Whether you’re a baker, math nerd or just a straight up hungry person, today is a day worthy of celebration. It’s Pi Day. The annual observance of the mathematical constant π (pi), who’s first three digits are 3.14 ( = March 14).
So of course, the best way to celebrate Pi Day is by making, eating and sharing actual pies. Right?
Did you know that I basically spent all of my 20’s in either a research laboratory or a classroom? Yup, it’s true. I was busy getting my PhD in Biochemistry, and then later completing a post-doctoral fellowship in Cancer Biology. And I was blinding men with my scientific prowess left and right (not really, but a girl can dream). Full on goggles and lab coat and all that good stuff. So as a bona fide science dork turned food blogger, Pi Day hits home for me on so many levels. Thus, it’s a day that I couldn’t let pass without some recognition.
As much as I love desserts, I must admit that pie is never really my go-to. I’m much more of a cake and ice cream kind of gal. So for my Pi Day inspiration, I asked my Mom for some help. She sent me a rhubarb and berry pie recipe that she had torn out from the pages of a 2001 issue of Better Homes and Gardens. It’s a recipe that she’s made successfully dozens of times over the years. And with some early season rhubarb in hand, I decided it would be a good one to adapt for today’s post.
The original recipe is for a full pie. But I flipped the script and turn it into individual hand pies instead. Because who doesn’t love cute little hand pies?!?!
Because these hand pies don’t take as long to bake as a full sized pie, I pre-cooked the filling ingredients on the stove top for a few minutes. This also helps to get rid of some of the excess juices from the fruits, so the hand pies come out with a wonderfully flakey crust that isn’t mushy at all. The filling is almost jam-like, and these Rhubarb-Berry Hand Pies with Chocolate kind of remind me of a Pop-Tart, which were a childhood favorite of mine.
The buttermilk pie crust recipe is from Joy the Baker. It’s hands down my favorite pie crust recipe ever. I can’t imagine ever needing another one. If you’ve ever made pie dough before, I’m sure you’re familiar with the phrase “pea-sized pieces of butter”. This is the size of butter that most recipes will tell you to aim for as you work the butter into the dry ingredients. I actually find this to be misleading. You want the butter to be pea-sized by the END of making/shaping the dough. Not during the middle of the process. Because as you work the dough, the butter pieces will just keep getting smaller and smaller. So I aim for kidney bean-sized pieces of butter, which by the end will be reduced in size closer to that of a pea. Does that make sense?
To make sure all my hand pies were the same size, I actually created a template with a piece of paper and used that as a guide to cut out the rectangles of dough. You certainly don’t have to be that fussy, but I wouldn’t be my overly obsessive scientific self if I didn’t go the extra mile to make them all evenly sized. Using a 4 X 5-inch template, I was able to cut out 14 rectangles, giving me a total of seven hand pies. If you need more pies, just make and use a smaller template.
The final ingredient worth mentioning here is the chocolate. I added chopped dark chocolate to the filling, which melts into deliciously decadent little pockets of goodness during baking. And for the finishing touch, I channeled Jackson Pollock and drizzled some melted chocolate over top. Personally, I LOVE chocolate paired with fruit. But if you’re a purest either way, you can leave it out.
Happy Pi Day! I hope you all get the chance to celebrate!
This post was originally published here on March 6, 2015. I’ve since updated the photos and text to better showcase how deliciously decadent these little desserts really are!
St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner. And even though I’m not Irish, I like to celebrate this very special day in the best way that I know how. By using an ungodly amount of Irish cream, Irish whiskey and/or stout beer in my kitchen.
Go big or go home. Right?
I sure do hope that you’re on board with this plan. Because today I want to talk about this supremely decadent Baileys Chocolate Mousse with Whiskey Caramel Sauce and Whipped Cream. I’m feeling all the feels over these babies. And I have an inkling that you’re going to love them, too!
So let me just mention right away that these little triple-layer desserts are no-bake. Yes. It’s true. Absolutely no ovens are required to make these babies. Which is pretty darn awesome. And kind of a safety requirement, too. Because we probably shouldn’t operate our ovens while using (= drinking) all of the above alcohols. It’s just common sense.
The base for these desserts is an adaptation on this blender chocolate mousse recipe from Food52 that I’ve been making for a couple of years now. All you have to do is toss the ingredients into your blender and whiz everything together into creamy, dreamy oblivion. Seriously, it couldn’t be any easier. The addition of the Irish cream just takes it even more over the top.
The mousse takes a couple of hours to set up. But during that time you can get to work preparing the homemade caramel sauce and whipped cream. Both of which contain a little splash of Irish whiskey. A very good idea, if I do say so myself.
So even though I’m not Irish, I certainly feel like it when I’m eating this Baileys Chocolate Mousse with Whiskey Caramel Sauce and Whipped Cream. And I think that’s a pretty good compromise.
Do you want more boozy St. Patrick’s Day themed desserts? Then check out my Guinness Popsicles with Irish Cream Soaked Brownies!