Posted in Pastries

Pi(e) Day: Recipe

Last Tuesday was March 14th, or for those of us who live in regions that write the date Month/Day (rather than the much more sensible, Day/Month), Pi Day! So, obviously, Pi Day calls for pie. Pear and Blackberry Crumble Pie to be exact.


It was also Winter Storm Stella day in NYC, so I postponed Pi Day until I’d have company to help me eat the pie. 

Not Winter Storm Stella

So on Thursday I made pie and my friend so kindly agreed to jot down the recipe as I baked. She also was very selfless and agreed to sample the pie. It was delicious!




  • Crumble:
    • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup flour
    • 1/4 cup almond flour (if you want to keep this nut free, omit the almond flour and add an extra 1/4 flour)
    • Pinch of Salt
    • 6 oz butter, cut into 1/2 cubes.
  • Filling:
    • 10 oz blackberries (cut in half)
    • 3 pears (peeled and chopped into small cubes)
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • zest of 1/2 orange
    • 3 tbsp cornstarch
    • 1/8 cup vanilla sugar (optional)
  • Crust
    • 1 9-in store bought crust or a 9-in home made crust of your choice (I’d recommend a pâte sucrée over a pâte brisée. Or if you want to go nuts, make a proper crisco-based pie crust.)



  • Preheat the oven to 375*.
  • If you are making your own crust, make it now and chill. If you are using a frozen, store bought crust, you may need to defrost it now–check the instructions.
  • Make the crumble: Combine all the dry ingredients and cut in the butter. It may come together as a bit of a dough, don’t worry. Just chill it, we’ll crumble it later.
  • Make the filling: Toss the halved berries and pear cubes together with the sugar, orange zest, and cornstarch.
  • Put the filling in the pie crust, make sure to pack it in. Heap it up a bit in the middle. If there’s left over, freeze it and make individual fruit crumble ramekins with it.
  • Sprinkle the vanilla sugar evenly over the fruit.
  • Break up the chilled crumble into varied size crumbs and cover the top of the fruit with the crumbs.
  • Bake for about 35-40 minutes, rotating it at 15 minutes and checking every 5 minutes starting at 25 minutes–you want the top and the crust to be browned. The fruit should be a bit bubbly but not oozing over.
  • Let it cool to room temperature on the counter and then chill in the fridge for at least an hour to allow the cornstarch to set. If you don’t you’ll end up with a sort of juicy fruit crumble. As you’ll see from my photos, we didn’t wait!


Serving suggestions:

  • Warm caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream
  • Coffee ice cream
  • Fresh, unsweetened whipped cream
  • Thick pouring cream or thin custard
  • Warmed up and plain. Cold and plain. Heck, it’s good right out of the pie plate…


Hi, I'm Mercedes. I'm a PhD candidate in politics and a trained pastry chef. I'm also an amateur photographer, hobby quilter, and all-around nutty girl living in the Big Apple.

3 thoughts on “Pi(e) Day: Recipe

    1. Hi Andrew, thanks so much for the kind words. It really was a good pie, if I do say so myself!

      I’ll check out your FB group this weekend. In the meantime, feel free to share the link with your fellow food lovers!


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