It’s March 14, 2016, also known as Rounded Pi Day. Chances of me ever eating six pies for a Snacktaku video again are incredibly slim, so here’s a replay of last year’s Ultimate Pi Day celebration for your dining pleasure.
Originally posted 3/14/15
It’s March 14, 2015, the last day the U.S. date will align with the first five digits of pi until 2115. If that’s not cause for celebration, then I’d probably just find some other reason to review six of the best pies the U.S. has to offer. I’m dedicated like that.
What kind of horrible snackologist lets Pi Day pass every year without partaking of that sublime marriage of crust and filling that’s been chosen to represent the mathematical constant based on both standard shape and homonym status? Sure it’s a little silly and incredibly commercial. People are telling us to eat pies. How can those be bad people?
In order to facilitate a proper holiday celebration, I turned to our friends at Goldbely.com, the website that curates the most famous dishes in the country, from ice cream to sausage sandwiches to birds stuffed in other birds. Shipping food isn’t cheap, but it’s sure cheaper than the plane tickets or gas it would take to visit all the spots I mark on the map when I watch the Food Network.
As you can see, Pi Day fever is currently in full swing at Goldbely, which made it easy to procure amazing baked goods from Florida, Montana, Connecticut, Texas and New York.
Some might say reviewing pies that have already won multiple awards created by bakers who’ve won even more is a waste of time—obviously they must be pretty spectacular. I say my hours are never wasted on pie. I think of my poor colleague Brian Ashcraft, trapped in the traditional pie-less hell of Japan. He’d want me to eat these. Were he alive today—which he is—I’m sure he’d say “Of course I’m alive, Fahey. You should probably eat that pie.”
And so I did. For Ashcraft. Also my stomach .
Bring On The Pies
Crack Pie (Special Pi Day Edition) — Momofuku Milk Bar, Brooklyn, New York
When I told Evan Narcisse I had acquired a Crack Pie from Momofuku, his words to me were “It’s been nice knowing you.” Had my unfettered access to this pie continued, they would have been prophetic. Thankfully my wife threw herself on the pie, saving me from a horrible fate.
A simple concoction of butter, sugar, eggs, cream and other household ingredients resting gracefully in an oat cookie crust, the Crack Pie is aptly named. After eating it I was shaking, incoherent and for some reason the tips of my fingers were stained yellow.
It’s like a creamie blondie, sweet but not cloying, dense but not overwhelming. To think that all of the things that go into making one of these are in my kitchen right now makes me want to order another one. My kitchen is scary.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Pie — Mike’s Pies, Tampa Florida
Speaking from experience, it’s incredibly easy to screw up a peanut butter pie. The desire to put as much of the titular ingredient as possible into the mix is strong, and too much peanut butter and you’re dancing on the heels of the candy cup’s shoes, and no one needs a Reese’s Cup that big.
Mike’s Pies nails the perfect balance here. The filling is light and fluffy, with a taste that starts subtle and builds mellifluously in one’s mouth, rather than punching you in the mouth with its nuts.
Even with the chocolate cookie crust, the caramel and chocolate ganache swirls and the chunks of real Reese’s cups on top, it’s never too much. If this pie didn’t require refrigeration shortly after filming, it would be gone and my stomach would be confused.
Starry Triple Berry Mini-Pies — Elle’s Belles Bakery, Bozeman Montana
I am a bigger berry fan than ever before having eaten one of Elle’s Belles’ Triple Berry Mini-Pies. Yes, I said one, which is okay because they’re small. These petite-yet-deep, star-stamped beauties are meant for two people, or one person at night and again for breakfast.
It’s okay, because inside that sugar-sparkled crust are fresh Montana blueberries, blackberries and raspberries—so fresh they taste like they’ve been plucked from the vine and stuffed in a pie, only better than that, because they’re also delightfully sweet.
Everything about the Starry Triple Berry Mini-Pies is whimsical, from the decorations and size to the way they crumble apart on the plate, to the lovely brown paper package they’re wrapped in, complete with a handwritten “Thank You!” No, thank you.
Chocolate Pecan Bourbon Pie — Michele’s Pies, Norwalk Connecticut
Having won 27 National Pie Championships, Michele of Michele’s Pies doesn’t really have to answer to anyone when it comes to the quality of her creations. She could make a shrimp and frosting pie and people would have to enjoy it on principle.
Luckily she made this Chocolate Pecan Bourbon pie instead. The very first of her award-winning creations, this dark and rich nut pie oozes the warmth you can only get via copious amounts of delicious, nutritious bourbon.
It’s a dark and mysterious pie that answers to no man. I been asking it questions all night, and not a peep.
Sour Cherry Pie — Bubby’s Pie Company, New York
Don’t let the name fool you. Or do. Really it’s up to you how name’s affect you. I’m not your dad.
Packed with four pounds of Michigan sour cherries, which apparently hold their form in a pie much better that regular cherries, Bubby’s sour cherry pie is the perfect tool for converting the apple pie faithful to a fruit that’s red all the way through. My most recent dalliances with cherry pies having either used canned fruit or came in a box with Hostess on it, this magnificent beast is a real eye-opener.
See that slice? Notice how nothing is oozing out of the sides onto the plate? That’s all cherry meat, and yes I am using that term because it kind of looks like something out of a low-budget horror film. If only all horror films tasted this good.
Man, those food analogy classes are really paying off.
Texas Trash Pie — Royers Round Top Cafe, Round Top Texas
If I had eaten Bud “The Pieman” Royer’s Texas Trash Pie first instead of last, you wouldn’t be reading this article. One bote of the super-dense combination of pretzels, coconut, chocolate, graham crackers and caramel and I would have fallen into a pie-induced coma.
Luckily I was so stuffed by the end of my journey I had to pace myself.
This is technically a pie, but really it’s a candy bar in a mercifully light crust. Every chew is a new texture, a different combination of flavors. Every chew also lasts a good minute. Maybe two.
It’s delicious, but I found myself questioning whether or not this amalgam of sweetness counted as a pie. Then it put me in a headlock and I slept for five hours.
The Perfect Ultimate Pi Day?
Oh, god no.
Don’t get me wrong—this was a glorious exercise in pie indulgence, oozing with some of the most fantastic flavors ever to grace my tongue. But as much as I appreciate Goldbely.com’s efforts to bury me in pie for this festive holiday, what I’ve learned from this experience is that I prefer to remain monogamous to filled crusts.
Any one of these six would have been a perfect Pi Day party. More people would have helped, sure, but even with a crowd I’d still feel compelled to taste them all, and that way lies madness. Madness and naps. It’s pretty much the same as if you’d invited six dates out for Valentine’s Day, only it... I should just stop there.
Happy Ultimate Pi Day, everyone. See you back here in 2115.