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For the Love of Pi(e)

Published in Gourmet Live 03.14.12
We’re saluting pie—our favorite food in the round—and celebrating Pi Day with the San Francisco Exploratorium’s Pi-oneers. We tip our hat to St. Paddy, too, with a brand-new video feature, Gourmet’s Modern Menus—recipes included.

In honor of Pi Day, March 14, we’re paying tribute to circles of all sorts: π and especially, pie. And, boy, do we have some pies for you, starting with a show-and-tell of the world’s most outrageous pies, including one whopping whoopie pie and another creation that’s meant to boost your whoopee-making prowess.

Shifting from the ridiculous to the sublime, we’ve tapped road-food aficionados Jane and Michael Stern for a tour of the top pie joints across the United States. Once the Sterns have you salivating over small-town beauties crafted from blueberry, cherry, chocolate, and peanut butter, dig into Jean Anderson’s treatise on chess pie, a Southern classic that also goes by the name “sugar pie.” Anderson, a born-and-bred Southern foods expert and winner of multiple cookbook awards, shares a chess pie recipe that’s rich with butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and fresh-grated nutmeg. And to satisfy your cacao cravings, we’re tossing in a recipe for luscious, fluffy Chocolate Cinnamon Cream Pie with an easy graham cracker crust.

But let’s not forget about pi (otherwise known as π or 3.14, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter), which has inspired celebrations on March 14 since 1988. Gourmet Live deputy editor Patricia Reilly checked in with Pi Day founder Larry Shaw and colleagues at San Francisco’s Exploratorium, which hosts an annual celebration of the “mysterious irrationality” of pi. And, yes, the party most definitely involves eating pie—sweet, savory, and pizza pies.

To mark another scrumptious holiday this month, we’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with the launch of a new series, Gourmet’s Modern Menus: In this first installment, Gourmet Live’s Kemp Minifie and Kelly Senyei demonstrate on video how to make an Emerald Isle–inspired menu of Guinness-Glazed Lamb Chops; savory Farmhouse Cheese and Caraway Soda Bread Puddings; and Irish Coffee Sundaes with Caramel Whiskey Sauce and Coffee Nut Crisp. Recipes included!

What’s the ultimate pie, in your opinion? Tell us via Twitter or Facebook, drop us a line (gourmetlive@condenast.com), or post a comment on our blog. For more tasty bites, sign up for our weekly newsletter to get convenient access to our most-read blog posts, editors’ favorite recipes, and exclusive reader offers.

Thanks for sharing a slice with us!

The editors of Gourmet Live

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