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
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.
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.
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.
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.