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Celebrate Pi Day on March 14 with pie and fun

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March 14 is Pi Day, a day to celebrate the unique number known as "Pi," a number which represents the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.

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The constant number is represented by the Greek letter Pi. Pi Day is celebrated in math classes everywhere with fun activities.

Although often shortened to 3.14 for use in math problems, Pi is an irrational and transcendental number which has been calculated to over one trillion digits and will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern, according to the Pi Day website.

Pi Day celebrations may include fun math activities and the eating of your favorite pie. At Randolph College in Lynchburg, Va., this year's Science Festival begins on Pi Day with a 3.14 mile Pi Run on March 14, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. in Wildcat Stadium.

All who finish the free run/walk will receive a free t-shirt and celebrate with a slice of pie. If you're having a Pi Day celebration at home, Pillsbury can help with these pie recipes.

Triple Berry Pi Day Pie

3 refrigerated pie crusts (from 2 boxes Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crusts), softened as directed on box
1 cup sugar
5 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups fresh or frozen (thawed and drained) blackberries
2 cups fresh or frozen (thawed and drained) raspberries
2 cups fresh or frozen (thawed and drained) blueberries
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons sugar

Heat oven to 450°F. Unroll 1 crust in ungreased 9-inch glass pie plate. Press crust firmly against side and bottom. Trim along edge. Set aside.

Unroll 1 crust on work surface. Using small number-shaped cutters, cut out numerals representing pi to as many digits as desired (for example, 3.14159265). Set aside.

In large bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, the cornstarch, tapioca and salt; gently toss with berries. Let stand 15 minutes. Spoon into crust-lined pie plate.

Unroll 1 crust on work surface. Using small sharp knife, cut pi symbol in center of crust. Place crust over filling. Wrap excess top crust under bottom crust edge. Press edges together to seal; flute. Brush crust with milk; arrange numerals around edge of crust. Sprinkle crust with 2 teaspoons sugar.

Place pie on middle oven rack; place large cookie sheet on rack below pie plate in case of spillover. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Cover edge of crust with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning. Bake 40 to 45 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Let stand 2 hours before serving.

Perfect Apple Pie

1 box Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box

6 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples (6 medium)
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Heat oven to 425°F. Place 1 pie crust in ungreased 9-inch glass pie plate. Press firmly against side and bottom.

In large bowl, gently mix filling ingredients; spoon into crust-lined pie plate. Top with second crust. Wrap excess top crust under bottom crust edge, pressing edges together to seal; flute. Cut slits or shapes in several places in top crust.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown. Cover edge of crust with 2- to 3-inch wide strips of foil after first 15 to 20 minutes of baking to prevent excessive browning. Cool on cooling rack at least 2 hours before serving.

Strawberries and Cream Pie

1 box Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup whipping cream
2 pints (4 cups) strawberries

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon shortening

Heat oven to 450°F. Make pie crust as directed on box for One-Crust Baked Shell using 9-inch glass pie pan or 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom. If using tart pan, trim edge if necessary. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

In large bowl with electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar and almond extract until well blended.

In small bowl with electric mixer, beat whipping cream on high speed until soft peaks form. Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture. Spoon into cooled baked shell.

Arrange strawberries, pointed side up, over cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate while preparing garnish.

In 1-quart saucepan, melt chocolate chips and shortening over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. Drizzle over strawberries and cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until set. Store in refrigerator.

You'll find many more pie recipes at the Pillsbury website. Whether you celebrate the day with math problems, a Pi Run or eating pie, Happy Pi Day.



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