Friday, December 23, 2011

in defense of pie

I have yet to meet someone who doesn't like cookies. Or cake. I've met a few people who don't like cupcakes. Which I don't understand. Because if you like cake why wouldn't you like cupcakes? Maybe those people just don't like that cupcakes have been the "it" dessert over the past couple years, and it is therefore cool to hate cupcakes, the same way hipsters are required to hate any semblance of mainstream. I'd be lying if I said that I've never adopted that attitude at one time or another.

Image from here.

What I don't understand, though, is when people tell me they don't like pie. I just don't get it. Really, what is not to like? Flaky, buttery pastry crust. Rich, overflowing fillings. I mean, c'mon. Sure, I get that some people don't like fruit and that they like it less when it's all soft and mushy, but don't they know that pies come in non-fruit varieties? French silk (fancy for chocolate pie) was my favorite as a teenager. You can make a pie out of anything: I've seen brownie pies, cheesecake pies, pies made from peanut butter, Oreos, ice cream. A favorite regional dessert in Quebec is tarte au sucre or sugar pie (think pecan pie without the pecans).

And what about lemon meringue, key lime, and pumpkin pies? Yeah, they're fruit-based but they lack the fruit chunks of an apple or cherry pie that might scare away a frugaphobe*. And for those that dislike cooked fruit, I've made my fair share of peach pies whose filling never saw an oven. I dare you to find something wrong with sweetened fresh fruit and a tasty crust.

To any pie haters out there reading this post I strongly urge you to reconsider your prejudice. You're only excluding yourself from a realm of decadence so uncommon in the dessert world.

*A word that I made up to describe someone who doesn't like fruit.


  1. my beef with pie (beef pie?) is that i can't stand it when the crust is dry. i love the filling, but if there's all that terrible hard crust on the back....what a disappointment.

  2. I agree with you Myke. However, to provide a counter-point as for why people may not like cupcakes (or pie, cake, cookies...), I offer these points. I will focus mainly on the issues that I have with cupcakes, although the same points will likely be addressed in other desserts as well. One, the cupcake is overly sweet. When you couple a cupcake, with a sweet buttercream frosting piled high (as cupcake shops are wont to do), the result can be a cloying, diabetic-inducing dessert. While the flavors may be excellent, if the taste of sugar is so overpowering, it can turn off the cupcake to me. The same is true for many a commercial cake, where there is too much frosting on the cake, and I end up scraping most of it off. Two, the cupcake is overly dry. This is, I think, the more likely reason for most people. I believe it has to do with the volume to surface area ratio found in your average cupcake. When baking a cupcake, which has a relatively low volume, and a higher relative surface area, it is much easier to overbake the cupcake, whereas a cake often has a lower sruface area in comparison to it's volume, which means the window between done and overdone is slightly larger. If done properly, there should be no real difference in the moisture of a cupcake, versus a real cake. Third, they hate fun and taste. If the people hate fun and taste, well... more cupcakes for you and me.


  3. I'm actually more of a pie man myself. Although ice cream would typically be my dessert of choice. pie with ice cream? ultimate dessert.

  4. Is this a hint for dinner tomorrow night?

  5. I do like pie. But I do not like baked fruit. It's something I thought I would grow out of, but it hasn't happened yet.