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Savory Pies | The Ultimate Comfort Food

Savory Pies | The Ultimate Comfort Food
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These savory pies are homey, but hardly humble. We think they’re the ultimate winter comfort food.

Pork & Apple Pie with Cheddar-Sage Crust
Photo/Art by Hornick/Rivlin
Pork & Apple Pie with Cheddar-Sage Crust

How’s this for comfort food: Take your favorite ingredients and wrap them up in a delectable crust. It’s the basic definition of pie–something sweet or savory (or both) cooked in something starchy–and it’s a technique that has inspired cooks as long as humans have stood before a stove. Egyptian, Greek, and Roman records all document foods that meet this savory pie criterion. The word pie itself dates back to 14th-century England.

Beef & Ale Hand Pies
Photo/Art by Hornick/Rivlin
Beef & Ale Hand Pies
Chicken Pot Pies with Cheddar Scallion Biscuits
Photo/Art by Hornick/Rivlin
Chicken Pot Pies with Cheddar-Scallion Biscuits

Perhaps it’s all this accumulated history that gives pie such a familiar, cozy feeling. If summer turns our thoughts to blueberry pie, and fall wouldn’t be fall without at least one slice of apple pie, then winter is certainly a time for hearty savory pies filled with meats, vegetables, and cheeses in various combinations.

Sweet Potato, Beet & Chevre Galette
Photo/Art by Hornick/Rivlin
Sweet Potato, Beet & Chevre Galette

The chicken, beef, and pork pies presented here were all inspired by traditional British recipes, but we wandered father afield for our meatless offerings, with a French take on classic Greek spanikopita (made with winter greens, mushrooms, caramelized shallots, feta, and walnuts) and a New England spin on the traditional French galette, or open-faced tart, here made with sweet potatoes, beets, and local goat cheese. It’s an international lineup, but it’s as homey as can be.

Winter-Greens Pie with Mushrooms, Caramelized Onion & Feta
Photo/Art by Hornick/Rivlin
Winter-Greens Pie with Mushrooms, Caramelized Onion & Feta

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Updated Wednesday, December 14th, 2011
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