Sweet or savory, pies are awesome, and considered a festive food throughout the West. It is a popular belief that pies originated from Greece, so it’s no wonder that Europe is home to hundreds of unique pie recipes. Pies are the ultimate comfort food that nourish your soul and heal the blues. Here’s a bunch of pies you should jot down under ‘trip across Europe’ on your bucket list:
1. Quiche au Fromage
‘Quiche’ and ‘Fromage’, are two of my favorite French words, because I just love the local pronunciation of the former and the obsession with the latter is connected with that one episode of ‘Dexter’s Laboratory’ (sweet childhood memories). Anyway, so this pie is more of an open tart containing a rich and creamy filling, which is an assortment of French cheeses, eggs, herbs, and crème fraiche. The thin crispy crust, the soft center, and the glazed top are heavenly.
2. Shepherd’s Pie
This one is an English classic, so you shall find the finest adaptations around England and Scotland. The Shepherd’s Pie is my go to dish during the winter holiday season because it’s simply heartwarming and way better than any homemade casserole. Minced lamb, carrots, and onions in a thick gravy, covered by a generous layer of buttery mashed potatoes is enough to invoke the holiday spirit.
As the Greeks are probably responsible for bringing pie into our lives, it is only fair to include ‘Melopita’ in this list. This pie looks and tastes like a cake; it is a popular dessert in Greece. The main ingredients are eggs, goat milk, and honey. I would definitely describe it as light and nutritious.
What’s not to love about Italy and the Italian cuisine? Torta Pasqualina is wonderful delicacy and a delightful treat for Vegetarians. The traditional pie is made from thirty-three layers of thin pastry, enclosing a combination of spinach, hard-boiled eggs, Parmesan and Swiss chard.
Pirog emerged from the European part of Russia. The pie is a favorite among Russian households, so it is symbolic to their cuisine. It is a baked pocket of dough with layers of sweet or savory elements. The sweet version normally contains a combination of apples and berries, whereas the savory version has fish and mushrooms with vegetables.
The Bosnian Krompirusa is a one of a kind potato pie, which is traditionally served with sour cream or yogurt. It constitutes delicate sheets of phyllo dough that is rolled and shaped into a coil, forming a ripple-like design.
The Germans may be famous for their bread and beer, but their rustic onion pie named ‘Zweibelkuchan’ is equally impressive. It gives off some lasagna and pizza vibes, being prepared in a deep dish. The creamy amalgamation of caramelized onions, spices, and bacon embedded in a crunchy/buttery shell is irresistible.
When discussing the most amazing pies across Europe, it would be a sin to exclude a sample of fine Finnish pastry. Karjalanpiirakka is a traditional pie of Finland that resembles an oval shaped tart. It consists of a thick rye crust that holds a velvety concoction of rice/barly porridge and mashed potato.
If you enjoy a good pumpkin pie, you must try Albania’s classic ‘Kunguller’. This is the best kind of sweet and savory invention that you can enjoy at any time of the day. The filling is a simple blend of pumpkin paste, butter, sugar, and salt. The golden crust at the top is often garnished with powdered sugar for the sake of presentation and an extra touch of sweetness.
10. Le Piorat
I shall end this list with a fruity pie that has its roots in France. It is also referred to as the ‘pear pie’, which is easily available in bakeries around the Berry region of the country. Le Piorat is basic pie dough containing a tangy filling of diced pears seasoned with lemon juice, pepper, and sugar. It is often served with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
There are so many more incredible pies around Europe that if you ate one kind pie each day, you would be covered for months. A few more I would like to mention are Lobster Quiche (from France), the Eggplant based Melintzanopita (from Greece), the Irish Pastie, the Spanish Hornazo, the Bulgarian Patatnik, and the peculiar Stargazy Pie (from England). Every slice of pie you eat is a European slice of life.