March 14th is National Pi Day! Today we celebrate everything related to the sixteenth letter of the Greek alphabet and the mathematical constant 3.14159265359… (and so on)! Unfortunately, here at Netcost Market, we’re not expert mathematicians, but we do know a thing or two about pies! This is why we’re celebrating National Pi Day with some of our favorite pie recipes!
Russian Cabbage Pie (Kulebjaka)
Kulebjaka is a classic Russian turnover pie, much like a Mexican empanada, but using cabbage as the main filling.
(For the dough)
¾ cup milk, 1/3 cup butter, 1 packet active dry yeast, ¼ cup lukewarm water, 1 large egg, 3 large egg yolks, 1 tsp. salt, 4 cups all-purpose flour
(For the filling)
3 pounds finely chopped green cabbage, 1 large chopped onion, 3 tbsp. butter, 3 tbsp. vegetable oil, 4 grated hard-boiled eggs, 1 tsp. salt, 1 Tsp. black pepper, 3 tbsp. chopped fresh dill, 2 tbsp. dried dill, ¼ cup breadcrumbs
How to make:
- Bring the milk and 1/3 cup of butter to the boil and remove and let cool to 110 degrees
- Combine the yeast, sugar, ¼ cup water and let it stand until foamy. Add this to the mixture above and add egg, 2 egg yolks, and salt and mix well. Next, add 3 cups of flour and knead for 10 minutes while adding the extra cup of flour periodically. The dough should be smooth and elastic.
- Coat a bowl with a dash of vegetable oil and place the dough in it. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled in size (about 2 hours).
- Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil and add the cabbage and cook for 3 minutes. Drain this thoroughly and remove the liquid.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of butter and 3 tablespoons of oil in a large pan and sauté the onions until translucent, then add the cabbage. Allow to cook until cabbage is soft but not browned, and all liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and stir in grated boiled egg, salt, pepper, dill and mix well. Allow it to cool.
- Heat oven to 325 degrees. Roll out the dough and divide into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other and roll into 14X10-inch pieces on a baking sheet placed on a baking tray.
- Sprinkle the surface with breadcrumbs and spread the cabbage evenly over this area, allowing 1 to 2 inches space around the edges.
- Roll out the remaining dough to 13X9 inches on a lightly floured surface, then place over the cabbage filling. Brush edges with an egg wash (last yolk and some salt) and crimp all the edges using a fork. Let it sit for 20 minutes uncovered.
- Bake for 45 minutes and cover the crust with foil if it is browning too quickly. Let it cool for 10-15 minutes before serving!
Classic Serbian Beef Burek
Burek is a classic Balkan pie made using fillings of beef, cheese or spinach (or a mixture of them) wrapped in filo pastry! It’s as indulgent and filling as it sounds!
Ingredients: 1 cup finely chopped onion, 1 ½ pounds ground beef (or pork/beef mixture), 1 cup parsley, 1 tbsp. salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, 5 tbsp. vegetable oil, 1 pound defrosted #7 filo dough, 6 large beaten eggs, 1 cup Bulgarian or Greek yogurt (or similar, if you like), and 1 ½ cups soda water.
How to make:
- In a large pan, fry onions and ground beef until beef are browned and all liquid has evaporated. Add parsley, salt, pepper and cook together for 1 minute. Leave to cool.
- Lightly coat a 13X9 inch pan with vegetable oil and separate dough into two even piles (keep covered so they don’t dry out).
- With 1 pile of dough, brush oil in between every second sheet.
- Place these sheets in the pan. Spread the meat mixture over the dough and add the remaining dough sheets on top, adding a layer of brushed vegetable oil to every second layer as you go.
- Brush the whole top of the pie with oil, and cut the pie using a serrated knife into 12 pieces.
- In a bowl, mix eggs, yogurt and soda water, and spread over the burek. Cover the whole dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees, and bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown!
German Apple Pie Recipe
For something a bit closer to home but yet authentically European, try this great German apple pie recipe!
(For the pastry)
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ cup shortening, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2-3 tablespoons ice water
(For the filling)
1 cup sugar, ¼ cup all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 6 cups sliced and peeled apples, 1 cup heavy whipping cream
How to make:
- In a bowl, mix together flour and salt and then cut in the shortening until crumbly. Next, add the vanilla extract and gradually add water until the dough forms a ball. Roll the pastry to fit a 9-inch baking tray, allowing at least ½ inch to go beyond the side of the tray.
- Meanwhile, mix sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Sprinkle this on the pastry, and then layer with the apple slices. Do this once again on top of the first layer of apples. Once done, pour cream evenly over the top.
- Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, and then reduce to 350 degrees for 1 hour or until apples are tender and brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack before serving!
Pi is great, but pie is even better! So make this year’s national Pi day one that’s filled with variations of pie from across the globe!