Happy National Pie day!
Pie is a delicious dish made of pastry dough with flavourful fillings and toppings. Pies come in all shapes and sizes. There are both savoury and sweet pies that are perfect as a main course or dessert. You may be surprised by the fillings as some are similar to cakes while some are filled with meat and gravy.
History of Pie
What a time to be alive as we even have a special day for pie. Foodies like us will be glad to have an excuse to have pie anytime!
The first pie was said to be made by early Romans that was influenced by the Greeks. However, it can be said that the original pie has been around since Egyptian times. The early forms of pie was baked with a crust meant to only cover the fillings. The Egyptians referred to it as a “coffyn” instead of crust. It was general practice by the Egyptians to discard the crust and only eat the fillings.
The first pie recipes published by the Romans was goat cheese with honey pie. The first fruit pie was around the 1500s as the English made a cherry pie in honour of Queen Elizabeth I.
During the American Revolution, the term “crust” was used instead of “coffyn” as it was commonplace to eat the pie crust instead of throwing it away. Over the decades, pie has evolved to what it is now, and it has become part of American culture and tradition dessert.
Type of Pies
Generally, there are four types of pies. Though there are many types, we definitely love them all!
- Savoury pies
Savoury pies are pies that are filled with meat, poultry, vegetables or seafood. The pie usually has a brittle and crispy crust to contrast the soft and warm centre. Some savoury pies include chicken pot pie, quiche and shepherd pies.
- Fruit pies
Fruity pies have fillings with fruits cooked over low heat with sugar and starch to thicken the sauces. Common fruit pies are apple, peach, blueberry and cherry.
- Cream pies
Cream pies consist of pudding made with a mixture of milk, corn-starch and flavourings. The dough will be cook over low heat until the sauce thickens and then cooled before pouring into the pie crust. Popular cream pie flavours include lemon, banana, butterscotch and chocolate.
- Custard pies
Custard pie is a type of pie with fillings consisting of egg, sugar, salt, vanilla essence and dairy products. The mixture is then pour into the half-cooked crust before being baked together in the oven. It is usually mixed with caramelise pecan or pumpkin.
Besides the types of pies, there are also various kinds of pie crust, and each coating is specially used for various pies.
- Pâte Brisée
Pâte Brisée has a thin and flaky texture where it contains a little to no sugar that gives the crust it’s flakiness. It is also called a shortcrust pastry and is usually used for apple pies, quiches, savoury meat pies and classic Filipino egg pies. Pate Brisée is made using simple ingredients such as flour, cold water, cold butter and a pinch of salt.
- Pâte Sucrée
Pâte Sucrée is similar to Pate Brisée but is less flaky and has cookied-like consistency since it contains more sugar and egg yolk. The crust is quite tender but firm enough to cover or hold the filling.
The process of making the crust is similar to that of making cookies. Melted butter is beat together with white sugar over high speed. Flour and egg yolk is then added into the mixture. This crust is excellent for making cream pies, chocolate ganache and lemon meringue pies.
- Pâte Sablée
Pâte Sablée is the sweetest pie crust among all the three types as it contains a high amount of sugar and butter that gives it a sandy texture. This crust is also called a shortbread crust or sweet cookie crust.
This crunchy crust is suitable for fruit and cream pies as the crust holds runny or liquid fillings well. The runny mixture is creamed before adding the dry ingredients.
How to Celebrate National Pie Day
For anyone who likes pies or want to give pies a try, you can also make it at home. Here’s a simple recipe for chocolate cream pie.
(For the crust)
- 230 g of all purposed flour
- 1 tbsp of grounded sugar
- 1 tsp of grounded salt
- ½ cup of unsalted butter (softened and cut into a small cube)
- ½ cup of cold water
(For the filling)
- 2 ½ cups of whole milk
- ½ cup of sugar
- ¼ cup of corn-starch
- Three egg yolks
- ¼ of grounded salt
- 230 g of chocolate (chopped)
- 4 tbsp of unsalted butter
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- ¼ cup of shaved chocolate
(For the crust)
- Mix all-purpose flour, sugar and salt in one bowl. Whisk all the dry ingredients well.
- Add unsalted butter into the flour mixture and mix it slowly until the butter is fully enveloped into the flour.
- Slowly add cold water and mix into the mixture using a spatula.
- Take out the dough and roll it on the table. Sprinkle flour on the dough and roll it again to about 10-15 inch, and fold the dough.
- Cut the dough into two pieces.
- Take one piece and rolled it to about 13 inches across. Sprinkle more flour on the sticky spot and flip and dust over the sticky spot.
- Drape on a 9-inch circumference pie plate and cut the extra hanging dough on a plate.
- Fold the excess edge dough to form the border for the crust.
- Preheat the oven at 325°C and put the crust inside for 20 minutes or until golden.
(For the fillings)
- Put milk, sugar, corn-starch, egg yolk and salt in a large bowl and whisk together over medium heat until the mixture has thickened (7-8 minutes).
- Add chopped chocolate and butter in the mixture. Whisk the ingredients all together.
- Pour the mixture into the pie base and chill until firm for 4-5 hours.
- Whipped the heavy cream on top of the chocolate and sprinkle the shaved chocolate.
Sit down and spend some time to enjoy your favourite pies with your loved ones. If you are too lazy to make one, you can order pies from any restaurant. Visit foodpanda for various pie recipes and more food.