10 Perfect pie recipes

Nothing beats the taste of homemade pie. And, because you can vary the fillings and toppings, there truly is a pie for every season and occasion. Once you've decided what kind of pie you'd like, all you need to do is master a few simple techniques. Click here for a complete guide to pie making, from creating the perfect crust, to constructing a lattice top, plus information on essential equipment and ten great recipes. Soon, making a hot crusty one won't be, well, pie in the sky.

Pies Versus Tarts

There's an almost endless variety of pies, including those filled with fruit, custard, or nuts, and those that have a bottom crust, a double crust, a lattice top, a streusel top, or a meringue topping. But two characteristics all pies have are a filling and a flaky pastry crust. Some are filled then baked, while others are baked empty, then filled-this is called blind baking and is explained in the baking section. Most pies are baked in a round, shallow, slope-sided pan, but a deep-dish pan can also be used.

Like pies, tarts consist of a filling and a pastry shell. The main difference is in the dough, which is slightly sweeter and more tender than pie dough. Some tarts are baked with their filling while others are baked and then filled. The biggest difference between the two is that tarts are always open-faced-they never have a top or lattice crust. Tarts are usually baked in a straight-sided pan, often with a fluted edge, but they can be baked in different sized and shaped pans, including mini-tartlet pans.

Ten Terrific Pies and Tarts

Classic Double-Crust Apple Pie

Spiced Pecan Pie

Berry Streusel Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

Tropical Fruit Tart

Caramel Pumpkin Pie

Coconut Cream Tart with Macadamia Nut Crust

Peach Lattice Pie

Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding Pie with Creme Fraiche Topping

Key Lime Pie

Baking expert, food writer, and cooking teacher Carole Bloom is a Certified Culinary Professional (CCP). She is author of nine cookbooks on desserts and pastries, including The Essential Baker: The Comprehensive Guide to Baking with Chocolate, Fruit, Nuts, Spices, and Other Ingredients (Wiley 2007). To learn more about Bloom, go to carolebloom.com.


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