It’s Pi Day! Here are 3.14 great pie recipes to try right now

Cold fruit pies.
For the holiday celebrating all things pi, make this pie with fresh raspberries and cool whipped cream.
(Ben Mims / Los Angeles Times)

If you were looking for an excuse or occasion to make pie, mathematicians have got one for you. On March 14, math aficionados like myself celebrate Pi Day — the number that represents the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.

Denoted by the Greek letter π, this peculiar number is generally referred to as approximately 3.14. Though in most cases its rounded-off version is used, in 2022 computers were able to calculate it to 100 trillion digits. This is why pi is perplexing: It is an irrational number, the sequence 3.14159265358979323846 … goes on for eternity without following a single pattern and never repeating itself.

Pi helps us calculate the vastness of space, explain how stripes and spots emerge in animal fur coats and understand so much more about life. On March 12, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill recognizing Pi Day. All over the world, people honor pi in various ways.


The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, for example, holds a Pi Day Challenge, encouraging the public to solve math problems and think like scientists (give these previous tests a try). Various schools and organizations throw pi digit memorization contests. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology honors Pi Day in a quirkier way. Every March 14, the university releases its decision letters to prospective students at 6:28 p.m. Eastern to honor tau, which is double the value of pi.

For food (and math) lovers, the pi-related discounts ($3.14 for an 11-inch pizza) at restaurants that sell circular food or offer endless pie-eating competitions might be sufficient to commemorate the holiday. But if you were hoping to get into the kitchen and make pies from scratch like me, here are 3.14 recipes for the best pie to make on Pi Day: three pies, and one pie bar.

The Strawberry Forest Pie, tart with jammy berries and rich with a thick chocolate pudding layer, is a draw for those who adore the flavors of traditional Black Forest gateau. Its cold creamy texture provides a lightness to balance its intense flavors.

If you prefer a mixture of fruits in your desserts, you might like the Creamy “Fruit Tart” Pie. Persimmons, plums, figs and kiwis create a harmony of brightness and color. But if you like your desserts with a salty edge, the Fresh Raspberry Pie’s graham cracker crust is for you.

Pi is derived from circles;you can experiment with the circular form of a pie and make Blueberry Pie Bars. Its fruity, floral and citrus flavors will win you over.

It doesn’t matter how big or small you choose to make your pies — the ratio, pi, stays the same. But maybe stick to the measurements in the following recipes for pie success.


Strawberry Forest Pie

Time 2 hours
Yields Serves 8

Creamy 'Fruit Tart' Pie

Time 1 hour 15 minutes, plus 7 hours unattended
Yields Serves 8 to 10

Fresh Raspberry Pie

Time 3 hours, largely unattended
Yields Serves 8 to 12

Blueberry Pie Bars

Time 2 hours
Yields Makes 2 dozen