Make Pie for Pi Day 3.14.16

Making Pie for Pi Day: 3.14.16 (rounding up!)

My mathematician dad would be proud that I’m celebrating Pi Day today and have been for the past few years. Last year, I found Pi Day cartoons which I found hilarious. I looked that the relationship between Pi and The Golden Rule and how Pi tells stories. I even celebrated Tau Day which is 2x Pi.

Pi Day

Image from Randomly Yaya

Let’s Celebrate Pi Day:  March 14, 2016. That’s 3.14159 (rounded up) to 3/14/16!

Pi Day is March 14th! It’s the only number with its own holiday! Most scholars consider Pi to be the most important and fascinating number in all of mathematics. Technically, the mathematical constant pi is an irrational, or never-ending number, created by dividing the circumference of a circle by its diameter. It is a number that begins with 3.14 but then goes on and on never repeating itself for infinity.

Did you know?

  • Pi Day (3/14) turns out to be Albert Einstein’s birthday!
  • Pi, more commonly known by the 16th letter of the Greek alphabet, is the most widely-known mathematical constant in the world.
  • Pi was not easy to calculate. People died trying to figure it out!

In ancient Greece, the great mathematician Archimedes worked tirelessly to discover the ratio, uncovering only a few digits of accuracy. When he tried to stop a Roman soldier from blundering over his work by shouting “do not touch my circles” he was unceremoniously murdered.

By the time Ludolf van Ceulen died in 1610, he had spent many years of his life tediously calculating pi, resulting in only 35 accurate digits. And in 1873, William Shanks announced he had found 707 digits over years of hand-cramping work; unfortunately, he had made a mistake after the 527th place. The following digits were all wrong.
The most recent attempt, by a Japanese computer scientist in 2002, found 1.24 trillion digits of pi.

The late physicist Carl Sagan, in his novel Contact, imagined a time when Earth scientists were sufficiently able to unravel enough of pi to find encoded messages from our creators-messages that would allow our primitive race to leap into a greater universal awareness. After all, if you were going to hide a long numeric message in the very fabric of our reality, pi would be a natural place to do it. From BBC News

Cy Tymony, a math and science game wizard, created, an educational website with Pi Day math projects. He is also is the author of the Sneaky Uses book series. 

You can create a Pi card that calculates circumference from diameter. You can also use the card to test your memory of the number Pi! Do you need the first 10,000 digits of Pi?

Pi Day activities

You can also print out a Sneaky Pi Detector that calculates diameter and circumference.


For Pi Day, PickyKidPix and I decided to bake pies. She baked an apple pie and I made a lemon cream cheese refrigerator pie.

Making Pie for Pi Day

PickyKidPix did the harder pie and made her own crust.

Making Pie for Pi Day

I opted for the simpler graham cracker crust. My pie recipes makes two pies.

Making Pie for Pi Day

Graham Cracker Crust

This recipe is from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

20 full sheets of graham crackers

12 tablespoons of butter, melted (I used the microwave; 1 minute on high).

1 cup light brown sugar

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Making Pie for Pi Day

2. Use a food processor to grind up the graham crackers into fine crumbs.

3. Add the sugar and continue pulsing until you get fine crumbs.

4. Dump the crumbs into a bowl; add the melted butter.

5. Using a fork, mix it all up so that the crumbs are coated in butter.

6. Press it into two pie pans. Really press down.

7. Bake the pie crusts for 6 minutes and then let cool.

Making Pie for Pi Day


Lemon Cream Cheese No Cook Refrigerator Pie

Making Pie for Pi Day

This recipe is from Midwest Living.

Making Pie for Pi Day

You need to make part of the filling in advance. It needs to cool 3 hours or overnight before mixing in the cream cheese part.


  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 3 well-beaten egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Dash salt
  • 1 14 – ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 8 – ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 4-serving-size package instant lemon pudding mix
  • 2 recipes Baked Pastry Shell (see recipe below)
  • Whipped cream
  • Lemon zest or lemon slices


  1. In a saucepan, combine the water, sugar, and cornstarch. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes more.
  2. Beat about 1 cup of the hot mixture into the egg yolks. Transfer all the mixture back to the saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil and reduce heat. Cook and stir for 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat. Add 1/3 cup lemon juice, butter, and salt; stir until butter melts. Cover surface of mixture with clear plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 3 to 24 hours.
  4. In a large bowl combine sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese, 1/3 cup lemon juice, and pudding mix. Beat with an electric mixer on low-speed until smooth. Add chilled mixture, beating on low-speed until just combined.
  5. Turn into prepared crusts. Garnish with whipped cream and lemon zest. Makes 2 pies (8 servings each).

Making Pie for Pi DayYou can use the lemon cream cheese pie filling to make a parfait too! Just layer with berries and crumbled
graham crackers! 

Make Pie for Pi Day 3.14.16

Happy Pi Day!

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. I didn’t know Pi day was also Einsteins’ BD–how perfect!!

  2. I look forward to your pi posts every year!
    Jeanette Nyberg recently posted…Synchronized Drawing Game (From My Book!)My Profile

  3. Yes, I look forward to your great pi post! I love Sagan’s comments about pi. Read Contact years ago.
    Patricia Tilton recently posted…Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her SleepMy Profile

  4. A very interesting Pi post!
    looking forward to many more 🙂

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