Wednesday 24 March 2010

What makes a pie a pie?

I was browsing wikipedia this evening and of course my thoughts turned to pie. What would this most modern vault of knowledge have to say about a pastry product that we have been enjoying for centuries? It certainly made for an interesting read. I enjoyed learning about the history of pies. For example did you know that 'pyes' were mentioned as far back as 12th century England? However I found some of the article was rather contentious, specifically their definition of pie.

'Pies can be either "filled", where a dish is covered by pastry and the filling is placed on top of that, "top-crust," where the filling is placed in a dish and covered with a pastry/potato mash top before baking, or "two-crust," with the filling completely enclosed in the pastry shell.' - Wikipedia article on pies @ 20:30 24/03/10

Personally when someone gives me a dish containing a casserole with pastry placed on top and calls it pie I die a little inside. I feel this can hardly be called a pie but it seems that this shoddy practice has infiltrated the public conciousness as a supposedly acceptable practice for some time. I fear it is too late to turn back the tide on this one. However, do I think that this idea of filling on pastry that they call "filled" is a pie? To quote Margaret Thatcher, no, no, no! I think this is an abomination. It isn't even fit to use the letters p, i or e; it should clearly be called a tart! I have never heard anyone call such a thing a pie and hope I never will. I don't want to see the filling of my pie before I eat it, it would be naked! I only tolerate lattice pies because they look pretty. I would appreciate any views other have on this matter.

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