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Pi Day Calls for Pie

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Strawerry Chocolate Truffle Pie

This story is being posted on 3/14, which is Pi Day for all those mathematical geeks who love to have pie with pi.

What is pi? For those who slept through geometry, alongside me, it is, as Wikipedia declares, “a mathematical constant that is the ratio of any Euclidean circle’s circumference to its diameter.” Its initial numbers are 3.14.

But that’s not important. What is important is what pie goes well with Pi Day?

Strawberries are in season, so I decided to try out the following, which was the first place winner of a strawberry dessert contest several years ago. The flavors are timeless, and the pie goes together quickly.

Strawberry Chocolate Truffle Pie

6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (about 1 cup)
8 ounces cream cheese, cubed
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 cup powdered sugar plus 2 tablespoons, divided use
3 tablespoons Triple Sec or orange juice (see note)
1 baked 9-inch pie crust
1 1/2 quarts fresh strawberries, hulled
1/4 cup red currant jelly, melted (see note)
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon grated orange rind
Mint leaves and orange rind strips (optional)

Combine chips, cream cheese and butter in top of a double boiler. Place over boiling water. Melt, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, stir in 1/4 cup of powdered sugar and Triple Sec or orange juice. Spread evenly over pie crust; cool.

This pie is reminiscent of chocolate-covered strawberries.

Place strawberries stem side down over chocolate mixture. Brush berries with melted jelly. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours.

Combine whipping cream, and remaining 2 tablespoons powdered sugar; beat until stiff peaks form. Fold in grated orange rind. If desired, garnish pie with orange rind strips and mint leaves. Top each serving with dollop of whipped cream.

Note: When testing this recipe, a store-bought graham cracker crust was used. Raspberry liquor was used instead of triple sec. Strawberry jam was used instead of jelly; it was not seeded, but that didn’t matter. The whipped cream covered everything up.

Makes 1 pie.

From Sandy Campbell/Pittsburgh

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