A pie uses pastry dough and is filled with sweet or savory fillings. Pies can either be baked or fried.
Pie making always begins with the crust. The pastry dough used for pie making is mainly made with flour, fat and salt. Most commonly, pies are made using shortcrust pastry dough. This is the most durable type of dough for pie making due to its extensibility and cohesiveness. Most recipes for shortcrust pastry dough use two parts flour to one part fat. Traditionally, the best tasting and fully flavored pie crust was made with lard. These days, lard is replaced by butter, margarine or vegetable shortening. Sometimes, pies are also made with flaky pastry, and this is obtained by layering the fat between the dough to give it an airy texture.
The most popular encrusted pies in America are the apple, cherry and strawberry rhubarb pies.
Key lime, pecan, custard, pumpkin and lemon meringue pies are the favorites for open top pies.
For savory pies, chicken pot pies and quiches are by far the most popular.