Tortes, Tarts and Pies: Three Delightfully Different Creations.
We thought we’d take this opportunity to explore precisely what distinguishes tortes, tarts and pies from one another. We will begin with pie because after all, February is in fact Great American Pie Month.
First, a pie is generally baked in a shell or a crust of some sort, with one or two crusts. However crusts can vary. A pie can have bottom crusts only, or top and bottom crusts or, as with DEEP-DISH pies, only a top crust. Also a pie can be sweet or savory. Typically a pie is made with a filling. The filling can be fruit, pudding, meat or vegetable. Sweet pies are generally served as dessert and savory pies as the main course or appetizer.
So even among pies, there are many variations. However, the authenticity of a pie is established by the following definition: “anything surrounded on at least one side by pastry–or, in a pinch, yeasted dough.”
Now on to tarts. Simply stated, a tart is defined as a pastry crust with shallow sides. This short crust is made from butter and eggs and often sweetened with sugar. These ingredients make the pastry rich and crumbly rather than flaky. A tart is baked in a shallow, rimless, straight-sided tart tin with a removable bottom or in a tart band positioned on a baking sheet. When baked, the once fragile pastry develops enough strength to form a pastry shell that can support its filling without the help of the tart tin.
Also, with tarts fillings can be sweet or savory. Some do call a tart a type of pie. Generally tarts are conceived to serve one individual… mini pies ones that resemble little pies. However, there are bigger tarts, and they can be one-layered open-faced, or covered.
A torte on the other hand is authentically defined as a rich, layered cake-like confection whereby the cake is leavened only with eggs. It uses none to very little flour, but instead ground nuts or bread crumbs, sugar and flavorings instead. Tortes are often multilayered and often have fillings like jams or buttercreams. Tortes are not as light as cake.
Well there you have it. We hope we’ve shed some light on the differences for you! If you would like to see for yourself, we suggest you come in and explore. Alpine’s Tortes Include Banana’s Foster European Torte, Classic Opera Torte, Hazelnut European Torte, and Raspberry Dark Chocolate Torte. Pies include Coconut Cream Pie, Chocolate Banana Cream Pie, Banana Cream Pie, Key Lime Pie, Peanut Butter Pie, Chocolate Cream Pie, Fresh Fruit and Custard Pie, Apple Pie, Blueberry Crumb Pie. Our Tarts include our yummy Fruit Tart with Custard.
So where should you start, Torte, Tart, or Pie? Anywhere you want!