What’s a Potato Pie?

Print anything with Printful

Potato pie is a traditional American comfort food made with leftover meat, vegetables, and sometimes a gravy or mushroom soup. The pie can be single or double crusted, and the crust was originally used to protect the ingredients from the metallic taste of iron skillets. The dish dates back to medieval Europe and was brought to the US by European immigrants. Swanson first produced the modern frozen pot pie in the 1950s, and today’s commercial versions can be cooked in the microwave. Recipes vary by region and can include a cookie crust or pastry.

A potato pie can be considered one of the best American comfort foods. Made with leftover poultry or beef, chopped vegetables, and occasionally a gravy or mushroom soup, the pie may be sandwiched between two crusts or may simply have a top crust. There is debate over the double crust issue, the type of pastry dough, and cooking methods. However, the more traditional potato pie, as per the trade translation, is a double crusted potato pie marketed by companies such as Swanson or Marie Callender.

Food historians suggest that the pie crust was not originally eaten. A pot pie might be cooked in iron skillets, but it might pick up a metallic flavor. The crust layer, especially the bottom and sides, protected the pie ingredients from tasting like the cast iron skillets in which it was typically made. In this sense potato pie was originally considered a cooking method rather than an actual type of pie.

Recipes for cooking pot pie methods date back to medieval Europe and were brought to the United States with the first European immigrants. The method existed but the name, pot pie, did not; the first recipes specifically called pies are those in the 1839 cookbook, The Kentucky Housewife. The recipes in The New England Economical Housekeeper and Family Receipt Book of 1845, suggest only a great crust.

Initially, pan cakes were cooked over a fire, resulting in none of the crusty, browned flavor of the modern version. The pastry crust remains variable. Some modern pie recipes top the pie with cookie dough, just like a cobbler, while others insist on a rolled pastry crust. When cooked indirectly over a fire, pot pies had a more pliable crust when steamed than modern versions cooked in ovens.

In the 1950s, Swanson first produced the modern frozen pot pie, made in a foil tin. This was a single serving compared to the large pot pie made to serve a whole family. Today’s commercial versions can be cooked in the microwave, significantly shortening cooking times, and newer boxes are able to crisp the crust even in the microwave.

If you plan to serve an entire family, cooking your own pot pie is easily achievable, and many recipes and recipes from the internet will show you how. To make a large enough cake, you can use a cast iron skillet, an oven-safe skillet, or a deep cake pan. You’ll cut calories by omitting the bottom crust, but you also run the risk of overcooking the ingredients and drying them out.

Many Southern recipes lean toward the tart topping with a cookie crust. Nordic recipes in the US are more likely to use pastry. In modern versions, care should be taken to provide a good tasting crust, as it is no longer considered a disposable feature of pot pie.

Protect your devices with Threat Protection by NordVPN

Skip to content