Sunday, 13 March 2016

A pie and a pint

I've been highly amused by the extensive press and TV coverage of the controversy caused by a pasty winning the British Pie of the Year award.

Although I don't really go in much for the idea of beer and food matching, there is nothing finer than a pork pie and a pint of bitter. So what qualifies as a pie, and what doesn't?

To me, a pie has to be fully enclosed, so a dish topped with a pastry lid isn't a pie, whatever it says on the menu. On the pie/pasty issue, I'm instinctively with those who say that they're two separate things, but I'm not really sure why. It's nothing to do with the filling, sweet or savoury, or whether it's served hot or cold, so maybe it just comes down to the shape.


  1. It's a good question Matthew. I agree about a pie needing to be enclosed. I also think that a pie is more substantial than a pasty. With a pie there is less pastry as a proportion of the dish as compared for the filling. So that would have something to do with the shape. What a pity that Socrates and Descartes has nothing to say on the subject. Karl.

  2. Was it it with pie fascists insisting on full pastry covering?

    It's the filling/pastry ratio that matters

    1. There’s nothing wrong with being a “pie fascist”. A proper pie has pastry top, bottom and sides. Anything else is a casserole with a pastry lid!

  3. "Pies are defined by their crusts. A filled pie (also single-crust or bottom-crust), has pastry lining the baking dish, and the filling is placed on top of the pastry but left open. A top-crust pie has the filling in the bottom of the dish and is covered with a pastry or other covering before baking. A two-crust pie has the filling completely enclosed in the pastry shell."

    Wikipedia which, as we all know, is never wrong.