Quiche, Tart, Pie or Flan: Do you know the difference?

Sometimes you start to think that now you know it all, only to be bewildered by a question that arises out of the blue. Thankfully for me, it is not someone else asking, but my own curiosity.

I was only basking in the glory of being able to roll out and bake a perfect quiche when it suddenly occurred to me – Is it a Quiche or Is it a Pie? And what’s the difference between the two? So I decided to find out more, only to realize about some more variations – the Tart and Flan. It was only getting even more confusing, and embarrassing because although I was well acquainted with baking a quiche, a pie and a tart, I didn’t know the difference between them! Too much #facepalm, I know.

Have you ever wondered about this? I thought it might just be a case where people from different parts referred to the same dish with different names. And to a certain extent this is true, but it is only out of confusion, that people call a quiche, a tart.

After a little research, I found that there are 4 factors that form the basis of differentiation – Depth, crust, serving temperature and filling.

Dish Depth Crust Serving Temperature Filler
Quiche Shallow Single – Bottom only Warm Custard Topping (Egg and cream)
Tart Shallow Single – Bottom only Cold/Room temp May have custard based filling, not always
Pie Deep Double – Top & Bottom Hot/Warm No custard based filling
Flan Deep/Shallow May not have a crust Cold/ Room temp Custard

While figuring out the difference, I also stumbled on many interesting recipes for all of them. I even tried to develop a recipe, here it is – Chocolate & Kiwi Tart. Would love to hear your feedback on this, do leave a comment 🙂 (you will find a link at the top of this post, just below the title)

Chocolate and Kiwi Tart  (Serves approx 8)
Recipe adapted from Rose pistachio tartlets by Pooja Dhingra

White chocolate kiwi tart

For the tart shell pastry
flour 180 gms
cocoa powder 20 gms
chilled butter 135 gms, cut into cubes
icing sugar 65 gms
egg yolk 1
For the filling
white chocolate 200 gms
cream 100 gms
whipping cream 75 gms
kiwi 1 (finely chopped)
kiwi 1 sliced

1. Add all the ingredients for the tart shell in a bowl. Mix by cutting the butter using your fingers with the rest of the ingredients. You can use a blender instead. Mix the butter has fairly formed smaller parts and the dough comes together to form a ball. Once done refrigerate for 15-20 mins (do not keep it refrigerated longer, the dough will harden more than required.
2. Roll out the pastry between sheets of parchment paper. Place it over the tart moulds and trim off the excess. Blind bake at 165 degrees C for 10-12 mins.
3. Allow the tart shells to cool to room temperature.
4. For the filling, grate the white chocolate in a bowl. Set aside.
5. Put the cream in a sauce pan and bring it to a boil. When it starts boiling, turn off the heat and pour the cream over the grated chocolate. Whisk gently to form a smooth paste. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
6. Whisk the whipping cream till you get soft peaks. Add chopped kiwi and fold in with the cooled white chocolate mix.
7. Add the above mixture to the baked tart shells and refrigerate.
8. Garnish with kiwi slices just before serving. (Else the kiwi tends to go mush and changes colour slightly)


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