The question has been posed, May I enter the bakeoff with a tart? The answer is yes. While pies and tarts are two distinct things, they are close enough cousins that we will accept them both. A galette is another cousin who is invited to party. They are all baked desserts, wrapped in crust and filled with sweetness. Now, for a little lesson on the differences between them. A pie is a sweet or savory dish with a crust and a filling. The sides of a pie dish or pan are slopedIt can have a just a bottom, just a top, or both a bottom and a top crust. A pie crust is traditionally made of flour, salt, cold water, and lard (or shortening) but many pie crust recipes use a combination of fats such as butter, lard, or vegetable shortening, or just butter. The goal is a crisp, flaky crust. Pies are served straight from the dish in which they were baked.A tart is a sweet or savory dish with shallow sides and only a bottom crust. Tart crusts are usually made from pastry dough: traditionally flour, unsalted butter, cold water, and sometimes sugar. The goal is a firm, crumbly crust. Tarts are baked in a pan with a removable bottom, or in pastry ring on top of a baking sheet so that it can be unmolded before serving. A galette is a round pastry wrapped and fruit filled dessert that is baked on a baking sheet. They are very easy to make because they are virtually formless. The apricot galette pictured above is from my cookbook, The Greyston Bakery Cookbook.
• Three Recipes for Pie Crust
• Classic Recipe (and Video): Martha Stewart's Pâte Brisée
(images: Strawberry Tart by John Kelly from The Greyston Bakery Cookbook, Pecan Pie via flickr member museinthecity licensed under Creative Commons)