.
  3. Add water mixture and mix until just incorporated.
  4. Form a ball with the dough and flatten slightly. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Use as desired.


Pie dough, using vegetable shortening

Yields two 8-inch pies

Ingredients

  • 3 cups pastry flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ cup cold vetable shortening
  • ½ cup + 3 tbsp cold water

​                           
Method                       

  1. Dissolve salt in water.
  2. Blend shortening with flour until piece are around the size of peas.
  3. Add water mixture and mix until just incorporated.
  4. Form a ball with the dough and flatten slightly. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Use as desired.


Banner image by DebbiSmirnoff/istockphoto.com


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