It's National Pie Day!
January 23, 2009 5:32 PM   Subscribe

It's National Pie Day! Whether we're in search of the best pies in the United States or have long been troubled by our personal quests to turn out the perfect pie, we should all agree: quiche is not pie.

The American Pie Council® (they're awfully fond of that ®), charged with promotion of the world's most sublime of comestibles, encourages you to celebrate pie.

Like all illustrious foodstuffs, pie has a long and venerable history. But we don't care about then, we want pie now.

So what's stopping you? Maybe it's your fear of never making the perfect pie crust (vodka!). Maybe you want something a little more unusual: sawdust, vinegar, avocado, grape, pickle.

Maybe you just haven't found your favorite pie recipe. Maybe you like your pies savory, not sweet: pork, cheese and onion, chicken pot pie, mushroom.

Or maybe you've had it with attempting your own and you just want the best someone else can make, whether it's from a local bakery or the freezer section, including crusts.

Scholars of pie cookery rely on Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Pie and Pastry Bible and the forthcoming Pie: A Global History by Janet Clarkson. Pies, like many other delectables, have seasonal variations.

The following are not pies: Boston cream pie, shepherd's pie, quiche, pizza, cheesecake. Those who taint the sanctity of National Pie Day with their consumption will be first up against the wall. Defenders of pie will be beatified.

Previously: 1, 2, 3.
posted by jeeves (44 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

It'd be irrational not to like pie.
posted by stavrogin at 5:43 PM on January 23, 2009 [4 favorites]

Is a vegetable pot pie a pie? Because, I would like a recipe for a vegetable pot pie. (I checked your "not a pie" list). Also, when I'm up against the wall, it hurts my back.
posted by Auden at 5:43 PM on January 23, 2009

So, if I make Chili Pie tonight in my best attempt to celebrate, I'll be shot?! Okay, what pie goes with Chili, then?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:44 PM on January 23, 2009

posted by louche mustachio at 5:53 PM on January 23, 2009

Alternatively, celebrate Australia Day with pies.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 5:54 PM on January 23, 2009

Corn in your pie-hole, OK; vice-versa, don't forget the butter.

Do calzones, pierogies, and cornish pasties qualify as pie?

I definitely think vegetable pot pie qualifies.

I'm going to have a slice of strawberry rhubarb pie to celebrate.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:54 PM on January 23, 2009

Oh, and I miss McDonald's fried apple pie with sweet napalm-y filling.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:56 PM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

Chicks dig pies. I read it on metafilter. And chocolate pies, then you really have them.
posted by buzzman at 6:00 PM on January 23, 2009

In the interests of efficiency, I only celebrate pi(e) day on 3/14.

Also, quiche is just as much a pie as any other savoury pie. There is room for lovers of all types of pie on 3/14! Will your bellies truly be filled by the empty celebration of corporate pie day or will you find your true love of pie celebrated on 3/14?
posted by ssg at 6:02 PM on January 23, 2009 [3 favorites]

Quiche is a tart. You can argue that tarts are pies if you want.
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:04 PM on January 23, 2009

I neglected to mention another regional non-pie I grew up with: spaghetti pie. Not pie. Delicious, however.

Ambrosia Voyeur: you might be on safe grounds if you turn it into a cornbread chili pot pie. But I can't promise anything until I'm provided with generous samples for testing.

Auden: I like mushroom pot pies best, but if mushrooms aren't your thing, I've had success with these too: vegetable pot pies, Russian cabbage pie, Greek cabbage pie with feta and dill, summer farmland vegetable pie with corn, tomatoes, okra.

I love pie.
posted by jeeves at 6:06 PM on January 23, 2009

One of my favorite cookbooks is Pies & Tarts from Williams Sonoma. It's really well written and contains a great grape tart that is not anything like the tart in the post.

I'd like to get better at making butter crusts. I usually use butter flavor Crisco; I find shortening much easier to work with. The Pies & Tarts cookbook has a lovely sweet butter crust that you don't roll out, just press into the pie pan. You have to work quickly to keep the butter cold but it turns out well every time.
posted by shoesietart at 6:13 PM on January 23, 2009

Best San Francisco savory pie joint. I love these little gems. They're fab hot or room temperature. I'd love their crust recipe.
posted by shoesietart at 6:17 PM on January 23, 2009

Only the truly adventurous (e.g. logicpunk) dare to attempt DOUBLE PIE!
posted by amelioration at 6:23 PM on January 23, 2009

This is the best post ever. The only people more suspect than those who don't cuss like stevedores are the ones who claim not to like pie.

Quiz: What non-pie does every self-respecting MeFite like best of all? You guessed it.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:24 PM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a quiche,
When the thing was opened, the birds began to screech...
posted by aquafortis at 6:27 PM on January 23, 2009

Oh, and I left out the cake made of pie, which is neither here nor there. Lamentably, I was unable to locate a documented pie filled with crumbled pies.
posted by jeeves at 6:29 PM on January 23, 2009

[Thing] surrounded by piecrust BUT NOT BONDED TO IT = pie
posted by Artw at 6:31 PM on January 23, 2009

(Open tops are okay, but [thing] must be surrounded by the crust material, otherwise what you have might just be a pizza*, or a peice of toast.

* You can call a pizza a pie, but it is not a pie.
posted by Artw at 6:35 PM on January 23, 2009

I celebrate pi approximation day on July 22nd by eating approximations of pie, like quiche, cobbler, etc.
posted by signalnine at 6:43 PM on January 23, 2009

I'm pretty sure Pi day is March 14th
posted by Midnight Rambler at 7:05 PM on January 23, 2009 [2 favorites]

A great Louisville comedian named Will Hardesty used to have a routine about Jesus at the last supper:

"This bread is my body ... eat this in remembrance of me.

"This cup of wine is my blood ... drink this in remembrance of me.

"This - well, this is just pie. Eat up!"
posted by jbickers at 7:10 PM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

My daughter says quiche is a pie, Eggy Pie to be specific, and her word trumps yours.
posted by lekvar at 7:26 PM on January 23, 2009

Seems there should be a Pushing Daisies marathon on National Pie Day!

(Quiche is so much better than pie!)
posted by Mael Oui at 7:44 PM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

Did you go up against the pie this evening? Recall: all pie is not the same.
posted by Postroad at 7:44 PM on January 23, 2009

MetaFilter has been officially designated a Pie Area.
posted by JohnFredra at 7:59 PM on January 23, 2009

Aiiieee! It's Pumpkinus Rex, the Tyrant King of Pies!
posted by gamera at 8:13 PM on January 23, 2009

I had a duck confit pot pie at a local restaurant. It wound up being more like a soup in a round bowl with a square of crust floating on top. Very rich and tasty, but almost an eversion of pie.
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:56 PM on January 23, 2009

Consider this sentence:

A snail is a slimy shell-carrying animal with no legs.

Does this mean that a snail is not an animal? No.

Consider this sentence.

A quiche is an egg-based savory pie with no pastry topping.

Does this mean that a quiche is not a pie?
posted by unSane at 8:59 PM on January 23, 2009

That "Impossibly Easy Bacon Pie" looks suspiciously like a quiche. It cannot be allowed to stand. Let's eat it.

The best pie I've had is at R.O.'s Outpost in Spicewood, Texas. They also have decent barbecue and chicken fried steak.

The Blue Bonnet Cafe in Marble Falls, Texas, is pretty good as well. Apparently they now have a Pie Happy Hour, which sounds very happy indeed.

My favorite part of the movie Waitress were all of the pie montages. It was almost pornographic, and not in an American Pie sort of way.
posted by grouse at 9:16 PM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

Oh, and I miss McDonald's fried apple pie with sweet napalm-y filling.

McDonald's no longer fries their pies, it's true, but Checkers does.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:21 PM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

It is? Woohoo!! I didn't know that, but I did make an apple pie today.
posted by Xere at 9:22 PM on January 23, 2009

Yes... Pi(e) day is March 14th. Those who say otherwise are irrational.
posted by Severian at 9:24 PM on January 23, 2009

Nthing lekvar's daughter: quiche is egg pie!

Waitress SPOILER:

I would have much rather seen Jenna attending the contest than the Andy Griffith character playing deus ex machina.
posted by brujita at 9:38 PM on January 23, 2009

Alton and I agree, quiche isn't for wimps. Egg-pie, with bacon and fresh-grated cheddar, is about as good as pie gets. Unless you count French-canadian meat pie, with spicy ground pork and beef, served with catsup.

Yes, both are French in origin, but colonial french. Unless you want to belly up to a 400lb nose-tackle being recruited by Arkansas State to tell him his Momma's egg-pie is for wimps, or sneer with your full mouth of teeth at a Quebecois minor-league hockey enforcer that his Mama's meat pie is froo-froo food, I'd just let it go as being 1) real pie and 2) awesome to eat.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:40 PM on January 23, 2009

Jesus pied for your sins.
posted by Poolio at 9:57 PM on January 23, 2009

It's been said upthread but, pie day is, was, and always will be March 14. The National Council for Pies (or whoever) are a ass.
posted by nax at 5:35 AM on January 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Egg-pie, with bacon and fresh-grated cheddar, is about as good as pie gets.

I made bacon and egg pie for July 4th when I was visiting the US last summer. I don't know whether it's the flour (which seems to bre ground much, much finer than ours) , or whether it's that bizarre shortening stuff, but it took me five attempts to get the pastry right. When I'd finished the people went "Meat? In a pie? Are you crazy?"

Strange people.
posted by vbfg at 6:34 AM on January 25, 2009

BrotherCaine: In my experience, tarts are short, more solid pies filled with fillings that tend to be jammy and sweet-tart (for lack of a better word). Quiche is a pie crust filled with eggs, equally valid of being a pie, short of lacking a sweet filling.

But how are tarts not pie? They have fruit and sugar, and a great pastry (sometimes puff, but it's the same ingredients as pie crust, just arranged differently). They are basically a single crust pie with a thick filling and extra flaky crust. Just typing that gives me hunger pangs, and that's a major characteristic of pie as well. And before you use some Hostess Fruit Pie example, consider that tarts don't come from a gas station vending machine and actually taste good. The Hostess example is really "pie" in the same sense that a risque calendar is a "personal organizer."

In short, quiche may have the misfortune of being savory, which seperates it from the American definition of pie in many circles, but what have tarts done to deserve this?
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:42 AM on January 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

I can't believe I missed national pie day. I now have to go make pie. Or maybe a tart. I am a true believer in the Cook's Illustrated vodka crust, although I grew up making the crust from the recipe on the Crisco can.

If we're mentioning San Francisco pie places, we have to mention Mission Pie and the related Pie Ranch.
posted by gingerbeer at 9:33 AM on January 25, 2009

Hostess pies are deep-fried pocket-pies,... you can find these kinds of pie fresh-made at some places in New Orleans, and they're not bad at all. (Especially the ones with sweet potato pie filling!)

Pie encompasses a lot of cullinary territory - shepherd's pie, for instance, or graham-cracker pie crusts - that has little to do with traditional pastry crusts. It's all pie, and it's all good.
posted by Slap*Happy at 3:15 PM on January 25, 2009

I prefer tarts to pies, and would not argue that they do not deserve a day of celebration. And lets not forget to give some love to Hostess Home Run Pies, containing shortening and/or lard and/or butter (I visualize a giant tanker truck full of fat pumping its contents into a factory somewhere whenever I read the ingredient label).
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:05 PM on January 25, 2009

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