Kitchen Creations

Thursday, March 15, 2012

How To Celebrate Pi Day!

Yesterday was one of my favorite days of the year.  I love 3/14 because it is "Pi" Day (3.14) and also Albert Einstein's birthday.  I have long planned for the day when I can have a "Pi" party on 3/14 beginning at 1:59 in the afternoon.  A friend expounded on that and came up with the perfect day to have an epic "pi" celebration, 3/14/15 beginning at 9 o'clock. A few more interesting "Pi" facts; MIT has been known to send out its acceptance letters on this date and mathematicians in Tokyo have calculated pi to 1.24 trillion digits!  I love this kind of stuff!  What can I say, I'm a complete nerd and proud of it!  What more could you expect from the daughter of a math teacher and the wife of a biology teacher?  Well all of the "pi love" means that the day has to be commemorated and celebrated!  So in honor of "pi" day what do you eat???  Why PIE of course!  I took it all the way last night with a delicious looking new recipe from my "Complete Vegetarian" cookbook (published by Hermes House) called Filo Vegetable Pie.  I have to say that I made quite a few changes.  I'd like to say it was because of my culinary expertise and exquisite taste.  In reality it was because I couldn't find everything in the store that the recipe called for.  Either way, it was GOOD stuff and oh so gorgeous!!   For dessert we topped it off with mini gingered peach pies.  I got this idea from Pinterest.  I made the pies in muffin tins.  So adorable and fun!  
Here is our dessert! Cute huh?

Pi day may only come once a year, but you can get your Pie on any day of the year with these fun and delicious recipes!!!

Filo Vegetable Pie   
Isn't this gorgeous?!  I can't believe I made this!
  • 2 bunches of green onions, chopped (original recipe called for 3 leeks, but the grocery store only had 1 very sad looking leek left, so I improvised)
  • 4-5 Tbsp butter
  • 1 1/4 cups carrots, cubed
  • 3 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup Brussels sprouts quartered (Really good, but next time I'm going to do 1/2 broccoli and 1/2 Brussels sprouts)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese (I used 1/3 fat nuefchatel)
  • 1/2 cup cheese (the original recipe called for Roquefort or Stilton - I loathe Stilton cheese and I had cheddar on hand so I used that.)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk  (original recipe called for 2/3 cup of heavy cream but I substituted the sour cream & milk)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 small-medium sized apples, peeled, cored and cubed
  • 1 cup cashew nuts or pine nuts, toasted (One expensive dish with pine nuts, so I went with cashew nuts)
  • 12 oz frozen filo pastry, defrosted (Also couldn't find this so I used egg roll wrappers.  Next time I WILL use filo because the texture will be much flakier, but this turned out beautifully too.)
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Wash and slice green onions (or leeks if you are using them  - for leeks be sure to place them into a colander and wash thoroughly.  They hide dirt everywhere inside their layers!!  Break them apart with your fingers to get all the dirt out. )
  • Cube carrots
  • Heat 1 Tbsp. butter in a large pan over medium heat.  Saute carrots and onions/leeks for 5 minutes. 
  • Add in mushrooms, sprouts (and/or broccoli) and garlic and cook for another 2 minutes
  • Transfer vegetables to a large bowl to cool.
  • Whisk together cream cheese, your choice of cheese, sour cream & milk together in a bowl.  Add in eggs, whisk and season with salt and pepper.

  • Pour the cheese and egg mixture over the vegetables.
  • Add in cubed apples and toasted nuts and mix.

  • Melt the remaining butter.  Brush the inside of a 9 inch spring-form cake tin with melted butter.

  • Brush 2/3 of your filo pastry sheets with butter, one at a time and use them to line the inside of the spring-form pan.  Be sure to overlap the sheets so there are no gaps.

  • Spoon the vegetable mixture into the filo covered pan. 

  • Fold over the edges toward the center.
  • Brush remaining filo sheets with butter and slice them into strips.  Cover the surface of the pie with these strips.  Arrange them across the uncovered spaced.  Decorate here!!

  • Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and crispy all over. (It took about 45 minutes for the egg roll wrappers, might be less for the filo.  I set it for 35 and then added by 5 minute increments, watching it carefully in those last 10 minutes.)

  • Let the pie stand for 5 minutes after removing it from the oven.  Then carefully remove the spring-form sides.  **If you are really brave you can try to transfer it from the base to a serving plate.  I was not that brave.
  • Enjoy your masterpiece!!!
Click here for printable version

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