We REALLY wanted to celebrate Pi Day (3/14) ON pi day, but with meetings from morning until late afternoon that Sunday, and friends having the nerve to leave town, we couldn't make it work. So we postponed it until the following Sunday and gorged ourselves on, first, a Chocolate Pear Tart (maybe not technically a pie, but it had my homemade pie crust, so I say it counted. This tart has a great flavor, aided by a little almond extract and 5 oz of grated Belgian chocolate on the bottom. I didn't have pears that were as firm as I wanted, since the tart has to bake for about half an hour, so I made do with my riper ones, but it was still good.
Then we moved on to the Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Pie. Man, oh man. This one was the star of the night. I've tweaked it several times over the years, and I must say, I think I reached near perfection with it this time around. It. was. marvelous. The berries were juicy and red and flavorful, the sugar/cornstarch/corn syrup/whipping cream/chocolate ratios were spot on, the pie crust was flaky with a little bit of crisp, and the painted chocolate on the crust had just enough thickness to perfectly complement the glaze on the berries without the chocolate itself turning soggy. Oh heavens. I'm not usually one to totally fawn over my own concoctions (I will most often say "thank you", "glad you liked it", or even downplay its taste by revealing a mistake or two), but I save the following praise for especially incredible things, and you have to imagine it with a lot of attitude:
"I just got two words to say: DAY-AM!!"
Once the farmer's markets here kick in for the late spring/early summer, this pie will be revisited and regorged upon.