In honour of this occasion, we spoke with someone who both celebrates Pi day and knows her way around a pie plate (get our circumference joke?), Jenell Parsons. The owner and operator of The Pie Hole in Vancouver, as well as author of the mouth-watering pie lover’s cookbook, You Wanna Piece of Me?, Parsons shares her secrets to a good pie and why it’s not just a dessert.
Where did your love of pies come from?
It actually grew out of a need for great pie. Until I started my company, I had never really had a good pie, let alone a great one. I was a hobby baker and started to experiment with pie crust, and fell in love with how versatile pie is. You can turn just about anything into a pie. I loved that I could express my creativity this way.
What makes a good pie?
Butter and love! But, seriously… technique. Lots of practice making the crust. It is so sad when crust is left on the plate. It should shine just as brightly as the filling.
If you had to eat just one type of pie for the rest of your life, which one would it be?
I have a serious sweet tooth so it would have to be a sweet pie. I think if I had to choose (it’s so hard!) it would be the Raspberry Cream Crumble: tart sweet raspberries with creamy custard topped with a buttery crumble for a little texture. This pie has it all! It’s also one of my most popular pies and the one I made with Guy Fieri on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
You make savoury pies, too (hello, Bacon Cheeseburger Pie), tell me about your inspiration.
The most popular and well-known savoury pie is undoubtedly the Chicken Pot Pie. We just cannot make enough of them. It does go back to how versatile pies are. A lot of my recipes are my favourite dishes turned into pies. The Bacon Cheeseburger has it all from the cheddar, mustard, onions and smokey bacon. It is the perfect burger in every bite!
Finally, is it ok to eat pie for breakfast on Pi Day?
Why limit it to Pi Day!? Everything in moderation. I had Apple Pie for breakfast just a few days ago. I started with a sliver and kept going back for more. Don’t waste your time, just grab a big oil’ slice to start with.
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