Pi Day: 6 (Healthy) Pie Recipes

Laura McMullen

Happy Pi Day! Pi, as we're sure you all know, is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, which is 3.14 in decimal form. It's actually more like 3.1415926, and can be calculated to many, many more digits because it's an irrational number. But we'll stick with 3.14 because it corresponds with March 14, which brings us back to Pi Day. Sure, you could celebrate today with a compass and calculator in hand, but we'd rather do so with a spatula and apron. Today, we're making pies for Pi day. And these pies are relatively healthy--straight from the recipe cards of our Eat + Run nutrition experts. So indulge a little, and if you feel compelled to incorporate math, measure the pi of the pie before chowing down.

The following recipes are perfect for Pi Day or any day:

David Katz's Pumpkin Pie

Heather Bauer's Blackberry Pie

Mitzi Dulan's Sweet Potato Pie

Keri Glassman's "American" Mini Pies

Elisa Zied's Pumpkin Pie

Bonnie Taub-Dix's Mixed Fruit Cobbler (that looks an awful lot like a pie)

Plus, tips and tricks for any pie

David Katz's Pumpkin Pie

For the filling:

2 1/2 cups canned 100% pumpkin

3 eggs

1 cup fat-free sweetened condensed milk

2 tablespoons dark rum

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

For the crust:

2 cups regular puffins corn cereal (Barbara's Bakery)

1 cup chopped pecans

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1/4 cup melted Smart Balance butter

Heat the oven to 350 F.

In food processor, finely grind puffins, pecans and brown sugar.

Add melted Smart Balance, and process again.

Place the crumbs at the bottom of a lightly greased (canola oil) 10-inch baking pan, and press down firmly with your fingers to make a compact crust.

Place filling ingredients (the first 6 listed) in a bowl, and with an electric mixer, beat until creamy.

Pour the creamy pumpkin custard on top of the crust.

Bake for 40 minutes.

[Read more from David Katz.]

Heather Bauer's Blackberry Pie

For the dough:

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons chia seeds, grounded

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups whole oat flour (gluten-free, if you desire)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

In a medium bowl, mix maple syrup, oil, vanilla and ground chia with a spatula.

Add oat flour and salt, and mix until the dough forms.

Portion dough into 4 pieces, and wrap separately in plastic wrap.

Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

For the filling:

1 cup frozen organic blackberries, thawed

2 tablespoons chia seeds, whole

2 teaspoons maple syrup

juice of 1/2 lemon

In a bowl, place blackberries, chia, maple syrup and lemon juice, and crush them with a fork. The mixture should be very chunky.

Let set for about 20 min.

Heat oven to 350 F while dough chills and filling sets.

In a 9-inch pie pan, spread the dough evenly and bake it for 8 minutes.

Add the filling to the dough, and place it back in the oven for an additional 8 minutes.

[Read more from Heather Bauer.]

Mitzi Dulan's Sweet Potato Pie

2 cups mashed sweet potatoes

1/4 pound butter, softened

2 eggs, separated

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup evaporated milk

1/4 cup white sugar

1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

Heat oven to 400 F.

Combine sweet potatoes, butter, egg yolks, brown sugar, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and evaporated milk, and mix together.

Form stiff peaks by beating egg whites; then add 1/4 cup sugar and fold into sweet potato mixture.

Pour mixture into pie shell and bake at 400 F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat, and bake at 350 F for 30 minutes or until firm.

[Read more from Mitzi Dulan.]

Keri Glassman's Mini "American" Pies

4 ounces crème fraiche

4 ounces low-fat sour cream

16 ounces low-fat strawberry yogurt

1 pint strawberries, sliced lengthwise

1 pint blueberries

4 clear cups

Mix the crème fraiche, sour cream and yogurt. For a picnic, store in an airtight container in your cooler until you are ready to serve.

When you are ready to serve, layer the yogurt mixture, strawberries, yogurt and blueberries in the cups to make a beautiful parfait. Garnish with a few extra berries.

[Read more from Keri Glassman.]

Elisa Zied's Pumpkin Pie

2 egg whites

2/3 cup light brown sugar

1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree

1 12-ounce can nonfat evaporated milk

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 9-inch frozen deep-dish pie shell

Heat oven to 400 F.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites with the sugar until smooth.

Add the pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves until well combined.

Fill the pie shell, and place it on a baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 F, and bake for an additional 40 to 45 minutes until set.

Allow to cool completely before serving.

[Read more from Eisa Zied.]

Bonnie Taub-Dix's Mixed Fruit Cobbler (that looks an awful lot like a pie)

1 mango, cut into small pieces

3 cups pitted cherries, cut into pieces

1/2 large apple, peeled and cut into pieces

1 pint blueberries

1/2 pint blackberries

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour

1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour

1/2 stick butter, softened and cut into small pieces

3/4 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup skim milk and 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice)

1 egg

1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (optional)

Whisk flours together and set 1/4 cup aside.

Mix fruit with brown sugar, lemon zest, cornstarch and 1/4 cup of flour mix.

Whisk salt, baking powder and sugar into remaining flour.

Cut butter into dry ingredients until mix resembles coarse cornmeal.

Make a well in the center of the dry mix and pour in buttermilk (or skim milk/lemon juice) and egg. Stir together quickly.

Spray 9-by-12 pan with cooking spray, and fill pan with fruit mixture.

Top with flour mixture and smooth over fruit.

Sprinkle turbinado sugar evenly across the top (optional).

Bake at 400 F for about 40 minutes or until topping is golden brown and fruit is bubbly.

[Read more from Bonnie Taub-Dix.]

From the Experts: Tips and Tricks for Any Pie

Keri Gans suggests: "Create your own 'apple pie' by baking an apple until soft ... and topping it with a crumbled graham cracker and heaping tablespoon of low-fat plain Greek yogurt. Forget the healthier version all together, and strictly limit your serving size. Go for a sliver instead of a slice [that's] approximately no more than an inch wide. You would be surprised how far a little goes!"

Heather Bauer suggests: "Use whole wheat or spelt flour instead of white flour. Use coconut oil instead of butter. Coconut oil is a superior kind of saturated fat because of its antibiotic properties and its high content of MCTs (medium-chain triglyceride). If you like the taste of olive oil and are making a savory pie, I highly recommend using it in place of other vegetable oils. For a sweet pie and creamy pie, you may add smashed sweet potatoes, yams or pumpkins to the filling so you'll be able to add less sugar to the recipe due to the vegetables' high sugar content."

Hungry for more? Write to eatandrun@usnews.com with your questions, concerns, and feedback.