Baking with Goodwill: Pi Day

by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
March 14, 2016

Pi Day - Gluten/Dairy-free personal peach piesMarch 14—3.14—is Pi Day. There are many ways to celebrate Pi Day—really, anything that involves a circle will do. The most well-loved means of celebrating this circular holiday is with circular pastry—pie. Sweet pies, savory pies, pizza pies, large pies, small pies—the list could go on.

To celebrate Pi Day, I decided to break out some of my thrifted kitchenwares and make a lot of little pies. Because the last few recipes I’ve baked for the blog have been gluten and dairy-full, I decided to try my hand at something more conducive to dietary restrictions: gluten, dairy, and refined sugar free mini peach pies.

Don’t let those words scare you off, though—if I may say so myself, they’re certainly tasty (and oh-so-flaky, too)!

The tools you’ll need to bake these little personal pies are very basic, and very easy to find at your favorite Goodwill. You’ll need a muffin pan, a pastry blending tool, a rolling pin, and a couple of large bowls to mix the crust and filling in.

Here are the ingredients I used to make it gluten, dairy, and refined sugar free:

  • Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour
  • Nutiva Shortening (made from Coconut & Palm oil)
  • Nutiva Coconut Sugar

Pi Day - Ingredients & thrifted kitchen suppliesFor the pie crust, I used this gluten free pie crust recipe and followed the recipe very closely (with excellent results). The crust is definitely the hard part—but if you follow the recipe precisely, you should have good results.

For the pie filling, I was a little more experimental—here’s what went into it:

  • Frozen peach slices (20 oz)
  • Gluten free flour (~1/3 cup)
  • Coconut Sugar (3/4 cup)
  • Nutiva Shortening (1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of: cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom

To make the filling, all you need to do is mix the ingredients until they’re well incorporated.

Pi Day - Pie crust rolling processOnce you’ve got the dough made, and the filling mixed, divide the dough into 3 portions. Keep about a 1” ball aside, and divide the remaining dough into two portions—one slightly larger than the other. Use the larger ball for the bottom crusts, the medium one for top crusts, and the 1” ball will become the π symbols atop the pies. Then follow these instructions to assemble your personal pies:

  • Roll the large ball of dough out between two sheets of parchment paper so it’s about 1/4” thick.
  • Use a cup (that has a slightly larger circumference than the muffin cup—and don’t forget: c=2πr) to cut circles from the dough for the bottom crust. As you cut them, place them in the muffin cups.
  • Fill your tiny crusts with the peach pie filling mixture—as much as you can fit! It’s ok if they heap over a little.
  • Next, roll the medium ball out in the same way—and use a cup (that’s about the same diameter (d=2r) as the muffin cup) to cut circles from the dough for the top crust. Place it atop your filled crust, and squeeze the edges shut.
  • Use the 1” ball of dough to make pi symbols for each pie.  
  • Bake at 350 until golden brown—about 30 minutes.

Pi Day - Cutting the pie crust doughVoila! Pi Day peach pies, perfect to share with friends and coworkers—without the messy pie cutting or serving! Happy Pi Day!


Kim fancies herself a professional communicator. She has experience in writing, graphic design, and social media, and is always looking to expand her knowledge base into other fields of communication. She loves people, coffee & Seattle (including the rain).

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