Tarts and Pies are generally made of a pastry crust base, with fillings that are either sweet or savory. They are both quite similar in structure. In fact the French word “tarte” also means Pie. A pie is usually covered, with a filling on the inside, whilst tarts have a filling over the pastry base and are generally left uncovered.

The history of tarts and pies dates back as far as the early origin of flour dough and the invention of the oven. The earliest ovens were simply clay pots heated by placing a fire on the inside; to help keep the juices of the filling from escaping and getting burnt, the meat fillings were wrapped in a cover made of dough before being placed in the ovens to bake, thus resulting in the coming to be of the very first Pie.

Some different types of Tarts & Pies...

1. Custard based tarts

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These are pies consisting of a pastry base filled with uncooked custard filling. Typically here, the base & the custard are baked together in the oven. Popular examples of custard based tarts are chocolate tart, cheese pie and the very popular old fashioned custard pie.

2. Fruit tart

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These usually contain a sweet short crust pastry base, together with a filling of custard or a cream topped with fruit. Popular examples of fruit tarts are fresh fruit tart, strawberry tart and mixed berry tart.

3. Fruit pie

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These are fully enclosed pastry dishes filled with different kinds of cooked fruit. Some popular examples of fruit pies are the apple pie, blueberry pie and pumpkin pie.

4. Quiche

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This is an unsweetened open pastry filled with savory egg based custard. Some popular examples of quiches are the Ham & Cheese Quiche, Spinach Quiche and Quiche Lorraine.

5. Pot pie

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This is a savory dish filled with vegetables and meat covered with a pastry crust. Some popular examples of Pot Pies are Chicken Pot Pie, Turkey Pot Pie and the Vegetable Pot Pie.

Tarts & Pie Recipe of the Day - Banoffee Pie

About Banoffee Pie

Banoffee Pie is a desert pie that consists either of a shortcrust pastry or crushed biscuit and butter base. It is filled with cream, bananas and flavored with coffee. Apart from the sliced bananas, the most important ingredient in the Banoffee Pie is the boiled condensed milk, which is made into a toffee sauce by heating for several hours. The desert is set in the fridge and never baked, making this pie a very easy recipe to produce.

The owner of The Hungry Monk Restaurant in East Sussex, England, first made the Banoffee Pie. This came about in 1971 when Nigel Mackenzie, the owner and his executive chef Ian Dowding tweaked an American recipe known as Blums Coffee Toffee Pie and created their own version; Banoffee Pie. This recipe of theirs became so popular that it quickly spread all over the country and around the world.

This Dish

The crunchy biscuit base here blends well with the sliced ripe bananas and enriched with the indulgent toffee sauce, topped with the subtle coffee-flavored whipped cream. The chocolate and nut garnish adds a new dimension of texture and flavor.

Ingredients Quantity
For the Dulce de Leche
Condensed milk 350 g (1 tin)
For the Crust
Digestive biscuits, crushed 250 g
Light soft brown sugar 1 tbsp
Butter, melted 200 g
For the Whipped Cream
Whipped cream/double cream 300 ml
Instant Coffee powder 1 tsp (add 1 tsp of hot water to dissolve)
For the Filling
Bananas 3 pieces
Lemon juice 2 tsp
For the Garnish
Dark chocolate (grated) ¼ cup
Nuts (toasted, chopped) optional

Method of Cooking

  1. For making the toffee sauce, fill a small saucepan with water halfway through and place the unopened can in the middle of the saucepan. The can should be covered with water and bring to a boil, reduce the heat, partially cover with a lid and simmer gently for 3 hours and add water as it evaporates. Remove from pan and leave to cool.
  2. Mix the biscuit crumbs with brown sugar and melted butter in a bowl until it resembles wet sand, then empty into a tart pan. Press into the base and shape the sides up to 1”. Chill in the fridge until firm.
  3. Slice bananas (1 cm slices), toss them in lemon juice and spread them over the biscuit base.
  4. Open the can of Dulce de Leche (caramelized condensed milk) and spread it over the bananas.
  5. Whip the cream until soft peak, then add the instant coffee powder mixed with 1 tsp of water and fold into the cream.
  6. Spread the Dulce de Leche over the banana layer, cover evenly with the whipped coffee cream.
  7. Sprinkle grated chocolate and some chopped nuts (if using). Chill for at least one hour before serving.