Happy Pi(es) Day!

And my Hamilton obsession, but first, pies!

I think Pi Day is my favorite made up food holiday, because it appeals to my inner nerd, and also, because pie. I especially love that so many other people love to celebrate it too! Last year I was in New York City for Pi Day, and I went with my friend to a Pi Day party, featuring an assortment from esteemed pie bakery Four & Twenty Blackbirds, and we brought a couple of apple pies from McDonald's. As a joke, yes, but still, how could they compare? So this year I decided to correct my one-year younger self with a redo, in the form of these homemade apple pies a la Mickey D's. I used my Grandmother's apple pie recipe that I fell in love with a couple years ago at Thanksgiving as a starting point. I used packaged pie dough, which is usually a no-no for me but I was trying to keep the spirit of the fast food version, so I went with it, and I have to say, this is the flakiest pie dough I've tried in a long time. Pastry goals to work toward, I suppose. These pies are cute, and tasty, and way better than that fast food version. And Grandma, don't worry, I didn't forget the egg white!

Ok, that's out of the way, so, while we are on the subject of all-American things like apple pie, can we talk about Hamilton now?

My best friend has been telling me to listen to it for months, and I finally did, and it's been my whole life for 5 days. I mean, it really is the best thing I’ve heard in a long time. Hip hop and history in a musical? There is a freaking rap battle about establishing a central bank! It really shouldn’t work, and yet I’ve fallen in love with the songs and the rhymes and the petty bloodthirstiness of George III, who I’m copying in all my valentines cards next year. The men are brilliant and flawed and full of themselves. The women are amazing and will break your heart. It’s hilarious and educational and I love it. I’ve laughed out loud walking down the street and cried at my desk at work (seriously don’t listen to the last few songs in public), and I can’t wait for it to come to SF.

I’m really excited about these apple pies, but I’m more excited about Hamilton right now. Go listen to it, then make these!

Apple Pie Bars

Makes 10-12 small pies

1 package pre-made pie dough (with dough for 2 crusts)
1 large granny smith apples, peeled and diced small
1 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 egg white

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment.
  2. Combine apple, sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt and stir together. 
  3. Trim edges of each circle of pie dough so that you have two large rectangles. Cut each rectangle in half across the center and then cut each half into 4 equal rectangles. You should have 16 equally sized rectangles of dough. Roll out dough scraps and repeat. You should be able to get at least 6 more rectangles.
  4. Wet the edges of half of the dough rectangles with water, and place diced apple in the middle of each. Top with remaining dough rectangles and press to seal. Crimp edges with a fork. 
  5. With a sharp knife, cut three slashes in the tops of each pie and brush the tops with the egg white.
  6. Bake 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.