Knitters are nerds. Proof? Search nerd, geek, and math in Ravelry’s groups and find tons of chums hanging in places like GeekCraft, Geek Swap, and Botanica Mathematica. Needle crafters prove the old adage: if it exists, it’s been knit. So what knitter could let a once-in-a-century event like Pi Day 2015 pass them by? Pi Day 2015 is when the date and time 3/14/15 at 9:26 and 53 seconds lines up with the mathematical constant and irrational number of Life of Pi fame, 3.141592653…
For some reason geeks flock to Pi with abandon. Lorna’s husband’s college roommate could sing 2o digits of both Pi and e (Euler’s number) to the tune of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice (her husband frequently walks around the house in a poor imitation that pauses, backspaces, then trails off around digit 10). Since we couldn’t meet our equally geeky dad in Pie Town, New Mexico this year, we decided to reprise our knit apple pie from Thanksgiving 2013 with two new knit lattice-top blackberry pies. A perfectly irrational way to celebrate an irrational number. Last time we received dozens of questions, so this time we did it two new ways and took a few more process photos. Below are more pics and some tips for knitting your own lattice-top pie.
– We’ve done apple and blackberry now, and suspect this will work with any filling as long as its delicious. Gross fillings will surely cause you to fail. (Looking at you, cherry.)
– We used Paula Deen’s recipe, you know, for the butter.
– Both homemade and store-bought dough work great (we’ve used both).
– Throw traditional pie crust precautions like temperature and ingredient ratios to the wind. Think Play-Doh.
– For long snakes, cut the dough in spirals. Or, just rip a chunk off and mash it up like Play-Doh for forming snakes.
– Oil or butter your hands thoroughly and repeatedly while working: if the stitches dry out they’ll crack and break as you work.
– This epic, tedious work requires all the
MacGrubering MacGyvering you can conjure: chop sticks, frosting spatulas, parchment…sky’s the limit.
– We found two ways to make stitches: knit dough snakes or fake it with sculpted dough bits.
– For the sculpting method, work columns of fake purl stitches by making an upside-down U. Then put a straight piece across it and have the U hug it like a trapeze artist. Make the bottom one into an upside-down U and keep doing that. Flip the column over with a spatula for knit stitches. Arrange both knit and purl columns for ribbing.
– For the knit method, the larger the dough snake “yarn” weight, the easier it is (obvs). I tried making it smaller than the first time, thinking I’d attempt a cable, but after spending an hour on 3 rows I was like fuck it. Go big for speed, go small for a long, meditative project.
– Don’t worry if it takes several hours and people scoff at the inanity. Because pie.
– If you used a lot of oil, you may not need to brush it with egg whites before baking.
– If the lattice is too gooey to brush with egg whites, try watering them down and spritzing them through a Misto.
– While baking, check frequently for overbaking the lattice. If danger approaches, top it with foil and poke some holes in so the pie can steam without sogging up the lattice.
– Don’t be afraid to cut it and eat it. Take lots of pics, SnapChats, Vines, and holograms then dig in. Because pie.