Happy Pi Day (Cherry Pie Included)!

In case you are feeling short of things to celebrate, there is always Pi Day – March 14 (3/14).
 
As you remember from high school math, Pi (Greek letter “π”) is a mathematical symbol representing the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159.
 
Pi has been used to calculate probability, determine the orbits and mass of celestial objects, optimize TV and radio signals, build the great pyramids — it even features in Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle.
 
And of course, it is the foundation of several wacky stock market theories, including Martin Armstrong’s Economic Confidence Model (ECM), which asserts that every 8.6 years there is a major decline in the market in response to world events. The economic climate then improves until the next 8.6-year crisis.
 
ECM is also known as the “Pi” cycle, because 8.6 years equals 3,141 days (get it?). In Armstrong’s view, Pi is a universal constant that may help explain the model’s ability to “predict” events such as the crash of 1989 and the Great Recession. According to the theory, we should have seen a world-wide crash in 2015 that would last until about 2020. Armstrong also predicted that the Dow would hit 30,000 in 2015. Two years later, the Dow is still about 10,000 points short, and that world-wide crash has yet to happen.
 
There are few certainties in the stock market, but we do know that investing in bad ideas based on crackpot theories is a reliable way to lose money.
 
Like Pi, investing (and certainly investors) may not be fully rational, but you can still build from that irrationality with a careful, scientific approach, based on extensive academic research, to achieve (potentially) notable results.
 
That’s the ostensible reason we are celebrating Pi Day, but really, this is just a good excuse to eat pie (which apart from being a homophone for Pi, is circular, with a circumference to ratio diameter of approximately 3.14159).
 
To inspire you, here is an old family recipe for cherry pie from Loring Ward’s Senior Events Manager Alison Birchler. Enjoy!
 
Fresh Three Cherry Pie
 
For the Crust:
2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
5 tablespoons (or more) ice water
2 tablespoons of milk or egg wash
 
For the filling:
5-6 cups fresh pitted cherries, (combination of black, Rainier & sour cherries)
1/3 cup of cornstarch
½ – ¾ cup of sugar, plus one tablespoon (depending on sweetness and variety of cherries)
½ cup of water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract
 
For the crust:
In a food processor or large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add water one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture comes together and forms a ball. Divide dough in two. Form each piece into a ball, then flatten into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
 
For the filling:
In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and cornstarch; stir in water and whisk until smooth. Stir in cherries and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently for about 5-10 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and almond extracts and lemon juice.
 
Assembly & baking:
Preheat oven to 375
Roll out one dough disk on floured surface to a 12-inch round. Transfer to a 9-inch pie dish and trim dough overhang to about ½ inch. Roll out second disk on floured surface to a 12-inch round. Using a large knife or pastry wheel with fluted edge, cut ten ¾ inch wide strips from dough round.
 
Transfer filling to dough lined dish. Arrange dough strips atop filling, forming lattice. Trim dough strip overhang to ½ inch. Fold bottom crust over the edge and crimp to seal top and bottom crusts. Brush lattice with milk or egg wash and lightly sprinkle with remaining sugar.
 
Bake pie 50 minutes or until filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown, covering edges with foil collar if browning too quickly. Transfer pie to rack and cool completely. Cut into wedges and serve.
 
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