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Food: Recipes, cookbook reviews, food notes, and restaurant reviews. Unless otherwise noted, I have personally tried each recipe that gets its own page, but not necessarily recipes listed as part of a cookbook review.

Bicentennial Pie for Pi Day

Jerry Stratton, March 9, 2022

A pie and crust from 1976 for Pi Day. The crust is a coconut crust, and the pie is a whipped orange-gelatin filling. Top it all off with chopped macadamia nuts and you’ve got a pie fit for any holiday.


Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Jean Anderson
Review: Bicentennial Cook Book, Fruitport Ladies Auxiliary Post 7803 (Jerry@Goodreads)


  • 1 gelatin packet
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • zest and juice of two oranges
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • ½ cup chopped macadamia nuts.


  1. Mix the gelatin and sugar together.
  2. Dissolve in boiling water.
  3. Mix in the juice, zest, and cold water.
  4. Add cream cheese and beat until smooth.
  5. Refrigerate until partially set.
  6. Whip the cream and fold into the partially set gelatin.
  7. Pour into a pre-baked pie crust, or mix with fruit.
  8. Chill until firm.
  9. Sprinkle macadamia nuts over top.
Pi Day 2022 banner: Creamy orange pie banner for Pi Day 2022.; Pi Day; π Day; 2022

Are you ready for Pi Day? If not, here’s a great idea for a gelatin-whipped cream pie in a coconut crust. I’m calling it “bicentennial pie” because I pulled both parts from separate bicentennial cookbooks. It might more appropriately but less imaginatively be called creamy orange pie with macadamia nuts, or Hawaiian pie.

I picked up a couple of neat community cookbooks last year, dedicated to the bicentennial in 1976. The first is the Fruitport (Michigan) Bicentennial Cook Book from the Ladies Auxiliary of the Fruitport, Michigan, VFW and the second is the Garvin County (Oklahoma) Extension Homemakers Bicentennial Recipe Book. They’re both really nice cookbooks. I’m especially fond of the bread-and-butter pickles from the Fruitport book and the herb crackers from the Garvin County book.


Coconut Pie Crust

Servings: 1
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Mrs. Ray Duncan
Review: Garvin County Extension Home-Makers Bicentennial Recipe Book 1976 (Jerry@Goodreads)


  • ⅓ cup butter
  • 2 cups coconut


  1. Melt the butter over low heat.
  2. Stir-fry the coconut until lightly browned.
  3. Press the coconut into a pie dish and chill.
Creamy Orange Salad: Creamy orange salad (Fruitport Bicentennial) with strawberries.; whipped cream; Pi Day; π Day; oranges

“Creamy Orange” describes this dish very well. “Salad” not so much, but I’m not complaining.

Pickles, however, despite the first two letters of their name, are not the subject of Pi Day. Pie is the subject, and I combined two very simple recipes in these books to make a great orange-coconut-macadamia pie. It takes a coconut pie crust from Garvin County, a fluffy orange “salad” from Fruitport, with macadamia nuts sprinkled over the top. I featured this pie in my 2021 Year in Food. It was one of the highlights—food-wise—of the year. I’m a sucker for light, whipped pie fillings.

The crust is from Mrs. Ray Duncan of Erin Springs, Oklahoma. The creamy orange filling is from Jean Anderson of Coopersville, Michigan. It’s not meant as a filling, but as a “creamy orange salad”. My guess is that the salad is meant to be eaten with other fresh fruit. It’s certainly wonderful with strawberries, but it’s also wonderful, if decadent, on its own.

It was very much a recipe I wanted to make again, and soon. When I saw the very simple recipe for making a coconut pie crust in the Garvin County book, that was my excuse for making the recipe a second time. It seemed to me that a fluffy orange filling inside a coconut crust would make a great pie. That I had an opened bag of chopped macadamia nuts lying around was the literal topping on the idea.

There’s no baking involved in this pie. Both the filling and the crust are made on the stovetop and then chilled. As you can see in the photos, I did not use food coloring to make it orange. What color it has comes from the fruit. If I’d been making it for a party instead of my own greedy self I might have spruced it up a bit.

If you need to reduce the work involved, you can use a package of orange gelatin in place of the unflavored gelatin, sugar, and orange. Or any flavor you prefer. And you can use whipped topping in place of the whipping cream. The original recipe calls for both of those, but I enjoy whipped cream’s texture and fresh fruit’s flavor more.

Slice of bicentennial pie: A creamy orange pie in a coconut crust topped with macadamia nuts.; Pi Day; π Day; pie; oranges; coconut; macadamia nuts

I’ve put both of these cookbooks on my shelf next to the community cookbooks from the church group where I grew up. Fruitport actually is near where I grew up, Garvin County is apparently just as rural. Both books have a similar sensibility to them. They’re filled with practical ideas, fun ideas, new ideas, and old standards. And some of the old standards are new to me.

You can, of course, make this pie in any flavor. Lemon or lime are both obvious variations, of course, but puréed berries or mashed bananas would also work, as should any canned fruit. Or any flavoring extract. Make three pies: one with red berry, one with blue berry, and one with vanilla!

Fruitport Bicentennial Cookbook: A 1975 cookbook from the Ladies Auxiliary of the Fruitport, Michigan, VFW.; cookbooks; Fruitport, Michigan

I love this cover—it’s what drew my attention to this cookbook in the first place. From what I’ve been able to tell, it’s a stock cover that was used on several community cookbooks.

Garvin County Bicentennial Cookbook: The Bicentennial Cookbook of the Garvin County Extension Homemakers, Garvin County, Oklahoma.; cookbooks; Garvin County, Oklahoma

Another great cover. These two cookbooks are “two great tastes that taste great together.”

In response to Lemon icebox pie for Pi Day: Are you ready for Pi Day? If you trust your eggs, there is nothing like pies made from beaten egg yolks and egg whites.

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