A sta­ple of din­ner ta­bles, bak­eries and snack bars world­wide, pies and tarts are en­joyed any­where and at any time of the day. Pies come in a huge va­ri­ety: hol­i­day pies, home­made pies, grand pies, tiny pies, sweet pies and savoury pies. There are pies for

Crave - - CONTENTS - Words Lor­ria Sah­met Pho­tos Happy Yuen

Pies and tarts to warm your hearts

1. Meat Pie

This palm-sized An­tipodean meat pie is de­signed to be en­joyed on the go. Tra­di­tion­ally filled with minced meat and gravy, and served with a dol­lop of ketchup on top, the pies also come with fill­ings such as onion, mush­rooms, cheese and ex­otic meats such as camel and buf­falo. As well as street stalls, meat pies can be found in many pubs and restau­rants, served with peas, mashed pota­toes and an ice-cold beer.

2. Baked Cheese Tarts

Orig­i­nat­ing in Ja­pan and hugely pop­u­lar across Asia, th­ese bite-sized tarts are twice baked for a crumbly, crunchy, cookie-tex­tured crust. The fluffy in­te­rior is made from three types of cream cheese: mild Hako­date cheese from Hokkaido, full-bod­ied Bet­sukai cheese and a salted French cheese for flavour. How­ever, don’t be fooled by its cheesy fill­ing; th­ese tarts tend to be slightly sweet rather than savoury.

3. Spanako­pita

A Greek ren­di­tion of the spinach pie, spanako­pita is made by wrap­ping in­gre­di­ents – typ­i­cally spinach, feta, egg and onions – in flaky filo pas­try, made with but­ter or olive oil, and baked. A pop­u­lar snack, the clas­sic tri­an­gu­lar pas­try is of­ten served with tzatziki, a dip made from yo­gurt, gar­lic, cu­cum­ber and fresh herbs (usu­ally dill or mint). For ex­tra gooey­ness, use a mix­ture of dif­fer­ent cheeses.

4. Quiche

Na­tive to France, the quiche is a savoury, open tart com­bin­ing eggs, cheese, milk or cream, and some­times meat, seafood or veg­eta­bles to form a cus­tard-like fill­ing cooked in a savoury pas­try crust. A usual sus­pect at lunch, quiche is com­monly served warm with a sim­ple salad. Pop­u­lar fill­ings in­clude ba­con, Gruyère cheese, ham, spinach, leek, goat’s cheese and mush­rooms.

Can be served hot or cold.

5. Co­conut Tart

A sib­ling of the Hong Kong egg tart, the co­conut tart is a beloved dessert with a sweet fill­ing of shred­ded co­conut, ic­ing sugar, melted but­ter and a splash of vanilla with a maraschino cherry on top. Un­like the egg tart’s flaky pas­try base, the co­conut tart calls for a but­tery, short­crust pas­try that com­ple­ments the fluffy in­te­rior. They’re pop­u­lar at lo­cal bak­eries, and are best eaten warm for a sat­is­fy­ing crunch.

6. Cal­zone

Mean­ing “stock­ing” in Ital­ian, cal­zone is an oven-baked folded sand­wich made from salted bread dough. Of­ten sold by street ven­dors, its folded form be­gan as an ef­fort to make pizza eas­ier to en­joy while on the go. Typ­i­cally stuffed with salami or ham, moz­zarella, ri­cotta, parme­san and an egg, the fill­ings vary from re­gion to re­gion and are usu­ally rem­i­nis­cent of pizza top­pings. Deep-fried cal­zones are also com­mon.

7. Ap­ple Pie

Among the most iconic Amer­i­can com­fort foods, ap­ple pie is known for its gen­er­ously packed, sticky fill­ing and golden flaky crust. Slices of sweet and tart ap­ples are spiced with cin­na­mon and sugar then en­cased in pas­try with a neatly lat­ticed or closed top. Other pop­u­lar fill­ings in­clude apri­cots, black­ber­ries and straw­ber­ries. Spices like ginger, cloves and nut­meg can also be used for taste vari­a­tions. Best en­joyed with ice cream, whipped cream, or both.

8. Banof­fee Pie

Back in 1971, the chef and owner of the Hun­gry Monk restau­rant in East Sus­sex were test­ing the US recipe for Blum’s Cof­fee Tof­fee Pie and found it want­ing. They ex­per­i­mented with adding ba­nana to the recipe and the banof­fee pie was born. A play on words, the banof­fee is a mix­ture of ba­nanas and tof­fee on a base of crum­bled bis­cuits and but­ter, gen­er­ously slathered in whipped cream (or cof­fee­whipped cream) and topped with light choco­late shav­ings or caramelised pecans.

9. Por­tuguese Egg Tart

What makes the Por­tuguese egg tart unique is the slightly caramelised top re­sem­bling a bite-sized crème brûlée that is sur­rounded by a but­tery and flaky pas­try. Tak­ing in­spi­ra­tion from Por­tu­gal’s pas­tel de nata, thanks to Ma­cau’s Por­tuguese her­itage, the sweet creamy-cus­tard cen­tre is made by com­bin­ing milk, sugar, vanilla and egg yolk. A pop­u­lar Ma­canese street snack, Por­tuguese egg tarts are found through­out the city.

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