Pies vs. Tarts

A reader has asked: What’s the difference between a pie and a tart? Does a pie always have a top crust and a tart never has one?

A: The main difference between the two lies in the type pan used for baking. Pie pans are sloping sided and pies are left in the pans and cut and served from them. Tart pans are straight-sided and have removable bottoms; tarts are always removed from the pan before serving. By the way, both a pie and a tart may have one or two crusts.