French tart

Vanilla cream and apples

French tart vs American pie: Vive la différence!

Imagine you have your choice of either a French tart or its close cousin, the American pie. Which one will you choose to eat? There is no single answer, of course, for they are very different despite their similarities.

These differences are worth investigating further. Let’s ask the participants themselves:

“Choose him!” cries the American pie. “He has a rich, delicious butter-crumb crust, and look at how he shows off its fluted shaping! My crust is think and flaky, made with vegetable shortening or even lard. I mean, do you want to be eating real, actual lard?”

“No, choose that one,” says the French tart, pointing to the pie. “I may not be sweet like he is – I may be savory. Imagine biting into a savory tart when you’re expecting to eat dessert.”

“But I’m usually messy,” the pie replies. “My filling is almost always soft, and it can make my crust soggy. It’s very embarrassing. His filling is always nice and firm!”

“Hmmm,” you say, not sure which to choose.

“And look at him,” the pie continues. “The craftsmanship, the color, the artistry. He’s beautifully decorated. I just have this plain brown top crust.”

“Well, it is true,” the French tart says reluctantly. “I can’t deny it.”

“What flavors do you come in?” you ask the tart.

“At Maison Parisienne, I am available in lemon meringue, banana caramel, and apple-pecan with vanilla cream,” the tart answers.

“That settles it,” you say, and eat the French tart…much to the pie’s relief. “Ha!” it laughs. “You see what I did there?”


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  1. […] Tarts and pies have several elements in common, and it’s easy to see how one was adapted into the other. A truly French tart, however, always begins with the right crust. […]

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