Difference Between Pie and Tart

Main Difference – Pie vs Tart 

Pie and tart are two baked dishes that consist of a crust and a filling. A pie can have a bottom crust, top crust or both. Many pies have crusts that cover the filling. But tarts have only one crust; their filling is not covered. Therefore, the main difference between pie and tart is that tarts have open fillings whereas pies (some) can have covered fillings.

What is a Pie

A pie is a baked food item that is usually made of a pastry dough casing that covers or completely contains a filling.  This filling can be either sweet or savory. It can also have one or two crusts. A filled pie or bottom crust pie has pastry at the bottom of the dish, and the filling is placed on the pastry. The crust is usually prepared from shortcrust pastry which is made out of flour, water, salt, and fat. The top is left uncovered. A top crust pie has two crusts: one at the bottom and one at the top.

A pie can be filled with a variety of ingredients such as fruit, vegetable, meat, and cream. Chicken, bacon, mushroom, beef, eggs and vegetables are some commonly used ingredients in savory pies. Sweet pies are generally made from fruits such as apples, strawberries, cherries, etc.

Pies are made in a special dish known as a pie dish or pie pan. It is made out of metal, ceramic, or pirex. The sides of this dish are usually sloped. Pies are usually served straight from the dish in which they are baked.

Main Difference - Pie vs  Tart

What is a Tart

A tart is a baked open pastry case containing a sweet or savory filling.  The filling is open; it is not covered. The tart filling can be either sweet or savory. In modern cooking, tarts most often have a sweet filling. The crust is usually firm and crumbly. Tarts also tend to be thinner than pies.

Tarts are sometimes baked in pans with a removable bottom; tarts are taken out of the pan before serving. Tart pans have straight sides and are generally made of metal. They also come in a variety of sizes and shapes.

It is important to note that the categories of tart and pie often overlap, which makes the interchangeable use of the two words possible.

Difference Between Pie and Tart

Difference Between Pie and Tart


Pies can have a bottom crust, top crust or both crusts.

Tarts have only the bottom crust.

Nature of Crust

Pie crust has a light, flaky and crisp texture.

Tart crust is often firm and crumbly.


Pies can have either sweet or savory fillings.

Tarts mostly have sweet fillings though savory fillings are also possible.


Pies are served in the pie dish itself.

Tarts are taken out before serving.


Pie dish has sloped sides.

Tart pan/dish has straight sides.Difference Between Pie and Tart - infographic

Image Courtesy:

“Dessert : Assorted Berries Tart” by Prayitno (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

“Pie!” by mazaletel (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

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