Happy Pi Day!! As a math teacher this is one of my favorite days of the year. For starters we basically have a big Party all day. We have circular treats, learn why Pi is so sweet, and sing Pi songs. For those of you not so mathematically inclined, the number Pi can be found by dividing the circumference of any circle by its diameter. So it’s approximately 3.14, and since today is March 14th (3/14) we celebrate Pi day!! The number is the same for every circle, no matter how large or small. It’s also the same for pies, no matter how large or small. I prefer small pies. I’ve never made pie before, but I thought today would be a perfect day. Pi pie! This is just a basic fruit pie recipe, but for miniature pies. It’s pretty easy to make these, especially if you use pre-made pie crusts. You can get as fancy as you want with the cut outs, I made some special Pi day cutouts. And even though this pie will probably enlarge my circumference, it’s going to be worth it. 😉
- 3 cups of fruit (I used blackberries and raspberries)
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch
- pinch of cinnamon
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp melted butter
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a muffin tin with cooking spray.
- Roll out dough and use a cookie cutter or a glass to cut circular pieces about 4 inches in diameter.
Making the crust.
- Place circles into prepared muffin tin and gently press down.
- Make filling by stirring the fruit, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, lemon juice, and butter in a medium sized bowl.
Blackberries and Raspberries
- Spoon filling into the muffin tin. Be sure not to overfill.
This is too full.
- Create tops for the mini pies. Here’s where you can get creative. Just be sure you make at least a slit in the top of the pies.
- Brush the tops of the pies with an egg wash (one egg slightly beaten with a Tbsp of water)
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tops are golden brown.
Again before baking, they looked much better.
I totally overfilled these. They did not turn out as good-looking as I would have liked, but they tasted great. I used a mixture of raspberries and blackberries, and I really liked it. I did have a lot of filling left over. Next time I’ll make a little less. I recommend cutting the fruit up before you stir it up. That is unless you like really big chunks of fruit in your pie. I also used a 4 inch diameter glass and I think 5 or 6 would have been better. The crust only came about half way up the muffin tin, so it was difficult to crimp the tops to the sides of the crust. But I did really like the flavor. They were pretty tart, but I like them that way. Try with your own combo’s of fruit, and happy Pi eating!!
“What’s for dinner?” The age old question often asked daily in most households. In my apartment, especially on the weekends, it’s usually “What’s for breakfast?” During the week I’m rushing around trying to get ready for work. I don’t think that once in my five years of teaching I’ve actually made breakfast before going to work. Breakfast generally consists of a granola bar during my prep period or in the car on the way too work. Since this is the case on the weekends I like to go all out for breakfast. The problem is, since I don’t make/fix breakfast during the week, I don’t have stuff in my apartment to make/fix breakfast on the weekends. But this weekend I actually thought ahead, sort of. I’ve been wanting to make French Toast casserole for a while, but I rarely have bread in my apartment to do so. I typically don’t buy a lot of bread products A) They’re pretty high in calories B) They usually go stale before I can eat them. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE bread products. I could and would eat an entire loaf of french crusty bread. So good. But again, high calorie content, and I’m trying to cut back, so I don’t keep them in my apartment. So this weekend I actually thought hey, while I’m at the store, I’ll get some bread for French Toast Casserole. I found a great sourdough loaf on sale in the day-old section. The trick with this casserole is that you make it the night before. It’s really easy to make, but you just have to remember to actually construct it the night before. In the past when I’ve made French Toast Casseroles they’ve been either too dry, or too mushy, almost like a bread pudding. I’m not a big fan of bread pudding, so I thought I would try a new recipe. I found this one through a google search and the recipe was easy to read on my phone so I tried it. (www.tablespoon.com) The recipe I found makes 12 servings in a 9 x 13 pan. I cut the recipe by a fourth and used a 9 x 9 square pan. Next time I might even try to half it and use a loaf pan or something smaller. Ideally I’d like to use this roasting pan I have for my toaster oven and then only use a fourth of the recipe. That way I’d have two lovely servings for moi. But I recommend using this recipe for a family brunch or even Easter (it’s coming up).
- 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, melted
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 loaf brioche or challah
- 8 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 cup pecans, measured then chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- (optional) powdered sugar and maple syrup for topping
- In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and melted butter. Pour on the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish.
- Arrange slices of bread in the baking dish, overlapping if necessary.
- Combine milk, eggs, vanilla, salt, cinnamon and ginger in a bowl and pour evenly over bread slices.
- Sprinkle chopped pecans over the bread slices.
- Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 4-12 hours.
- In the morning, take the casserole out of the fridge for at least ten minutes while the oven preheats to 350°
- Bake casserole for 30-35 minutes. If top starts browning too quickly, place foil loosely over the top of the casserole for the last ten minutes of baking. You want to cook it long enough to make sure the bottom part is cooked but don’t dry it out completely. Also don’t undercook or it will be mushy
- Remove casserole from oven and let cool slightly before serving. Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar and a drizzle of maple syrup.
I did not use brioche or challah. I used sourdough and I thought it was delicious. Also I didn’t slice the bread. I like my French Toast Casserole better when the bread is torn into pieces. They can be large pieces, but I think this makes for a better consistency. I would think the pecans could be omitted. First of all they’re expensive!! I just happened to have some leftover from another recipe. I love pecans though, and thought they were great on this casserole. Overall it’s super easy to make. Highly recommend this dish for your next breakfast.