Happy Pi Day

pieHappy Pi Day, everyone! To celebrate this illustrious occasion, I decided to make one of my favorite pies — banana cream — so custardy, so sweet. I was going to attempt to improve upon the epicurious recipe, but it was pretty perfect as is.

So instead of sharing a new recipe, I thought I’d tell you why I like the first piece of pie. As many pie aficionados know, the first piece of pie, like the first pancake, is often a sacrifice. It’s difficult to keep the first piece beautiful. It wants to cave in on itself. It doesn’t want to let go of the other pieces around it, but finally it slides away, allowing the rest of the pieces to be served whole.

I used to work in a bakery, so I ended up learning the trick of keeping each piece pretty, at least when they’re baked uniformly and cut equally. At home, though, I’ve never bothered. I’ve always loved its mushy yielding to the spatula. It may not be bonny, but it tastes just as good, and because it yields its solidity to either end, the person who gets the first piece usually ends up with a tad more of the treat than anyone else.

That’s why it’s the piece for me. It sacrifices for the greater good, is just as sweet, and offers a couple more forkfuls in the end. Happy Pi Day, everyone! Try to take the first slice — unless I’m serving.

And as far as pairings go, consume this baby with a good cup of coffee. I’d recommend an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. Its floral aromas and lemon notes in the cup are what make it my all-time favorite. Just make sure to get a light roast to experience its full flavor profile. That’s a must! Have I ever mentioned I used to be a barista? It made me very particular about my coffee. In fact, learning coffee flavor profiles and attending many cuppings was actually what led me to my wine tasting obsession. Every single day still begins with an amazing cup of craft coffee, and I’d be a sad soul without it.

Quiche for Pi Day

quicheYesterday was Pi Day, so in celebration, I made us a savory pie, i.e. quiche, for dinner last night. Honestly, could I have done anything else?

This year’s math day also occurred when spring has sprung in California. (Sorry if you’re not there yet in your neck of the woods.) There are tender, green veggies all up in the place right now, so I figured our savory pie required more than a serving of vegetables to fully celebrate 3.14 as well as the changing of seasons. Inspired by the technique used by theKitchn, I assembled this quiche a bit differently than I have in the past and was quite happy with the results.

We paired our spring quiche with a glass of Riesling. The bright acidity stood up to the green flavors of the pie and kept the custard and cheese from being too heavy.

Spring Quiche

serves 8

2 9-inch gluten-free pie crusts (I used Wholly Wholesome GF pie shells)
8 slices of bacon, chopped
10 oz mixed mushrooms
1 bunch asparagus, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1/3 pound baby spinach
2 cups Gruyere, grated
3 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
pinch of salt and pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp dried dill

Cook crusts according to package directions.
Keep oven at 350 degrees F after removing the pie shells.
In a large skillet, cook bacon until browned. Add red onion and stir. Pour in mushrooms and stir. Scatter asparagus and cook two minutes, then stir. Sprinkle spinach on top and cook for two more minutes. Stir veggies until spinach is wilted and then pour everything into a colander and let drain.
In the baked pie shells, scatter half of the cheese. Pour the veggies and bacon into each crust. Scatter the other half of the cheese on top.
In a large bowl, beat eggs, cream, milk, and seasonings together. Pour an equal amount into each pie shell.
Put into oven and cook for 40 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve with a nice, dry Riesling.

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