Happy π Day!

Happy π day!
Well, really yesterday was π day, but we mostly celebrated today.  But never fear, there was an epic moment of racing around for pictures yesterday morning to celebrate the 3-14-15 9:26 moment!
Today, we had a few friends over for a pizza-π(e) cook-off!  This was the second time we've had one, but this year, we decided to move it to coincide with π day! I forgot to add the rule that π symbols added extra points, but they all looked really pretty anyway! 

We changed up our rules a little this year:  Instead of allowing each person to bring secret ingredients, we provided all the ingredients and each person chose (out of a hat) a special ingredient they had to use on their pizza.  

The free ingredients were:
dough (store bought, but it wasn't the quality we were used to, so maybe next year we'll make it.)
pizza sauce
mozzarella cheese
cheddar cheese
onion (we pre-cooked these)
mushrooms (same here)

Special ingredients:
feta cheese
chicken sausage

AB's pizza: red sauce, peppers, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, spinach, onions
NES's pizza: olive oil, feta cheese, peppers, oregano, chicken
ZNS's pizza: red sauce, pesto, mozzarella cheese, bacon, chicken sausage
HFK's pizza: pesto, mushrooms, chicken, tortellini, mozzarella cheese, onion, herbs, garlic
HFK's pizza won by a landslide.  It was quite yummy.  KEB and I ran around and helped out everyone (since we knew the secret ingredients, and that's not quite fair).  
Then, once we were all stuffed came the π(e)!  I tried a root beer float pie out of First Prize Pies (a gorgeous cookbook that I originally got to give as a gift, but ended up keeping, mostly for pi day and the gorgeous pictures!).  I thought it sounded a little strange, but NES liked the idea, so I went with it! 
The crust is a mixture of vanilla wafers and gingersnaps (I just eyeballed half and half and put them in the food processor together).  It really works with the root beer flavor.
Then comes a root beer custard.  The flavoring comes from boiling down some root beer into a root beer syrup.  We found this layer was really tasty, but didn't taste extremely strongly of root beer.  I guess that ended up being a good thing, since apparently not everyone does really like root beer.  Who knew??
The top was a layer of whipped cream!  Yum.  And of course, a π!  This year, it was made of straws to go with the root beer float theme!  
There were also π-themed red velvet oreo truffles.  But that's another story for another day!
Today was also a little bit of an overflow because of the snow on my birthday (ironically enough, it did snow again, but less this time!)  I got some awesome things for serving my baked goods!  And this epic π day t-shirt that was PERFECT for today from HFK!

Root Beer Float Pie

1 1/2 cups crushed gingersnap and vanilla wafer cookies 
5-8 tbsp. melted butter.

Grind the cookies in a food processor or place them in a bag and crush them with a rolling pin.

Add the melted butter and mix (probably with hands) until a wet sand consistency is reached. 

Press the mixture evenly into a 9 inch pie plate.  Freeze or refrigerate until the oven is preheated.  

Set the oven to 350 degrees.  Bake for 10 minutes, then cool completely.  (Keep the oven on.)

2 cups root beer 
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt

In a medium pot, bring the root beer to a boil.  Allow to reduce by half (1 cup should remain), and allow to cool completely.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar and salt.  Whisk in the root beer syrup until incorporated.  

Pour the filling into the cooled crust, place on a baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes.  The filling should be just set, and still a little wobbly in the center.  

Cool completely.  

1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Whip the cream, sugar and vanilla together until soft peaks form.  

Pile the whipped cream on top of the pie and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  Alternately, refrigerate the cooled pie and  top with fresh whipped cream before serving. 


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