Ask Difference

Pie vs. Tart — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on September 23, 2023
Pie is a baked dish with a pastry crust covering fillings; Tart is an open pastry with shallow sides and exposed fillings.

Difference Between Pie and Tart

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Key Differences

Pie and Tart are both beloved baked goods, but they have distinct characteristics that set them apart. Pies are dishes made with a pastry crust, usually covering savory or sweet fillings, and they often come with a top crust. Tarts, on the other hand, are open-faced pastries with a firm crust and shallow sides, showcasing their fillings.
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Sep 23, 2023
While pies can vary in depth, they tend to have a deeper filling compared to tarts. Tarts, being more shallow, have fillings that are usually even with the crust's edges, highlighting the filling’s appearance and texture. Pie crusts are usually soft and flaky, whereas tart crusts might be firmer and crumbly.
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Sep 23, 2023
One of the main appeals of pies is the anticipation of cutting into them to reveal a deep, hearty filling, be it fruit, custard, or meat. In contrast, tarts wear their contents on their sleeves, so to speak, as their fillings are exposed and often artistically arranged.
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Sep 23, 2023
In terms of versatility, both pies and tarts offer a wide range. You can find pies that are sweet or savory, served hot or cold. Tarts too can be sweet, like fruit tarts, or savory, like quiches. However, due to their open nature, tarts often lean into aesthetics, with fillings carefully chosen for visual appeal.
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Sep 23, 2023

Comparison Chart

Crust

Often has both bottom and top crusts.
Typically has a bottom crust only.
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Depth

Tends to have deeper fillings.
Shallow, with fillings even with the crust edges.
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Texture

Crust is soft and flaky.
Crust is firm and might be crumbly.
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Presentation

Fillings are often hidden by the top crust.
Fillings are exposed and often decoratively arranged.
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Varieties

Can be sweet or savory, hot or cold.
Can be sweet (like fruit tarts) or savory (like quiches).
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Compare with Definitions

Pie

May have a top crust, lattice, or crumble.
The cherry pie had a beautiful lattice top.
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Tart

An open-faced pastry with exposed fillings.
She decorated the fruit tart with fresh berries.
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Pie

A pie is a baked dish which is usually made of a pastry dough casing that contains a filling of various sweet or savoury ingredients. Sweet pies may be filled with fruit (as in an apple pie), nuts (pecan pie), brown sugar (sugar pie), sweetened vegetables (rhubarb pie), or with thicker fillings based on eggs and dairy (as in custard pie and cream pie).
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Tart

Features a firm, often crumbly crust.
The tart's crust was buttery and held its shape.
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Pie

A dish composed of fruit, meat, cheese, or other ingredients baked over, under, or surrounded by a crust of pastry or other dough.
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Tart

Can be sweet or savory.
The savory mushroom tart was a hit at the party.
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Pie

A layer cake having cream, custard, or jelly filling.
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Tart

A tart is a baked dish consisting of a filling over a pastry base with an open top not covered with pastry. The pastry is usually shortcrust pastry; the filling may be sweet or savoury, though modern tarts are usually fruit-based, sometimes with custard.
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Pie

(Informal) A pizza.
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Tart

Having a sharp pungent taste; sour.
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Pie

Something similar to or resembling pie
Mud pie.
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Tart

Sharp or bitter in tone or meaning; cutting.
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Pie

A whole that can be portioned out
"That would ... enlarge the economic pie by making the most productive use of every investment dollar" (New York Times).
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Tart

A pastry shell with shallow sides, no top crust, and any of various fillings.
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Pie

See magpie.
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Tart

Chiefly British A pie.
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Pie

A former unit of currency of India.
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Tart

A prostitute.
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Pie

An almanac of services used in the English church before the Reformation.
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Tart

A woman considered to be sexually promiscuous.
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Pie

Variant of pi2.
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Tart

To dress up or make fancy in a tawdry, garish way. Often used with up.
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Pie

A type of pastry that consists of an outer crust and a filling.
The family had steak and kidney pie for dinner and cherry pie for dessert.
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Tart

Sharp to the taste; acid; sour.
I ate a very tart apple.
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Pie

Any of various other, non-pastry dishes that maintain the general concept of a shell with a filling.
Shepherd's pie is made of mince covered with mashed potato.
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Tart

(of wine) high or too high in acidity.
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Pie

(Northeastern US) A pizza.
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Tart

(figuratively) Sharp; keen; severe.
He gave me a very tart reply.
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Pie

A paper plate covered in cream, shaving foam or custard that is thrown or rubbed in someone’s face for comical purposes, to raise money for charity, or as a form of political protest; a custard pie; a cream pie.
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Tart

A type of small open pie, or piece of pastry, containing jelly or conserve; a sort of fruit pie.
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Pie

(figuratively) The whole of a wealth or resource, to be divided in parts.
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Tart

A melt block of wax for use in a tart burner.
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Pie

(letterpress) A disorderly mess of spilt type.
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Tart

A prostitute.
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Pie

(cricket) An especially badly bowled ball.
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Tart

Any woman with loose sexual morals.
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Pie

A pie chart.
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Tart

To practice prostitution.
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Pie

(slang) The vulva.
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Tart

To practice promiscuous sex.
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Pie

(obsolete) Magpie.
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Tart

To dress garishly, ostentatiously, whorishly, or sluttily.
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Pie

(historical) The smallest unit of currency in South Asia, equivalent to 192 of a rupee or 12 of an anna.
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Tart

Sharp to the taste; acid; sour; as, a tart apple.
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Pie

(zoology) pie-dog: an Indian breed, a stray dog in Indian contexts.
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Tart

Fig.: Sharp; keen; severe; as, a tart reply; tart language; a tart rebuke.
Why art thou tart, my brother?
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Pie

(historical) A traditional Spanish unit of length, equivalent to about 27.9 cm.
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Tart

A species of small open pie, or piece of pastry, containing jelly or conserve; a sort of fruit pie.
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Pie

(transitive) To hit in the face with a pie, either for comic effect or as a means of protest (see also pieing).
I'd like to see someone pie the chairman of the board.
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Tart

A woman who engages in sexual intercourse for money
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Pie

(transitive) To go around (a corner) in a guarded manner.
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Tart

A small open pie with a fruit filling
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Pie

(transitive) (of printing types) To reduce to confusion; to jumble.
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Tart

Pastry cup with a filling of fruit or custard and no top crust
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Pie

An article of food consisting of paste baked with something in it or under it; as, chicken pie; venison pie; mince pie; apple pie; pumpkin pie.
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Tart

Tasting sour like a lemon
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Pie

A magpie.
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Tart

Harsh;
Sharp criticism
A sharp-worded exchange
A tart remark
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Pie

The service book.
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Tart

Typically shallow with sides.
The lemon tart was filled just up to its edges.
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Pie

Type confusedly mixed. See Pi.
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Tart

Fillings are often arranged for visual appeal.
The tart was garnished with glazed fruit and edible flowers.
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Pie

See Pi.
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Pie

Dish baked in pastry-lined pan often with a pastry top
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Pie

A prehistoric unrecorded language that was the ancestor of all Indo-European languages
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Pie

A baked dish with pastry crust covering fillings.
She made a delicious apple pie for dessert.
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Pie

Can be sweet or savory.
Chicken pot pie is a comforting savory dish.
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Pie

Often served in slices from a round or rectangular shape.
He cut the pie into eight even slices.
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Pie

Contains fillings like fruits, custards, or meats.
Blueberry pie is her absolute favorite.
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Common Curiosities

What is a Pie?

A pie is a baked dish with a pastry crust that covers fillings, which can be sweet or savory.
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Is the crust of a tart always crumbly?

Not always, but tart crusts are often firmer and can be crumbly.
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What is a Tart?

A tart is an open-faced pastry with a firm crust, shallow sides, and exposed fillings.
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Can both pies and tarts be savory?

Yes, both can be either sweet or savory.
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Which is deeper, pie or tart?

Pies tend to have deeper fillings, while tarts are more shallow.
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How do you serve pie?

Pies are typically sliced and served in wedges.
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How do you serve tart?

Tarts can be served as whole rounds or sliced, depending on their size.
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Why are tarts often more decorative?

Tarts have exposed fillings, allowing for more artistic and visual presentation.
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Do all pies have a top crust?

No, some pies only have a bottom crust, while others might have a lattice or crumble top.
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Can I use the same dough for pie and tart?

While similar, pie dough is typically flakier, and tart dough is often firmer. Adjustments might be needed.
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Are pies and tarts eaten globally?

Yes, though they might have regional variations in ingredients and preparation.
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Is quiche considered a tart?

Yes, quiche is a type of savory tart with a custard filling.
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What's the origin of tarts?

The concept of tarts can be traced back to medieval Europe.
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What's the origin of pies?

Pies have ancient origins, with evidence of early pies found in ancient Egypt and Greece.
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Is there a difference in baking time?

Yes, depending on their depth and ingredients, pies might require longer baking times than tarts.
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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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