“As American as apple pie.” Many of us have heard this idiom, referring to the authenticity of a person or something being truly American. However, are apple pies truly American? Well, no. Many pie recipes, including the apple pie, originate from England. Originally called “pyes,” these round goodies were not originally sweet desserts. In fact, sweet pies, particularly fruit pies, did not come into existence until later in the late 1700s. Pies were previously made up of meats and vegetables. According to Time magazine, pies in America were also used to preserve foods during the cold winter months because of the crusty top, which served to cover the food.

As the pilgrims made their way to different parts of the country, pies evolved, showcasing the local ingredients and new recipes invented. Moreover, while many pies did originate from medieval European countries, different versions have spread throughout the world. Take a look at these seven different pie recipes and their home countries to see different takes on the ever so popular pie.

1. Ireland: Steak and Irish Stout Pie


2 lbs. round steak, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 tbsp. all-purpose flour

3 ounces lard

8 slices bacon, finely chopped

5 onions, minced

1/4 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced (optional)

1 (12 fluid ounce) bottle Irish stout beer (such as Guinness®)

1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

1 tbsp. raisins (optional)

1 tsp. brown sugar

1 package double-crust pie pastry, thawed


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place steak cubes onto a plate and sprinkle with flour. Place lard and bacon into a large skillet over medium heat; heat until lard melts and bacon begins to sizzle. Stir floured steak cubes into bacon and hot lard and cook, stirring frequently, until steak and bacon are browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer steak mixture to a large casserole dish. Cook and stir onion and mushrooms in the same skillet over medium heat until onions are lightly browned and mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to casserole dish with steak mixture. Stir Irish stout beer, parsley, raisins, and brown sugar into steak mixture. Cover dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake in the preheated oven, stirring occasionally, until gravy has thickened and steak is tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Remove casserole dish from oven and increase temperature to 400 degrees F. Line a deep-dish 9-inch pie plate with a pie crust and bake in the preheated oven until crust is partially cooked and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Spoon cooked steak filling into the partially-baked pie crust. Cover steak filling with second pie crust; pinch the top crust against the bottom crust to seal tightly. Bake pie until top crust is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.

2. England: Proper English Cottage Pie


1 pound lean ground beef

1 onion, diced

3 carrots, diced

2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tbsp. Italian seasoning

2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

1 1/2 cups beef broth

1 tbsp. tomato paste

salt and pepper to taste

4 potatoes, peeled and diced

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup milk

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 pound shredded Cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

To make meat filling: Place a large skillet over medium heat. Crumble in ground beef and saute one minute. Add onion and carrot, then continue to saute until meat is no longer pink and onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Mix in flour, cinnamon, mixed herbs, and parsley. In a small bowl, combine beef broth and tomato paste. Mix together, then add to beef mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Lower heat and simmer mixture for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until almost all of liquid has been absorbed. Spoon mixture into a 9-inch pie plate. To Make Potato Topping: Place diced potatoes in a medium saucepan. Cover with water and place over high heat. Allow to come to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Drain. Mash potatoes until smooth, then add butter or margarine, followed by milk. Whip until fluffy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spread potatoes over beef filling. Sprinkle with grated Cheddar cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, until top is browned and cheese is bubbly.

3. India: Samosa Pie Recipe


3 cups potatoes, sliced

1 ½ cups sweet potatoes, sliced

1 onion, chopped

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. cumin seeds

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 red chilli, finely chopped

1 thumb-size piece ginger, grated

1 tsp. each ground cumin, coriander, and garam masala

pinch dried chilli flakes

⅛ cup frozen peas

juice 1 lemon, plus extra wedges to serve

small bunch coriander, chopped

2 tbsp butter, melted

1 1/16 pack filo pastry

½ tsp poppy seeds


Put the potatoes in a large saucepan of cold, salted water, then bring to the boil. Turn down and simmer for 5 minutes, add the sweet potatoes and continue to cook for 8 minutes until just tender. Drain really well. Fry the onion in the oil until soft, add the cumin seeds for one minute, then stir in the garlic, chilli, and ginger with the remaining spices. Cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes, then turn off the heat and stir into the potatoes with the peas, lemon juice, and coriander. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Halve the filo sheets, and use two-thirds of them, overlapping, to line a 8.5 inches loose-bottomed cake tin with a little overhang. As you lay in each sheet, brush with melted butter and keep the rest covered with a clean tea towel. Spoon in filling and press down lightly. Cover with remaining filo, then fold up overhanging sides and scrunch up pastry near the edges. Poke several slits in the top of the pastry and brush with more butter. Sprinkle with the poppy seeds. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until golden brown. Serve either hot or at room temperature with lemon wedges.

4. Spain: Tortilla Pie


1 sheet frozen ready-rolled quiche pastry, partially thawed

1 1/2 cups baby potatoes with butter and herbs

2 chorizo sausages, chopped

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 medium tomatoes, chopped

4 eggs

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Salad leaves, to serve


Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan-forced. Grease a 22cm (base) loose-based, fluted flan tin. Line with pastry. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Place tin on a baking tray. Line pastry case with baking paper. Fill with ceramic pie weights or uncooked rice. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are light golden. Remove weights or rice and paper. Meanwhile, microwave potatoes following packet directions. Thickly slice. Reduce oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook chorizo, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Add cayenne pepper. Cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add tomato and half the potato (cover remaining potato to keep warm). Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until tomato starts to soften. Remove from heat. Spoon chorizo mixture into pastry case. Crack whole eggs over mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until just set. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with salad leaves and remaining potatoes.

5. South Africa: Meat Pie


1 spray cooking spray

1 pound uncooked lean ground beef

1 medium uncooked onion finely chopped

1 medium fresh apple Granny Smith, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 cup uncooked carrot finely chopped

1/2 cup raisins

2 bay leaves

1 clove garlic clove minced

1 tbsp. curry powder

1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. ground coriander

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground

1/4 cup red wine, dry-variety

3 tbsp. mango chutney

2 large eggs

1/2 cups low-fat milk


Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 9-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. In a large nonstick skillet, over medium-high heat, cook meat until no longer pink, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks, about three to five minutes. Drain meat; set aside. In same skillet (do not wipe out pan), over medium-low heat, combine onion, apple, carrot, raisins and bay leaves; cook, stirring frequently until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and spice mix; cook for two minutes. Stir meat into vegetable mixture; pour in wine and scrape bottom and sides of pan with a spoon to loosen any stuck pieces of food. Simmer mixture for five minutes; remove from heat. Remove bay leaves; stir in chutney. Spoon meat mixture into prepared pan. In a small bowl, thoroughly whisk together eggs and milk; pour over meat mixture, tilting pan to evenly cover top. Bake until egg layer is set, about 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool slightly before cutting into eight pieces. Yields one piece per serving.

6. Canada: ’Chinese Pie’


1 tbsp. canola oil

1 onion, diced

1 pound lean ground beef

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

2 cans cream-style corn

4 cups mashed potatoes


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 2-quart casserole with butter. Heat canola oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir ground beef into onion, season with salt and black pepper, and cook ground beef mixture until browned and crumbly, about 10 more minutes. Drain excess grease. Spread cooked ground beef mixture into bottom of the prepared casserole dish; pour cream-style corn over the ground beef in a layer; top with layer of mashed potatoes. Bake in the preheated oven until potatoes are browned and casserole is bubbling, about 30 minutes.

7. America: Apple Pie


For the crust:

6 ounces unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 ounces vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

5 to 7 tbsp. applejack

12 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 2 3/4 cups, plus extra for dusting

1 tsp. table salt

1 tbsp. granulated sugar

For the filling:

3 to 3 1/2 lbs. apples, mixture of Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Braeburn and Golden Delicious, about 6 large apples

1/2 cup sugar, divided

3 tbsp. tapioca flour

2 tbsp. apple jelly

1 tbsp. apple cider

2 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground grains of paradise


For the crust:
Place the butter, shortening and applejack into the refrigerator for one hour. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt and sugar by pulsing 3 to 4 times. Add the butter and pulse 5 to 6 times until the texture looks mealy. Add the shortening and pulse another 3 to 4 times until incorporated. Remove the lid of the food processor and sprinkle in 5 tablespoons of the applejack. Replace the lid and pulse 5 times. Add more applejack as needed, and pulse again until the mixture holds together when squeezed. Weigh the dough and divide in half. Shape each half into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

For the filling:
Peel and core the apples. Slice into 1/2-inch thick wedges. Toss all of the apples with 1/4 cup of the sugar, place in a colander set over a large bowl and allow to drain for 1 1/2 hours.

Transfer the drained liquid to a small saucepan, place over medium heat and reduce to 2 tablespoons. Set aside to cool. Toss the apples with the remaining sugar, tapioca flour, jelly, cider, lime juice, salt and grains of paradise.

For assembling and baking the pie:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Remove one disk of dough from the refrigerator. Place the dough onto a lightly floured piece of waxed paper. Lightly sprinkle the top of the dough with flour and roll out into a 12-inch circle. Place into a 9 1/2 to 10-inch tart pan that is 2-inches deep. Gently press the dough into the sides of the pan, crimping and trimming the edges as necessary. Set a pie bird in the center of the bottom of the pan. Place the apples into the unbaked pie shell in concentric circles starting around the edges, working towards the center and forming a slight mound in the center of the pie. Pour over any liquid that remains in the bowl. Roll out the second pie dough as the first. Place this dough over the apples, pressing the pie bird through the top crust. Press together the edges of the dough around the rim of the pie. Brush the top crust with the reduced juice everywhere except around the edge of pie. Trim any excess dough. Place the pie on a half sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake on the floor of the oven for 30 minutes. Transfer to the lower rack of the oven and continue to bake another 20 minutes or until the apples are cooked through but not mushy. Remove to a rack and cool a minimum of 4 hours or until almost room temperature.