Tarts. Pies. Is there a difference? From the thickness of the crust to the pan you make them in, you better believe there is. Nuances are depending on how you ask though. The English have a different definition than Americans. And the French don’t even have a word for “pie”, leaving Tarte and tourte as the only words to describe this delectable group of desserts. 

We’ll explore some of the differences in how each is made, enjoyed and why there’s some mystery on where one ends and the other begins. 

Tart Dough vs Pie Dough

The proof is in the dough. The tart dough tends to be sandy in texture and rich in flavor. It’s difficult to imagine, but you should know it’s a tart the second you bite into it. The fillings used for tarts complement the crust. 

That said, there are two types of dough in the tart family. The sable dough, which is cookie crust-ish, uses egg, includes sweetener, but not in a way that overpowers the filling. 

The puff dough, which isn’t sweetened, leans on the filling for flavor.

On to the pie. American Pie dough is more about texture than flavor. It’s also more of a vehicle to get the filling into your mouth than it is a flavor adder. Pies crust tends to be thicker in some recipes. 

Now. It gets tricky. While each dough is unique to their desserts, you can make a tart with pie crust. The same isn’t necessarily true in reverse. 

Look at the Pans

Another clue on the differences might lie in the pans themselves. Tart pans and sides tend to be shallow and more upright. You might make a tart with only the sides formed by a mold. In general terms, tarts tend to be shorter. 

Pie pans are deeper and the sides angled. You won’t make a pie without a bottom on the pan and there’s no way to unmold the side of a pie. You serve a pie in the pan you baked it in. 

You Could Already Know the Difference

Pies tend to be comforting and exude an aura of home. You settle into a pie because it’s familiar and reminds you of the holidays or family traditions. 

Tarts feel more artistic. They’re a bit more elegant and require a bit of precision to execute well. It’s not so much about how much you can pack into it, as it is about landing the flavor. 

To Pie or Tart

So there you have it. Pies and tarts are similar, interchangeable in some ways, but different. There is a dividing line between the two, and it’s a line that’s crossed and blurred as needed. No matter what you take away from this, pies and tarts are both delicious. You’ve probably had both and enjoyed either at the end of a nice dinner or a family get-together.

Papa C Pies

We know the pie and tart debate could rage on forever. But you can contribute to this ongoing research and make strides in this debate. Taste testers are needed. Papa C Pies offers both tart and pie versions of their sweet dessert pies so you can dive right in. 

With both local pickup and shipping available, you’re never too far away from this heated debate.

Papa C Pies
99 Seaboard Ln #100, Brentwood, TN 37027
(615) 414-3435

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