Pie is never out of place in my home, especially when the air cools, nightfall comes earlier, and we return to our favourite fall and winter comfort foods. A tender and flavourful crust combined with a sensational filling is always a welcome sight at the end of a delicious family dinner, whatever the occasion. Some flavours go together so naturally that matching a pie to your meal makes dessert the perfect finishing touch.
Fruit pies are a favourite with practically everyone and compliment most main courses easily, particularly hearty fare like seared steaks, chili con carne and roasted chicken. But a world of other pies, such as cream pies and sugar pies, make a satisfying finish to other meals.
Here are some simple guidelines to help you choose which pies go best with what you’re serving:
Red Meats, Hearty Soups and Stews – Fruit pies (cherry, apple, peach, strawberry-rhubarb)
Pork and Poultry – Berry and fruit puree pies (blueberry, blackberry, pumpkin, sweet potato)
Fish and Seafood – Custard or cream pies (lemon meringue, key lime, banana cream, coconut cream)
Pasta and Risotto – Chocolate pies (chocolate silk, mocha mousse, peanut butter chocolate)
Creamy Dishes and Vegetables – Sugar or nut pies (brown sugar, maple, pecan, butter tart, raisin)
Lighter fare – Crustless pies (crustless pumpkin, crustless custard)
A short timeframe doesn’t have to mean pie is off the menu. Sometimes I’m in the mood for trying something new or intricate, like a beautiful cherry pie top decorated with pastry leaves, and other times it’s just about using what’s at hand – like an abundance of apples from our backyard tree – to get dessert in the oven quickly and without a fuss. Instead of a double crust with crimped edge, consider doing a single crust pie with crumb topping or a cookie crumb base which doesn’t require any rolling. A rustic galette baked on a sheet pan is also a great way to speed up pie making.
From chocolate to cherry and pecan to peanut butter, the world of pies offers endless delectable pairing opportunities...the choice is yours to enjoy!