Blueberry Pie

March 14: National Pi Day

The global pandemic has definitely changed the way Islander’s Global Cooking Club (GCC) has met for the past year. Members have not been able to socialize/cook/eat together in each other’s homes—and even social distancing did not feel safe enough for us.

So, like other organizations, GCC members used Zoom to meet. Islander was the first to adapt to the new format and hosted a pie-making party. After members agreed on a date and time, Islander sent out an email invitation with “before, during and after” instructions. “Lattice make pie together apart” was the theme. Participants could choose a fresh fruit filling and pie crust recipe, as long as they were not from a can or ready-made dough. Essentially, members challenged themselves to make a lattice-top pie from scratch.

Before the Zoom session, everyone prepared their filling and bottom crust (blind baking it if desired). During the session, participants took turns sharing their choice of fruit filling and then “together apart” rolled out strips to make the lattice, laughing at our own weaving mistakes but encouraging each other to keep trying. Once the pies went in the oven to bake, the session ended. Afterwards, we shared photos or how our pies turned out.

For some, it was the first time ever making a pie, first time ever making a pie from scratch and/or first time ever making a lattice top!

Although only a few members joined in for the first GCC session, the Zoom pie-making party was a success. We are sharing the recipe for the blueberry pie that we made during that session (others made blueberry, apple and rhubarb pies) for National Pi Day.


(From Sister Gretchen T.)

For the pie  dough (double crust)

  • 2 ½ cups flour, all-purpose
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, granulated white
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons (1 ¼ sticks) butter, unsalted, cold and cut up
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cold or frozen
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 4+ tablespoons ice water


In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt.  Cut in the cold butter. Add the cold or frozen vegetable shortening. Use a pastry cutter or two forks to blend the dough until coarsely mixed and there are pea-size pieces. Beat in the egg. Stir in the vinegar.

Add ice water a tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together. Divide in two and shape into balls. Wrap in plastic film and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Remove one dough ball from the refrigerator. On a clean, lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to cover the bottom of a pie plate/dish. Leave some overhang and trim the edges. Refrigerate while making the filling.

For the blueberry pie filling

  • 4-5 cups fresh blueberries
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water (egg wash)


In a large bowl, combine the blueberries with sugar, corn starch,  cinnamon, lemon zest and juice. Mix well.

Spoon the  blueberry filling in the pie crust and set aside. Roll out the dough for the top crust about 1/8 inch thick. Cut into strips, re-rolling scrap dough as necessary to have enough cut strips. Place strips on top of the filling and “weave” into a lattice design.

Trim the excess edges and use a fork to crimp the sides. Brush the top with egg wash. Place in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F and bake for 20 minutes to brown the edges. Remove from the oven and cover the edges with a pie crust shield or foil and return to the oven to bake for another 50 minutes until the filling has thickened and is bubbling. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Serve the pie at room temperature or warmed up.


  • See the easy recipe for blueberry pie pockets that we made for National Blueberry Pie Day years ago (pre-pandemic). Back then we were not challenged to make from-scratch pies. But the pie pockets still tasted good.

  • Brush egg wash on the bottom of the pie crust before filling to prevent soggy middles (optional).

  • Search our blog for other pie recipes for National Pi Day (3.14) on March 14.

Whoopie Pies

Whoopie Pies

March 14 (3.14): National Pi (π) Day

Whoopie!!! HI Cookery has guest chefs for National Pi (π) Day!

Our goddaughter, Keira B., and her older sisters, Keisha and Kiana, who live in Maine, would send Whoopie Pies in care packages to us and our families on birthdays and the holidays. Whoopies Pies are little round sandwich cakes with a creamy marshmallow filling. The snack cake originated in the northeast region of America, is a popular dessert in Maine and is becoming a trendy treat nationwide. The classic “pie” is chocolate filled with vanilla flavor. But red velvet, pumpkin and other cake flavors and fillings are creatively combined for seasonal celebrations. Also, the sides of the filling may be rolled in nonpareils or mini chocolate chips for a party-style presentation.

Thanks to Keira and her sisters for being the guest chefs on HI Cookery, and to their mother Cherlyn, for sharing their family recipe for our blog post today. Make Whoopie Pies for National Pi (π) Day.


(From Kumare Cherlyn B. and Family)

For the pies

  • 1 cup cocoa powder (Hershey’s brand)
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup vegetable shortening (Crisco brand)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


In a bowl, combine the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda and salt. In a large mixing bowl, cream the sugar with the shortening. Add the eggs, milk and vanilla. Gradually add the flour mixture and blend well. Using a small ice cream scoop, drop the batter on a greased cookie sheet about two inches apart. Use the back of a spoon to flatten each pie a bit with a circular motion. Bake in a preheated oven for 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes.

Whoopie Pies

Remove the pies from the oven. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Sort by size. Turn over half of the batch in preparation for filling them.

Whoopie Pies

For the filling

  • 1 cup marshmallow cream (Marshmallow Fluff brand is highly recommended)
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup milk


In a large bowl, mix the marshmallow cream, shortening, sugar, vanilla, salt and milk until smooth and well blended. Spread a generous amount of the filling on one side of the pie. Sandwich with another pie. Yield: Approximately 3 dozen.

Whoopie Pies


  • Each Whoopie Pie may be stored individually in plastic wrap or sandwich bags and frozen. Thaw it at room temperature for an hour before serving.
  • Optional decoration for observing National Pi (π) Day: Write the mathematical symbol for pi (π) on one side of the Whoopie Pie with extra filling. One year, we had decorated the top of a Crack Pie with π by sprinkling powdered sugar on it.
  • Search our blog for other traditional pie recipes.