Delicious British Pie Recipes Sweet and Savory

  • 01 of 04

    25 Delicious British Pies - Sweet and Savoury

    Meat Pie
    Getty Images

    Savory, sweet, shortcrust or puff pastry, even no pastry at all, Britain and Ireland have had a love affair with pies since the 12th century. Back then the pie crust was called a “coffyn” and the pie was more crust than filling unlike the pies of today.

    What Is a Pie?

    According to the Chambers Concise Dictionary, “Pie is a savory or sweet dish, usually cooked in a container, consisting of a quantity of food with a covering/or base of pastry.”

    And the name pie? This is believed to have come from the bird, Magpie which as you know, is a collector of many things.

    In Britain and Ireland, normally a pie has both a base and a covering of pastry. A base only is usually called a tart. As always, there are exceptions; a Lemon Meringue Pie, has a pastry base and a covering of meringue!

    Two of Britain's most famous recipes a Cornish Pasty and a Beef Wellington are not called pies but both involve a filling in pastry.

    There are even pies which don't have pastry at all, such as a Shepherd's or Cottage Pie. Trust the British and Irish to not make it easy!

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  • 02 of 04

    Pie Recipes: Savoury Pies

    Chicken, Leeks, and Caerphilly Cheese Pie
    British Leeks

    Pies in the true British sense of the word, pastry bottom and top.

    All of these pie recipes will make great lunch or supper dishes. Most are also great cold and so are perfect for a lunch box, a party or a picnic. All of them benefit from the filling being made the day before if possible which gives time for the flavors to develop. Do not worry at all if this is not possible, they will still taste fabulous. 

    Continue to 3 of 4 below.
  • 03 of 04

    Pie Recipes: Savory Pies Without Pastry Recipe

    Traditional Cottage Pie
    Getty Images

    As already said, pies are usually thought of as being enclosed in pastry. Not always when it comes to British and Irish pies. It is believed the Shepherd's Pie was invented in the 18th century by frugal peasant housewives looking for creative ways to serve leftover meat to their families. This makes sense today; with rising food prices it is no wonder the Shepherd's and Cottage Pie is enjoying something of a renaissance.

    Continue to 4 of 4 below.
  • 04 of 04

    Pie Recipes: Sweet Pies and Tarts

    traditional british apple pie
    Howard Shooter - Getty Images

    The British love all things sweet and sweet British pies are renowned around the world. We have a wealth of history with them and our sweet pies are amongst the most popular and most copied.  The British kitchen also has a long tradition of noted sweet-making, particularly with puddings, custards, and creams.