Pi Week: Danny Pink’s Parent’s Night Pi(e)
You have to respect a man so comfortable with his masculinity that he wears shirts the same color as his name. In honor of full time maths teacher and part time reluctant companion Danny Pink, on Pi Day I present you with a Pink Pi Pie.
Whether you’re rushing to make something for the school fete after Parent’s Night or rushing to save a group of innocent kids from yet another damn monster in London, you can throw this easy pie together in no time and still look like you’re completely in control.
Pi Week: Danny Pink’s Parent’s Night Pi(e)
Series 8, Episode 6, Story 246
- 1 sheet thawed puff pastry
- 8 eggs, separated
- ½ cup /100 g sugar
- 2 cups/ 8 oz/225 g fresh or frozen strawberries
- 2 tbsp butter, softened
- 2 tbsp flour
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 cup/225 ml whole milk
- 2 fresh plums
- OPTIONAL: ½ cup/100 g chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 350F/180C.
You’re busy. You don’t have time for pie crusts. Luckily, a sheet of store bought puff pastry makes the perfect substitute for a pie that already tastes a lot like home made strawberry custard.
Spritz your favorite pie pan with nonstick spray and spread the puff pastry inside it. Once you trim away any extra edges you’re ready to make the filling.
Separate your eggs. The whites are going to add some air and lift to this pie, but before we deal with them, we’ve got a lot of flavor to cram into the yolks.
Grab a big bowl with lots of splash room. Add the egg yolks and sugar, then attack them with a hand mixer until the mix turns a creamy yellow. Yes, you can absolutely mutter “Ex-ter-mi-nate” while working. I’d be disappointed if you didn’t.
While your eggs and sugar are undergoing violent transformations, toss your strawberries in a blender. If you’re using fresh ones, make sure to cut the stems and leaves off first. If you’re using frozen, you’ll want to thaw them out (I won’t tell if you use the microwave) first. The berries are going to both flavor and color our pink pie.
Once your sugary eggs are light and creamy, pour in the blended strawberries, softened butter, kosher salt, flour, and juice of one lemon. Keep beating until you have a uniform pink paste. Now turn the beater down to low and mix in the whole milk. If you keep going at high speed, you’ll end up with pink paste in everything but your pie pan.
Rinse off the beaters and grab another bowl. It’s time to turn those egg whites into a meringue. Crank your hand mixer to high and wait and wait and wait until the egg whites transform from a sticky liquid into a fluffy solid. When they reach soft peaks, turn off the mixer and oh so gently fold a quarter of the meringue at a time into your strawberry blend.
At this point, you have a decision to make. Do you want to add a handful of chocolate chips to the bottom of the pie crust for a little extra decadence, or are you in more of a pure strawberries and cream mood? Neither answer is wrong.
Finally, pour the filling into the crust. Bake at 350F/180C for 25-30 minutes or until the custard has set and the middle is just barely wobbly.
While you’re waiting, slice up your plums. You’ll notice that once you remove the stone, the slices all make a gently curved C shape that’s perfect for certain mathematical symbols. Fill the rest of your time waiting for the pie to bake by arranging different plum slices until you find three that look the most like Pi.
If you put the fruit on top of the pie before baking, it will promptly sink below the surface of the custard, never to be seen again. That’s tasty, but we’re looking for effect here. Therefore, as soon as you pull the pie from the oven, carefully place your three Pi shaped plum slices in the middle. They’ll immediately sink into the hot surface. So everyone gets a bit of plum, arrange the rest of your slices around the perimeter, as though they’re worshiping at the altar of math.
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