Happy Pi Day!!

Oh, pi day.  How I look forward to thee all year.  And for a second year in a row, you fall during spring break!  An added bonus!

And also for a second year in a row, it worked out better to make the pie on the weekend, because we were visiting JDB and KEB the weekend before pi day for the second year in a row!  How crazy is that?  KEB made us tasty food for dinner, and we played lots of games.

I was thinking of all the pi day pies I've made over the years . . . I started celebrating in 2005.  Shoofly, some sort of pear crumble-ish type thing, banana pudding, chess,and pretzel-cookie were the ones I could remember.  That obviously leaves a few gaps.  Maybe someday I'll go back into my journals and find them all.

And now, add to that salted nutella pie.

I was looking on pinterest (of course!) for a pie, and having a hard time finding one.  They all seemed to be chocolate peanut butter pies.  I wasn't sure that was what I wanted.  And then I started thinking about substituting nutella for the peanut butter.  And then, well, I  figured I'd see what was out there for nutella pies.  After a little searching, I found this one.

I haven't always been a huge fan of the "salted" trend.  Then, NES introduced me to dark chocolate salted caramels.  And I've been hooked ever since.  It seems that  the darker the chocolate, the better the combination with salt.  I was a little concerned about the nutella, because I don't exactly think of it as being particularly "dark".  But it was good.  It totally worked.

And I even had a frozen homemade pie crust all ready for me.  It was excellent.  With the addition of a bag of dried beans to my cooking tools, I even managed to bake it without it falling in on itself!  Success!  I baked it at 425 degrees for about 15-17 minutes.  And I made some pie crisps for NES and I out of the leftovers.  Mmmm.

And then came the filling.  On my first morning of break (well, after the snow day on Friday), NES requested pancakes . . . so that was my first baking adventure of break.  More to come on that later.  That was a story worth its own telling.  And then came the filling for the pie.

I figured you couldn't really go wrong when you beat together cream cheese, powdered sugar and nutella.

What I didn't realize was that adding whipped cream to that combination would make it infinitely better.

I'm thinking about making the filling in the future and serving it like a mousse.  Seriously.  It was that good.  Just ask NES.  I declared that I had discovered a substance dangerous to mankind.  It was just that good.

And then into the pie crust, and into the fridge for a few hours.  The best part?  The fridge did the thickening for me.  Not much I can do to mess that up!
Because I had two non-strawberry fans in the group, I didn't add the strawberries like the recipe suggested.  What I did instead, was I brought them with me, and sliced them on top.  It was good and all, but I really think I liked it just as much without!
I added the salt right before I served it.  It is still ok when it's been on for a while, but the salt does melt in some, and part of the fun is the crunchiness of the large grains of sea salt.

Of course, it had to make a pi on the pie!  You should know this by now!
Mmmmm.  Pi day pie.  The best type of pie by far!
Now, it's your turn.  Go and celebrate pi day!  Find a circle, and do some calculating -- area, circumference . . . it's all fair game today!!

Salted Nutella Pie
adapted from my piary

1 cooled, baked pie shell
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 8oz bar of cream cheese (I used Neufchatel)
1 13oz. jar of Nutella (close to a cup)
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 cup heavy cream

Sea salt for sprinkling (DO IT!)
Sliced strawberries (I might go without next time)

Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until fluffy.  Beat in the Nutella and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.  Stir 1/3 into the Nutella mixture, then gently fold the rest of the whipped cream in.  (RESIST EATING AS IS!)

Pour or spoon the mixture into the pie shell.  Refrigerate at least 4 hours to set.

Before serving, sprinkle the top of the pie with salt.  Garnish with sliced strawberries.


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