March 14th, 2012
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

It's an all-out pie palooza because March 14 is National Pi(e) Day!

Clever you, you've already figured out that today's date, 3/14, also corresponds to a famous mathematical constant you learned in school: 3.14, also known as pi. So it would stand to reason that today of all days is a great day to celebrate something of a similar name, pie.

In 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives agreed that yes, America, we should have a Pi Day, although it was celebrated beginning in 1988 at the San Francisco Exploratorium. The staff and visitors would march about a circular space and eat fruit pies.

What's the usual way of celebrating Pi Day? Why indulging in your favorite pie and talking about the relevance of pi, of course! Pie eating contests are also welcome, or you can even make a pie with the pi symbol on it like our iReporters.

If this is all a little too geeky for comfort, why not make a double apple pie (with a cornmeal crust) just because it's Pi(e) Day! You've never had a better excuse.

We reached out to our ever-innovative team of iReporters to see what they were baking up in celebration.

Key lime pie (and 200 digits of pi)
Lulis Leal of New York City says her favorite pie is, "the amazing world-famous key lime pie from Blue Heaven in Key West, Florida."

She says, "Their key lime pies are the perfect combination of creamy, tangy and sweet - piled ridiculously high with a wonderful, light and airy meringue on a perfect graham cracker crust. My husband and I love it so much that we had it as our wedding "cake" when we had our wedding celebration in Key West, and we always enjoy going back to Blue Heaven for more!"

She also filmed herself reciting the first 200 digits of pi from memory. She says math was always a favorite subject of hers and thinks people should celebrate Pi Day. "I think it's a fun day that encourages kids to get more involved in mathematics and have fun with it."

Peanut butter chocolate mousse pie
Cat Troiano, a freelance writer and avid cook in Yaphank, New York, shared a peanut butter chocolate mousse pie with salted peanuts, dark chocolate and coarsely chopped peanut butter cups, a recipe she developed last summer based on "one of the most sublime pies" she and her husband ever had, at a resort in Saint Thomas.

She says she had never heard of Pi Day before she stumbled across this assignment. "Since I have had a lifelong sweet tooth, I will have no problem at all with commemorating the occasion by baking at least one pie and savoring every last bite."

Apple and pear pie
Zeynep Rice celebrated Pi Day early with this apple and pear pie she baked on March 11. The main filling of this pie is derived from a deep dish apple pie recipe, and she made it her own by adding pears. Besides loving pies, her family also loves math, Rice says; her husband is a math teacher.

She added flair to her pie by not only denoting the numerical symbol and 3.14, but also placing red circles on the edge that "represent the never ending digits of pi in an infinite loop," she says.

Buttermilk pie
Janie Lambert says her brother started making this pie recipe a few years back and every time the family sampled the buttermilk recipe there was always a fight for the last piece. Although not typically a pi day celebrator, Lambert says she plans on celebrating the March math holiday by serving this dish to her family.

Purple yam pie
Roberto Victoriano, a Filipino design engineer in Auckland, New Zealand, explained how to make a purple yam pie. '

"Buy whole purple yam root crops or ready grated pouches (available at Asian stores). Steam them. Mash. Mix with 1 kilo of brown sugar, condensed and evaporated canned milk. Put in large cauldron. Keep stirring in low heat. This is a labor of love for the next 1.5 to 2 hours, so keep stirring because if you don't, it will burn. Never mind an aching arm afterwards - worth it for the taste. When [it's] really thick and you can't stir anymore, that's when it's ready," he said.

PI-neapple rhubarb pie
Michele Hays lives in Evanston, Illinois, and blogs about food at Quips, Travails, and Braised Oxtails. She creates pi inspired pies every year. "I'm not particularly good at math. However, I do love to cook, and I'm learning that cooking is really a system of applied mathematics."

She told CNN, "I think pi is important and I love any excuse to make and eat pie. Why not have a special day for both? You know, places like Europe and South America don't have pi day because they write the month second - heartbreaking!"

Tomato cheese pies
Natalie Montanaro, a Peace Corps volunteer in Campia Turzii, Romania, says she has tasted numerous tomato pies in Charleston, South Carolina, and added her own touches when she crafted this simple pie designed for kids and picnics. She plans on baking more pies to celebrate this year's Pi Day.

As a math lover she says she appreciates the mechanics behind pi, and considers it to have many real world applications, "Especially when it comes to cooking or balancing my budget."

Lemon custard
iReporter Chris Morrow of San Diego, California, says she made this lemon custard pie in 2009 for an annual Pi Day party, involving "six geeks reciting pi to as many decimal points as possible." She says she has made apple, sweet potato, cherry, chocolate and cream pies in the past, but she hasn't decided what to make this year.

Pop-tart pie pops
pi day

Kelly Buhler, an American accountant and food blogger at An American Cupcake in London, says she was inspired to make these delightful mini cherry pie pops for Pi Day when she heard about CNN iReport's Pi day pie-off.

"I've had pie pops on my 'to bake' list for two years! This finally got me to actually doing it since it was for such a fun holiday. I'm glad I did. They were fun to make and taste delicious too!"

See the iReport assignment and get some inspiration from these pie posts and make your own at home.

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Filed under: Breakfast Buffet • Food Holidays • iReport • News • Pie


soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. cloutlet.youxme.com

    cl.youxme.com

    March 17, 2014 at 10:09 am | Reply
  2. Krissy

    I celebrated with gluten free oatmeal cream pies! http://makeitnaked.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/oatmeal-cream-pies-gluten-free/ and did some problem sets for fun. Only part of that is true.

    March 15, 2012 at 10:05 am | Reply
  3. Uncle George

    I celebrated with 0.39269908169872415480783042290994

    That's 1/8th; just my "piece of the pi"

    March 14, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Reply
  4. jmp

    Pi day must only be an American phenomenon, as 3/14here is recorded as 14/3 everywhere else in the world. If an international Pi must be selected, then it must be 31/4 or 31st April which of course does not exist (1 May? ) So maybe 22/7 is a better choice as has been suggested, since its the simplest fractional approximation of the circumference of any circle divided by its diameter. Long live 22 July.

    March 14, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Reply
  5. sonofgadfly

    e^(i*pi) – 1 = 0. You can't handle the beauty.

    March 14, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Reply
    • nit

      We know you meant e^(i*pi) + 1 = 0.

      March 15, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Reply
  6. noname

    The Republicans do not believe in math or science so they do not observe pi day.

    March 14, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Reply
    • Rhubarb

      Why don't you relax and enjoy life a little?

      P.S.: I'm NOT a Republican.

      March 15, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  7. Marine1957

    Pie on Pi day is wonderful, as long as we don't have to pay a Phi.

    March 14, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Reply
  8. Notairchboy

    The White House was going to celebrate this but then Michelle informed everyone that they couldn't have pie and she then offered them grapes!

    March 14, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Reply
    • Uncle George

      Were the grapes sour?

      March 15, 2012 at 2:31 am | Reply
  9. Hasher Iva

    Just imagine in 2015. Pi Day will be extra special, 3-14-15

    March 14, 2012 at 11:59 am | Reply
    • Uncle George

      It was even more special 496 years ago: 3-14-1516.

      March 15, 2012 at 2:32 am | Reply
      • Uncle George

        Or actually 420 years ago: 3-14-1592

        March 15, 2012 at 2:34 am | Reply
        • Uncle George

          Or in 2030: 03-14-30

          or in 4130: 03-14-4130

          It's like a politician quoting statistics to prove a point; you can twist any number to mean anything you want.

          March 15, 2012 at 2:37 am |
  10. Michael B

    Real Pi day is July 22. Just ask Archimedes!

    March 14, 2012 at 11:13 am | Reply
    • Marie

      July 22 or 22/7 is a good approximation to the true value of pi. Pi is irrational and cannot be expressed as the ratio of two integers.

      March 14, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Reply
    • sonofgadfly

      7/22 is the Pi Day equivalent of April Fools' Day. Then again Pi Day is a fairly stupid thing in and of itself.

      March 14, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Reply
      • Uncle George

        Of course 7/22 is a stupid idea for Pi Day; it would correctly be 7/15, which corresponds with National Ice Cream Day.

        March 15, 2012 at 2:41 am | Reply
      • Mafhafheni

        In players cerate a character and adventure through the , missions, blowing things up and , bullets, to name but a few things. Generally , if you've seen it in a matrix film chances are you can do it in the game. This is excellent news for the vast mob of people who have always wanted to experience the matrix and do their part in helping the people of Zion. Or even for those people who were secretly sympathetic to the Machines, or those who found the Merovingian charming and were secretly rooting for his Exiles throughout the film.

        December 23, 2012 at 4:45 am | Reply
    • xavi

      Guess the politicians didn't understand. Oh well, what's new?

      March 15, 2012 at 1:10 am | Reply
  11. Michael Halpern

    Those recipes look great! I'm running my own Pi Day contest for the Union of Concerned Scientists:
    http://blog.ucsusa.org/celebrate-pi-day-in-a-whole-new-way

    March 14, 2012 at 10:55 am | Reply

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