Tag Archives: The QT Pi(e) Project

03.14.13: Happy Pi(e) Day 2013!


If ever there were proof of my nerd side, it would be Pi(e) Day, a quirky union of math and baking between layers of flaky pie crust.

Pi and Pie

This year, I’m content to eat a hand pie for breakfast and continue with my other daily routines. However, in the past, I dedicated a LOT of energy to this day.

Bicycle Pie

Here’s the full story…

May your day be filled with an appreciation for the area of circles and lattice crusts! If you feel more like making pie and less like engaging in long algebra, here are some pie suggestions.

A Little Press, and I Was In Pi(e) Heaven!


Just last week my bosses had been teasing me about my less than sunny demeanor, but had they seen my face today at the moment I first heard the word from Erin, “Check out ReadyMade’s homepage,” they would have seen unarguable, pure joy!    I was beaming!  Seeing this article made me melt like butter and then float to a DIY cloud.  I love the mathematical title and the prime location on the homepage banner!  I love the slideshow!  I just simply love it!  Thanks to everyone who helped turn this dorky math pun into a reality far more rewarding than I ever imagined!

Pi(e) Day 2011


Happy today foodie nerds of the world!  In the QT Pi(e) world, the day began with a quick walk to the neighborhood coffeeshop and one day host of QT Pi(e)s!

Inside my recipe box was our latest print material.  I was up late the night before cutting out the book version of the Pi(e) Day stop motion video.

By 11am, the pie plates began to look like this…

At this point, I cut off a tiny sliver just to quality control the situation.  The slice passed the taste test!

I clearly need to up the pie production to keep up with my coworkers!

Happy Pi(e) Day 2011 Everyone!

Pi(e) Day Eve: Pie Preparations


Though less baking work than Pi(e) Day 2010 (just perhaps), there were still lots of pies to be made:  a sweet potato version for Lili Coffeeshop, our gracious Pi(e) Day host and apple pi(e)s for the more geeked out minds of my day job.

Whole Wheat + Unbleached Flour from Saint Vincent Gristmill

Amish Butter from Minerva, Ohio (about 78 miles from PGH)

Maple Syrup from Milroy Farms in Salisbury, PA.  Honey was a reserve supply purchased at the Farmers at the Firehouse fall farmer’s market.

Goat milk chevre and farm fresh eggs

Heavy Whipping Cream from Turner Dairy

Sweet potatoes from Clarion River Organics

For the Crust

16 Tbs Amish butter, cold
1 cup + 3 Tbs Saint Vincent’s Unbleached Flour
1 cup Saint Vincent’s Whole Wheat Flour
1 package goat milk chevre, cold
4 Tbs honey
3 Tbs Apple Cider, ice cold

Whisk together the flours in a medium sized bowl.  Use a pastry blender to cut in the cold butter until dough resembles small peas.  Cut in the cold goat cheese until the mixture resembles coarse sand.  Add and incorporate the honey.  Add the ice cold apple cider.  Use a pastry blender to mix until the dough sticks together.  Use your hands as necessary, but do not overwork the dough.  Form into 2 discs and cover them with foil.  Set aside in the freezer for about 10 minutes or in a refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F

Remove the discs.  On a well floured surface, use a rolling pin to shape the first disc into a rectangle.  Press it into the pan.  Remove overhanging dough.  Roll out the second disc.  Press it into the pan.  Use water to seal the overlapping seam.  Bake for 10 minutes until slightly golden.

For the Sweet Potato Filling

2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1/2 cup maple sugar
2 eggs

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 1 in cubes.  Boil until soft.  Use a mixer to puree.  Blend all the ingredients and pour into the pie crust.

For the Sweet Goat Cheese Swirl

2 goat milk chevre packages
1/2 cup maple sugar
2 eggs

Beat the goat cheese and maple syrup until well blended.  Add the eggs one at a time.  Stir to incorporate.

Spoon dollops of the cream cheese mixture into the sweet potato filling.  Use a chopstick of knife to swirl the two fillings.

Bake for 40-50 minutes until center is set.

Gala apples and Apple Cider from Dawson’s Orchards

All the apple pies started with a base of apple chunks boiled in apple cider and water.  Once the apples were soft, I drained off the water and added a steady flow of honey and stirred to incorporate.  The applesauce was the base, followed by my fancy and then drizzles of maple syrup and buttery flour crumbs.

A special handpie for the little miss coffeeshop namesake!

All packed and ready to transport to work on Pi(e) Day!

Pittsburgh’s Small Press Festival

September 2010


Open Thread is an arts & literary service organization based out of Pittsburgh, whose books, events, and online presence highlight emerging artists and writers from Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. The Pittsburgh SPF is Pittsburgh’s annual small press festival, organized by Open Thread, sponsored by AIR: Artists Image Resource, and supported in part by The Heinz Endowments.

The QT Pi(e) Project was one of the artisanal vendors on site.  I made the pies, and Erin made the ice cream as well as the adornments.  She represented the QT Pi(e) name for both of us while I spent the weekend in the heated wilderness.  The flavors on the menu were:  honey pear, honey peach and maple plum.  As usual, the QT Pies and ice cream were made from all local ingredients!

Honey Pear

Honey Peach

Maple Plum

Honey Peach

Event photos from Erin…

[Trailer] Park[ing] Day & Night + Pie

September 2010

PARK(ing) Day is a annual open-source global event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public places. The project began in 2005 when Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio, converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in downtown San Francisco. Since 2005, PARK(ing) Day has evolved into a global movement.  The mission of PARK(ing) Day is to call attention to the need for more urban open space, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat … at least until the meter runs out!

Maple & Honey & Pear rosettes

The Polish Hill [Trailer] Park[ing] Day and Night was a collaboration between The Caravan Collective and the lovely folks of Lili Coffee Shop featuring friends from, Copacetic Comics Company, Mind Cure Records, the music of Robin Vote and our delicious pies a la mode!

One of the Polish Hill neighbors brought a platter of deliciously deviled and locally sourced eggs.

The Jam!  There was an accordionist, a trumpeter, a bassist and a few dancing kids.

Two pie girls- one with a much lighter hairdo these days.

As the pie sold out, Erin turned into a ghost.  That was the end of the pie participation at [Trailer] Park[ing] Day/Night.



August 2010

Hothouse is The Sprout Fund’s annual benefit and showcase event. The event serves as stage to present a sampling of some of the innovative projects and emerging leaders of successful community initiatives supported by Sprout over the past year. Held annually at unique development sites, the event celebrates the organization’s accomplishments and features live music and performances, food and drink by Pittsburgh favorites, a silent auction, and a VIP reception.

The Sprout Fund was the sponsor of the QT Pi(e) Project, so we were part of the county fair!

Part of the impetus behind The QT Pi(e) Project was my desire to have a bakery at a 314 address called “QT Pi(e)’s.”  The hothouse booth was just that!  The concept was a diner façade where county regulars would sit and chat with their QT Pie hostesses dressed in proper diner waitress ensembles.  The menu for the night- pie a la mode made from all local, natural ingredients!

Making it happen…

The QT Pi(e) Project is very fortunate indeed to have its own, personal, tremendously talented carpenter- the dashing carpenter!  In exchange for love and pies, Kristian  often lends a very talented hand.  This time around, Kristian made our QT Pie dream concept a reality.  In an effort to leave the man to his madness, there aren’t many photos of the making of the booth, but we have some of the finishing touches to show.

A few things changed since the initial scheme.  In the interest of fully using the potential of our space, we opted to use an entire table instead of attaching little counter tops to the sides of the booth.  Rather than a brick facade, we went with a bright blue!  The people at the paint store thought we were crazy, but the color reminded us of old French bakeries. With so much work, we opted not to have a pie throwing element.  We’d rather eat our QT Pies then waste them on antics.  The last thing we needed was a menu board, but there was a dashing carpenter to that rescue as well!

Hothouse came and went so quickly.  Our bakery facade exceeded our expectations.  We shared our pie and ice cream mission with several party attendees who made some of the best faces after sampling our pies!  And we still had time to party!  All in all, it was worth the effort.  Special thanks to Dana Leigh Dolney, our official QT Pie photographer for the evening.

As always, for the full pi(e) story, check out The QT Pi(e) Blog.