Kitchen Hacks

Perfectly Slice a Pie With This Easy Math Trick

November 16, 2017

Cutting a Thanksgiving pie can easily become a mismatched mess. We’re only human, and being able to slice perfectly portioned pieces is no easy feat. But fans of egalitarian eating rejoice (!), your salvation may have arrived in the form of a helpful math (!!) video.

The video is from the Youtube account of So What Learning and will give you a geometry lesson you are unlikely to forget. Using only a piece of paper wrapped in plastic, the video breaks down a pie into a perfect half, then a perfect quarter, and finally a perfect eighth. Behold a delicious pumpkin pie divided into 8 same-size slices. Too good to be true? Check out the proof:

There you have it: a pumpkin pie for eight—without skimping on anyone’s slice. Will this technique hold up for some of the other Thanksgiving classics? Can a crunchy pecan pie take the trigonometric treatment? Will the crust of an apple torte hold up to geometry? These answers still remain to be seen. Until then, I will welcome geometry to my Thanksgiving table and give this little trick a whirl.

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Will you try out this trick or leave it behind? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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Valerio is a freelance food writer, editor, researcher and cook. He grew up in his parent's Italian restaurants covered in pizza flour and drinking a Shirley Temple a day. Since, he's worked as a cheesemonger in New York City and a paella instructor in Barcelona. He now lives in Berlin, Germany where he's most likely to be found eating shawarma.


judy December 6, 2017
Draw a line across the top in the center. then decide if one wants 6, 8 or 12 slices. And cut accordingly. Works pretty well.
Matilda L. November 17, 2017
Cutting eight slices is easy. How about 12?
Lily November 17, 2017
Getting pedantic here, but that technique can only get you 4 equal quarters. Note that in the video, the server just free-hands the final cut for an "eighth."
AntoniaJames November 16, 2017
I consider myself fortunate that my tribe could care not less if one person's slice were a bit larger or smaller than the other. The math is fun, but the idea that slices (of pie, for crying out loud!) need to be identical strikes me as rather sad. ;o)
Kerry November 16, 2017
Is this video really just showing you how to cut a pie evenly into 8 pieces? I would think this is the easiest part of baking a pie and serving it. Show me a trick to keep the slices nice and clean (vs. falling apart, etc. when serving) and I'd be interested, but this just seems unnecessarily complicated.