Last Updated on April 4, 2022 by Griselda M.
Why is cheesecake not a pie? This hot topic has been debated for years. Today, we give our take on what a cheesecake should be defined as!
Is cheesecake a pie, a cake, or a type of tart? Let’s get right to the point!
What Is Considered To Be A Pie? – Why Is Cheesecake Not A Pie?
A pie is a type of baked item that consists of pastry dough that contains a delicious filling. There are many different kinds of pies, which is what makes a lot of people confused.
The four main categories include cream pies, fruit pies, custard pies, and savory pies. However, they can also be defined by their crust.
Types of pie crusts
There are many different types of pie crusts, and we aren’t referring to the type of dough used to make them.
Single-crust pie (aka bottom crust) is a filled pie with the crust lined in the bottom of the dish. The filling is placed on top of the pastry and the pie is left open.
Then, a top-crust pie has the filling at the bottom of the dish, enclosed with a layer of pastry on the top.
And finally, you have a two-crust pie which is a lined baking dish filled with your pie filling, and finally enclosed with another layer of pastry.
Types of pie fillings
Cream pies are arguably one of the most common ones you will find today. It is light, refreshing, and extremely versatile. These pies are made using a combination of milk or cream, sugar, flour, and eggs – sort of like a custard. Its consistency is on the creamier side (as compared to custard pies).
Most cream pies have a whipped cream topping, which is the signature garnish.
These pies include famous items like peach pie, apple pie, and cherry pie. They are made using fresh fruit as the filling. This fruit is often combined with some sugar and a starchy thickening agent to give it a saucy texture.
Custard pies also have a sweet type of pastry used for the crust. But, the filling is a custard-based one. These filings are made using a combination of cooked eggs and cream. And, it can be flavored in hundreds of ways using purees, extracts, and syrups.
Savory pies usually don’t contain any sweet ingredients like sugar, cream, fruits, or candies. These pies are purely savory and can be meaty or plant-based.
Meats often used for these pies include ground beef or pork, seafood, or pulled poultry. You can also make a vegan savory pie with onions, spinach, butternut, and squash, for example.
A savory pie also differs from sweeter ones by the crust that it uses. Savory pies are made using puff pastry crusts or short-crust pastry. But, it virtually never uses a sweet crust pastry.
What Is Considered A Cheesecake?
A cheesecake doesn’t have a nearly as confusing definition as a pie does. Cheesecakes are a type of sweet dessert that can be made with or without a crust.
The filling of the cheesecake is made with either a no-bake recipe or a baked recipe. No-bake cheesecakes do not contain any eggs and don’t have to be baked.
Baked cheesecakes, however, always contain some form of eggs. The eggs can be added whole, or yolk or white only. Regardless of which form is used, the cheesecake has to be fully baked to make the eggs safe to consume.
Now, cheesecakes often use a biscuit-crumb, and not a pastry or pie dough. It is also not topped with a layer of pastry like some pies are. And, they can be served garnished with a variety of frostings, glazes, toppings, and garnishes.
Cheesecake Vs Pie – What’s The Difference?
First off, while many people do argue that cheesecakes are a type of pie, some also argue that it is a type of cake or a type of tart. So, it’s a pretty controversial debate.
Personally, we believe that if a dish cannot be undeniably be classified into any one of these categories, it should become it’s own. So, in our opinion, cheesecake is neither a cake, tart, nor pie. Here is why!
Read more about Cheese Pie vs Cheesecake.
So, why is cheesecake not a pie?
Why is cheesecake not a pie? Cheesecake and pies don’t use the same types of crusts or pastries. Pies use a pastry to line the bottom or top of the filling, whereas cheesecakes use a crumb-based crust.
Furthermore, cheesecakes only line the base of the baking dish, whereas pies also line the sides (even if it is below the filling).
The pie filling that comes closest to a cheesecake filling is arguably a custard or cream filling. However, both of these pie fillings are still made using a cooked custard technique that is then baked into the crust.
A cheesecake filling is made with raw ingredients before being added to the crust and baked.
A pie can also be served warm or cooled, but it has to be baked. for cheesecake, you get unbaked options and baked options, both of which need to be set in the fridge and served chilled.
Difference between pie and cake – Why is cheesecake not a pie?
Now, because the cake is in the name, many people believe that cheesecake is a type of cake. However, this is also not true.
The cake doesn’t contain the same ingredients that cheesecake does. It is also not made in the same way. It doesn’t even have a similar texture or flavor. The only similarity is their shapes.
When people make the argument for why is cheesecake, not a pie, at least you can make some points as to why it might be. But when it comes to cake, there is simply no reason at all!
In Conclusion – Why Is Cheesecake Not A Pie?
Why is cheesecake not a pie? The answer is simple – there aren’t enough similarities between the two definitions. Pies are made using different crusts, fillings, and preparation techniques.
If you still have any questions or would like to weigh in on the debate, share your thoughts with us in the comments below. And, share this article with anyone you know who would have a new take on it!
Why is cheesecake called cake?
Cheesecake has a very misleading name and often suggest that it is a type of cake, when in fact, it isn't. The name most likely comes from the fact that it rises above the crust instead of staying level with the pastry, like a cake does. Bottom line, the shape of a cheesecake is why most people think of it as a cake.
Is cheesecake a pie or a cake?
In our opinion, cheesecake is neither a pie nor a type of cake. Pies are made using different pastries, lining techniques, fillings, cooking and baking techniques, and even serving techniques. While there are some reasons you may think of it as a pie, in our opinion the arguments aren't strong enough to say it is without a doubt a pie.
What defines a pie?
A pie is defined by the type of crust it has. There are three ways a crust can be used for pies, but they are all made using some type of pastry or dough. furthermore, there are 4 main categories of pies classified according to their filling, all of which have to be cooked and then baked.
Lindy Van Schalkwyk is a culinary specialist with a background in Advanced Cooking, Advanced Pâtisserie, Media Communications and Nutrition. She has gained invaluable experience in the culinary industry having worked in some of the top restaurants in Africa in 2016 and 2017. Her expertise in nutrition has enabled her to develop recipes for special dietary needs. In 2018, Lindy began working in the Food Media industry, focusing on recipe development, recipe writing, food writing and food styling.