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9 Not-So-All-American Sweet Pies From Around the World

9 Not-So-All-American Sweet Pies From Around the World

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There is a world of sweet pies that don’t involve the fruit fillings we are used to seeing in the United States

9 Not-So-All-American Sweet Pies From Around the World

Despite the term “sweet as pie,” pies are one of the most versatile dishes in the world; they can be sweet, savory, or both. But there is something special about sweet pies. They are so pretty to look at, and they work as decadent desserts or afternoon snacks. Most of all, sweet pies are almost always made for sharing. Tell your sweet tooth to watch out: here are nine delicious pies from around the world.

Bakewell Tart (United Kingdom)

This English tart consists of shortcrust pastry with a layer of jam and almonds fashioned into a sponge-like consistency (frangipani). A variation of the pie called “cherry bakewell” is similar, except the frangipane is covered with fondant and a candied cherry. You can try making a traditional one, or shake things up with raspberry and burnt cream.

Buko Pie (the Philippines)

Buko pie is similar to coconut cream pie, but it uses fresh young coconut and swaps cream and meringue for condensed milk. It is said to have been invented in the province of Laguna by a woman named Soledad Pahud, who returned to the Philippines after working as a maid in the United States. She wanted to make apple pie, but due to the lack of readily available apples, she improvised and used young coconuts instead. Pahud still sells buko pies at the Original Buko Pie Bakeshop in Laguna. Advanced blast freezing technology has let the pie, previously very difficult to get outside the Philippines, be available for sale in ethnic grocery stores around the world, which has increased the pies popularity amongst Filipino immigrants and open-minded eaters as well.

Caramel Tart (Australia)

Simple enough, a caramel tart is a sweet tart filled with piped caramel. It’s commonly eaten in New South Wales and Queensland, but not in other parts of Australia. For the good old-fashioned kind, you want to go to Queensland's Yatala Pie Shop off Australia’s scenic Old Pacific Highway, where they also have a fine selection of savory meat pies.

Egg Tart (Hong Kong)

Originally a Portuguese specialty (pastel de nata) that was introduced to China via the Portuguese colony of Macau, these eggy tarts are supposed to be eaten piping hot. They are so ubiquitous in Macau that many of the colony’s cobblestoned streets have a sweet, custardy smell.

Flapper Pie (Canada)

This custard pie, topped with meringue and held in a thin Graham cracker crust, is a staple of Western Canada. The Blackfoot Truckstop Diner in Calgary has been serving the not-too-well-known pie for decades.

La Tarte Bourdaloue (France)

This picturesque tart, with poached pears, frangipani, and crushed macaroons, was invented by the legendary pastry chef Coquelin and named after the rue Bourdaloue in Paris. You can make it at home, or travel to Paris to eat it at Bourdaloue on Rue Bourdaloue.

Pastafrola (Argentina)

Pastrafola is a pie eaten in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Greece — it’s originally Italian, but it gathered more popularity in Greece and was brought over to South America by Italian immigrants. It has a latticed top with large spaces in between the crosshatches that reveal the filling — popular ones include quince cheese, sweet potato jam, guava, dulce de leche, and strawberry jam. If you’re in Buenos Aires, try it at a place that uses the pie as its namesake: La Pasta Frola.

Rijstevlaai (the Netherlands)

Rijstevlaai is essentially rice pudding in pie form. It is native to Verviers, Belgium, but is commonly eaten throughout the Netherlands and parts of Western Germany. You’ll find it as an after-lunch snack on Sundays, when community gatherings usually take place. The Limburg province in the Netherlands is famous for its large, shallow pies, like this one.

Tarta de Santiago (Spain)

Tarta de Santiago is a pie from Galicia that has been deemed a Galician heritage item by the EU. The simple almond treat is usually flavored just with lemon zest, but other traditional additions include sweet wine or brandy. A typical presentation of this pie, which can also be made without a crust as a cake, includes a topping of powdered sugar in the shape of the Cross of Saint James.

9 tart and sweet traditional lemon desserts from around the world

Though it’s sweetness that defines desserts, many cultures across the globe have deployed a secret weapon to balance out all that sugary goodness: lemons. This instantly recognizable bright yellow citrus fruit is a dessert hero, rescuing cloyingly sweet treats with a burst of zesty freshness. Tart pies, mountains of whipped meringue, and syrup-soaked pastries all rely on lemon for their subtle, yet delicious, citrus flavors. Of course, lemon desserts feature prominently in Europe, but people in Turkey, the Balkans, Iran, and beyond also flavor desserts ubiquitous at bakeries, cafes, and birthday parties with lemon. Check out these nine lemon desserts from across the globe if you want to zest up your life.

How to Make the Classic Sweet Potato Pie

Incorporate these tips in your baking and take your favorite sweet potato pie recipe from good to great.

The cooler days of autumn tend to usher in all things pumpkin, and why not? Varieties such as Jack O&aposLantern, Cinderella, Sugar, and Amish Pie pumpkins not only add interest to our fall dຜor but enhance our fall menus with warm, spice-filled pumpkin breads and pumpkin cheesecakes. When it comes to pie, however, the pumpkin takes a back seat to the South&aposs favorite tuber, the sweet potato. The classic sweet potato pie is a must-have on holiday sideboards throughout the South.

There are several reasons this top-rated recipe for Brown Butter Sweet Potato Pie became a reader favorite. One reason is that the recipe makes two pies (one for dinner and one for the freezer) and uses refrigerated store-bought pie crust. Southern bakers love to make everything from scratch, but time constraints and our own abilities (I just can&apost seem to master the art of homemade pie crust!) will often lead us to choose a trusted convenience product.

Sweet potatoes are full of natural sugars. This recipe uses roasted, instead of boiled sweet potatoes. The sugars caramelize during the roasting process, lending a deeper flavor to your pie. After roasting, let the potatoes cool a bit so you can easily handle and skin them a warm potato is easier to skin than a cold one. Mash the pulp (you may use a food processor or hand-held mixer) until it is smooth and lump free. If your sweet potatoes are at all stringy—which can happen sometimes, especially with larger sweet potatoes—you will need to pass them through a food mill or sieve.

Browning the butter (cooking unsalted butter long enough to turn the milk solids brown while cooking out any water in the butter) with spices is another special step that made this recipe so popular, as browning butter lends a deep, nutty flavor to this Southern classic dessert. After browning, blend the butter with the mashed potatoes, condensed milk, and remaining ingredients, and pour the mixture into your prepared pie crusts. Bake until the filling is slightly puffy and set, normally about 45 minutes (remember ovens vary, so your pie may not take as long, or may need more time). If the crust gets too dark before the pie is done, loosely cover it with aluminum foil.

It will be difficult but try to wait an hour before slicing into the pie. You want the filling to be firm in order to cut clean slices. Top with whipped cream, ice cream, crumbled gingersnaps, or drizzle with chocolate sauce.

Italian Easter Pie (Pizza Gain, a.k.a. Pizza Rustica)

Sometimes called pizza rustica or Easter pie, this savory southern Italian pie—eaten around the holiday—incorporates chopped cured salamis and Italian cheeses into a dense, eggy filling surrounded by a pastry-like crust. It’s most delicious eaten warm the same day it’s baked, but leftovers (which you are almost certain to have) will keep for 4 to 5 days. Get the recipe for Italian Easter Pie (Pizza Gain, a.k.a. Pizza Rustica) » Matt Taylor-Gross

What you’d eat for Easter if you were from…


Another variation on a spiced Easter dough are rosquillas de Semana Santa. Rosquillas are similar to doughnuts, however they have a denser, cake-like texture as they’re made without yeast. They can be dunked in different flavoured icings, dipped in cinnamon sugar or simply left plain. Enjoy with a cup of coffee or hot and fresh from the fryer at one of the many food carts at a Semana Santa festival. After the abstinence of Lent, Easter in Spain marks the start of spring and end of self-restraint. The mona de pascua cake, originating from Catalunya, is the archetypal example of something served at an end-of-abstinence feast. Ordinarily, this decadent dessert is a gift given from godparents to their godchildren. It resembles a bread basket or large doughnut, topped with as many brightly coloured eggs, feathers and figurines the cake can hold. Bakeries across cities compete for the most extravagant mona in their shop windows.

For more ideas, see our Spanish recipes. Or if you’re planning a holiday, see the top 10 foods to try in Spain.


The celebrations continue on Holy Thursday, when families boil and dye eggs a deep crimson red, symbolising the blood of Christ. These eggs usually decorate the sweet tsoureki, and can be used in the cracking game, tsougrisma. This involves players trying to crack each other’s eggs while keeping theirs intact. Koulourakia is another Greek delicacy not to be missed. These buttery Easter biscuits can be identified by their typical twisted shape, vanilla flavouring and crunchy sesame seed outer shell. Their fluffy, light-as-air texture and shiny, golden brown glaze makes them look extra inviting.



Pashka is normally part of an Easter basket of treats and spread on a rich, narrow tower of bread called kulich which resembles an iced panettone. Its domed top is covered with frosting and decorated with flowers and colourful sprinkles. Despite being a traditional loaf, it wouldn’t look out of place in any modern bakery window. If you’re craving something more filling, try kurnik, a warming pie filled with juicy chicken, hard-boiled eggs and a rich, thick mushroomy sauce.


The traditional sweet dish is a dense pound cake called reindling, which originated in Carinthia. Unusually, it doesn’t necessarily have to be sweet and it’s sometimes served with the customary meal of ham, spiced smoked sausages and hard-boiled eggs. It can also be baked with a dash of cocoa powder, cinnamon or even a splash of rum and has a distinctive colourful swirl through the centre. The dough is rolled up and baked in a round.

Have you tried any of these international delicacies? Is there a recipe you love that didn’t make the list? Let us know in the comments section below…

Love Jewish food? Sign up for our Nosher recipe newsletter!

While haroset &mdash the ubiquitous Passover spread (or is it a relish?) &mdash is present on every seder plate, each Jewish community has their own, very distinct version, incorporating everything from walnuts to chestnuts, dates to bananas, and cinnamon to black pepper.

Most agree that haroset represents the mortar used by Jewish slaves in Egypt. But, you know, two Jews, three opinions. Some say that haroset is a symbol of the apple orchards where Jewish slaves secretly procreated, inspired by a verse from the Song of Songs.

There&rsquos actually no mention of haroset in the Torah, or a blessing for it in the Hagaddah. It first pops up in the Mishnah, or Oral Torah, where Rabbis seem to have assigned meaning to a pre-existing condiment. Gil Marks, author of the Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, dates haroset back two thousand years, explaining it was &ldquoprobably influenced by fruit relishes serves at the Roman symposium.&rdquo At these symposiums, explains David Arnow, author of Creating Lively Passover Seders, free men discussed philosophy while drinking a lot of wine and &ldquodipping&rdquo food into nut-and-spice mixtures.

There are seemingly endless combinations of nuts, spices, and fruits when it comes to haroset. Let&rsquos get into them.

Greece and Turkey

Balkan haroset tends to be heavy on the raisins, which are sometimes mashed in vinegar or lemon juice. Walnuts, almonds, and sweet wine are also common ingredients. Turkish Jews add a citrus zing with orange or lemon zest and/or juice. Sound good so far? They&rsquove also been known to add a pinch of ground brick (yes, you read correctly). Try this recipe (sans brick) for a taste.

21 Tasty Fruit Pie Recipes to Make Year-Round

Find a delicious fruit pie to bake anytime of the year.

Find a delicious fruit pie to bake anytime of the year. PLUS: Get more pie recipes!

These triple-berry mini pies are as adorable as they are delicious.

Tools you'll need: star cookie cutters ($4,, 3" disposable foil pie tins ($11,

A lemon meringue pie is appropriate for virtually any occasion.

We've seen a lot of fruit pies in our day, but this strawberry slab, covered in a floral pie crust design, truly takes the cake.

This citrusy lemon tart will make your guests crave dessert before dinner.

This dessert is two in one: cobbler and pie at the same time!

This skillet dessert will impress your guests with its hearty dose of banana flavor.

Summer berries and fall's bounty come together perfectly in this delicious pie recipe.

When this pie comes out of the oven it will light, golden brown, and the blueberries inside will be warm and bubbly. This pie is sure to be a everyone's favorite.

Studded with juicy, antioxidant-rich blueberries, our nectarine pie also boasts a special homemade crust &mdash it's sure to put all other fruit desserts to shame.

For an extra flaky butter crust make this Buttery Blueberry Pie.

Make the most of two favorite fruits &mdash succulent blueberries and juicy, sweet peaches &mdash by baking a homemade pie.

If you love peach pies, try this Deep-Dish Peach Pot Pie.

Perfect anytime, this pie combines cherries, strawberries, and tapioca for a yummy holiday treat.

Only half the fruit in this double pie is cooked the other half is stirred in without heating. You can make it with blueberries, apricots and blackberries, mixed berries, or peach and raspberries. Or, of course, any fruit of your choosing!

This winter pie combines mincemeat with yummy fruits like apples, peaches, and pears.

Also, don't forget to try our Spiced Plum Pie, stuffed with fresh pitted plums and spiced to perfection.

Ingredient Notes

  • Milk – Any type, even non-dairy alternatives, will work.
  • Coconut – I used unsweetened. If you use sweetened, it will make the pie a lot sweeter overall.
  • Eggs – Use large eggs.
  • Vanilla – Extract, paste, or fresh vanilla bean.
  • Flour – All-purpose or cake flour.
  • Butter – I always opt for unsalted butter so I can control the sodium in the dish!
  • Nutmeg – Ground or freshly grated.
  • Salt – As much or little as you prefer. Salt is imperative for baking, I wouldn’t skip it!

A storebought pie crust makes this vegetable tart a breeze, but you can use a homemade version, like our All-Butter Pie Dough.

This pie is definitely a weekend project, but the depth of flavor achieved by the slow cooking time is worth it.

Recipes you want to make. Cooking advice that works. Restaurant recommendations you trust.

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7 Of The Oldest Recipes In History

How old is the meal you're eating right now? No, I'm not asking "how long has it been in the fridge" I want to know how ancient the recipe for the food that you're consuming right now is. For some common foods, the answer is "extremely" — some of our favorite recipes have been used by human beings for thousands of years. And it isn't always the most basic foodstuffs that have the longest pedigree. Alongside staples like beer and roast boar, some of the most ancient recipes in human history involve elaborate instructions for foods like almond milk, hangover cures and fancy cakes. Which makes sense: we've always been a species that enjoys stuffing its face and passing down the knowledge about how to do it properly.

The archaeology of food is a genuine area of scholarly study, and for understandable reason: food is the cornerstone of any human civilization, with ties to class divides, technology, crops, religion, ceremonies and morals. So, no, that meat pie is not just a meat pie. The audience for recipes has changed radically throughout history, too one of the oldest recipes on this list was made to be read only by cooks for medieval nobles, while another was concealed in an abbey library for hundreds of years food knowledge hasn't always been easily available to the masses. Now, however, you can enjoy the fruits of scholarly labour by making a 10th-century hangover stew or an 8,000-year-old pudding. They may taste faintly disgusting to your modern palate (and, considering that many of these recipes were created before modern hygiene standards, I'd not necessarily advise you to try to whip them up on your own) but hey, it's real history brewing in your crockpot.

1. Beer, 3400-2900 BC

The oldest beer recipe in the world was only discovered this week, but it wasn't entirely a "recipe" in the traditional sense: it was a breakdown of ingredients found in a beer-making facility uncovered in a dig site in China. Archaeologists exploring the site found brewing equipment dating back to around 3400 BC, in very early Chinese history, and sent off leftover traces from the jugs they'd found. The result? A very modern-sounding malted combination of millet, barley, Chinese pearl barley and tubers.

Ancient evidence of brewing has popped up all over the world, from Iran to Egypt — but for now, this particular facility has been crowned the oldest in human history. While the makers didn't write down their secret formula per se, you can bet a company will probably be marketing "the world's oldest beer" as soon as possible.

2. Nettle Pudding, 6000 BC

Nettles, while edible, aren't usually seen as tasty fodder, though foragers across Britain in particular say they're lovely as a soup or in a risotto (as long as they're prepared in some way that takes out their famous sting). But the oldest recipe in the United Kingdom, dating back 8000 years, involves them as the prime ingredient. I know, I'm not really envying ancient Britons much either.

The nettle recipe was uncovered as part of a 2007 investigation by the University of Wales Institute, which labeled it the oldest in the history of Britain: while it was only recorded in 6000 BC, it may actually be as much as two thousand years older than that. That's one hell of a pedigree for a dish that's pretty no-fuss: the researchers say it's essentially nettles boiled with barley and water. "Pudding," in this context, is used in its older sense as a savory term.

3. Meat Pie, 1700 BC

I'm Australian, and our nation is very devoted to the art of the meat pie. So it is thoroughly unsurprising to me to know that this delicacy has been enjoyed for over three thousand years. The source for the earliest meat pie recipe comes from ancient Mesopotamia specifically, from tablets dating to 1700 BC, which were only translated from ancient Assyrian by French academic and chef Jean Bottero in 1985.

The three tablets, which are currently held by Yale University, contain detailed recipes for stews (there's a gazelle one, if you're interested), plus the ancient pie recipe. We're not entirely sure what kinds of birds the recipe requires, but with its emphasis on the gizzards as well as the rest of the bird, it's a testament to nose-to-tail eating:

4. Roast Boar, 4th-5th Century AD

This is one of the most famous ancient cookbooks in history: the De Re Coquinaria,a Roman recipe collection also called Apicius after a famous Roman gourmet. (He himself only contributed about three-fifths of the recipes, and the copies we have date from long after his death.) It's divided into ten sections on various culinary topics, from "The Careful Housekeeper" to "The Quadruped," and contains hundreds of recipes, many of which are the earliest examples of their kind.

Along with more exotic fare for Roman audiences like roast dormouse and the liver of sows, the De Re Coquinaria contains less challenging stuff like straightforward roast boar. It tells you a lot about Roman cooking that Apicius gives two ways of cooking boar and seven different sauces to serve with it, but here's the mainstay:

5. Hangover Cure Stew, 900 AD

The oldest Arabic cookbook was published in ancient Baghdad by Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq under the name The Book Of Dishes , and he didn't leave anything to chance: it contains a whopping 600 dishes for a variety of occasions. But the most famous one is the kishkiyya, otherwise known as the "hangover stew".

al-Warraq's book likely contains a lot of recipes that are older than him (he died in 961 AD), but we have no way of knowing just how ancient the kishkiyya really is. Regardless, it's full of goodness, including meat, chopped green vegetables and large amounts of herbs, and simmers into a rich broth. The full recipe is rather complicated, but if your head is aching after a night on the tiles, it likely won't hurt you.

6. Frumenty, 1381

Frumenty is one of those dishes that underpinned an entire society for ages— in this case, medieval European communities — and has since vanished without a trace. It was essentially boiled wheat cooked in almond broth with sweet flavorings and added fruit, and was eaten alongside savory dishes like meat, because the sweet/savory divide is in many ways essentially a modern invention. We have several recipes for frumenty, but the oldest dates from The Forme Of Cury, a medieval recipe collection dating back to 1381.

To the modern palate, frumenty tastes closest to porridge, and some contemporary chefs have tried to recreate the 14th century recipe for their own restaurants. If you feel inclined, you can try too, but The Forme Of Cury is maddeningly imprecise, so don't get out your kitchen scales in readiness. It's also in Middle English, so you'll need a translation:

Nym clene Wete and bray it in a morter wel that the holys gon al of and seyt yt til it breste and nym yt up. and lat it kele and nym fayre fresch broth and swete mylk of Almandys or swete mylk of kyne and temper yt al. and nym the yolkys of eyryn. boyle it a lityl and set yt adoun and messe yt forthe wyth fat venyson and fresh moton.

[Take clean wheat and crush it in a morter well that the hulls go all by them selves. Take fair fresh broth and milk of almonds or sweet milk of cows and temper it all. and take the yolks of eggs. Boil it a little and set it down and present it forth with fat venison and fresh mutton.]"

7. Linzer Torte, 1653

If you're looking for the oldest known confection in the world, you needn't look further than the linzer torte, a tart with jam and a lattice pastry top. Its reputation as the most ancient of the cake recipes is down to the fact that its lineage has been traced back further than any other. It shows up not only in a 1696 recipe, but in a Veronese manuscript dating back to 1653, which was found in the Admont Abbey in Austria in 2005, causing shockwaves in the admittedly small world of historical pastry.

If you want to make the exact linzer torte of the Admont manuscript, you'll likely find something very different to the ones you'd get today. The book that broke the news, Wie mann die Linzer Dortten macht (How To Make The Linzer Torte), explains that linzer torte recipes have changed massively over the centuries, sometimes not even including the typical jam and lattice top. If you'd like to make one, it's probably best to stick to the version on Austria's national website.

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