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Pies, Pies and More Pies


Savoury, sweet, short or puff pastry, even no pastry at all, Britain and Ireland has had a love affair with pies since the 12th century. Then the pie crust was called a “coffyn” and the pie would be more crust than filling.

Though traditional pie recipes from Britain and Ireland have worked their way into the cooking of countries worldwide, the reverse is also true. Here is a collection of not only British Pies, but also pies from around the world.

What is a Pie?

Cornish Pasty - Photo © istock
Pie (noun), a savory or sweet dish, usually cooked in a container, consisting of a quantity of food with a covering/or base of pastry. CHAMBERS CONCISE DICTIONARY

In Britain & Ireland, normally a pie has a base and a covering of pastry. A base only is usually called a tart. As always, there are exceptions; a Lemon Meringue Pie, has a pastry base & a covering of meringue!

Two of Britain's most famous recipes a Cornish Pasty and a Beef Wellington are not called pies but both involve a filling in pastry.

There are even pies which don't have pastry at all, such as a Shepherd's or Cottage Pie. Trust the British and Irish to not make it easy!

And the name pie? Believed to come from the bird, Magpie; a collector of many things.

Traditional Pies - Savory

Venison Pie Recipe
Venison Pie - Photo © Mitchell Beazley
Pies in the true 'British' sense of the word, pastry bottom and top. All of these, whether British, Irish or from other parts of the world will make great lunch or supper dishes. Most are also great cold and so are perfect for a lunch box, a party or a picnic.

British Pies - Sweet

Eccles Cakes - Eccles Cake Recipe
Eccles Cakes - Photo © stockXpert.com
And for the sweet-toothed, traditional sweet pies ...

British Tarts

Bakewell Tart Recipe
Individual Bakewell Tarts - Photo © RFB photography
In the British understanding of the word these are not 'pies' but tarts, who cares, they are delicious.

These are British classics

Sweet Tarts from Around the World

Apple Pie - Photo © istock
From America ... when I think of America I always think of Apple Pie but there are so many more, here are just a few.

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