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Cake vs. Pie: the Debacle

The good was Jezebel's Cake vs. Pie vote-off this past month. The bad is that the ultimate winner was cheesecake. I don't know about you, but I'm not certain that cheesecake is a pie. But I shall leave it for you to decide...

The cheesecake problem

Cheesecake is pie.
Cheesecake is cake.
Cheesecake is BOTH pie AND cake.
Cheesecake is NEITHER pie NOR cake.



( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
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Apr. 14th, 2010 04:29 pm (UTC)
But it is delicious.
Apr. 14th, 2010 04:38 pm (UTC)
Cheesecake may be some kind of tart in some circumstances, but it is most certainly neither a pie nor a proper cake.
Apr. 14th, 2010 04:43 pm (UTC)
My take is if it has a crust, it's pie. Most of the cheesecake I've had used a graham-cracker crumb crust, so that would qualify. If there's no crust, I suppose it would be a pudding, not a cake since cake has baking soda and flour in it to make it airy and light, not a homogeneous gel like cheesecake has. But nothing says food has to be logical.
Apr. 14th, 2010 04:55 pm (UTC)
I vote for pie. It's a flourless liquid, baked to a custard in a crumb crust... so the same concept as, say, a Key lime pie.
Apr. 14th, 2010 04:57 pm (UTC)
Argh, LJ ate my comment! :(

Basically, my thinking goes like this: Cheesecake has cake in its name. It is presented like cake: with extra adornments and decorations, fussy, fancy, and often pretentious. But it has a crust, like pie! It is served in one tier, like pie! BUT! Etc. etc.

So much for my prediction about apple, huh?
Apr. 14th, 2010 05:02 pm (UTC)
Apple made it into the top four, so it was a strong candidate to bet on; but it lost out in the semi-finals to cheesecake.
Apr. 14th, 2010 05:04 pm (UTC)
How can it be pie? It has no lid. It's only pie in the weebl and bob any-desert-I-like-is-pie sense.
Apr. 14th, 2010 05:09 pm (UTC)
Gold star to you for citing weebl and bob as relevant authorities! I approve!
Apr. 14th, 2010 05:09 pm (UTC)
I have a similar dilemma with Boston cream pie.
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Apr. 14th, 2010 05:15 pm (UTC)
This is interesting! I /do/ think of quiche as a type of pie.. at its heart it's a savory custard pie.

I would definitely not have thought cheesecake would win the pie category over such fine fruit pies as blueberry or apple, though.

And leaving aside the whole question of meat pies, which are turnovers, which are *sort of* pie...
(no subject) - gillo - Apr. 14th, 2010 05:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 14th, 2010 05:22 pm (UTC)
Cheesecake is cheesecake. Pie and cake have to be baked; not all cheesecakes are baked.

Pie is primarily savoury anyway. *g* Ask Mrs Miggins.
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 14th, 2010 06:25 pm (UTC)
Absolutely agree with the 'top crust isn't enough' standpoint -- as my wife has just observed, "It's just a casserole with a lid on it." It's only because so many pubs and restaurants (and Fray Bentos) disagree that I've grudgingly come to include top-crust-only pies in my, well, pie chart. ;)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - daisho - Apr. 14th, 2010 07:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - billyabbott - Apr. 17th, 2010 12:47 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 14th, 2010 06:22 pm (UTC)
My admittedly idiosyncratic definition of a pie includes pastry, of which cheesecake has none, meaning it is not a pie. I believe that, like the easily-resolved Jaffa Cake debate, there is some clue to the cheesecake's nature in its name. :)
Apr. 14th, 2010 07:01 pm (UTC)
Pies are supposed to have pastry (preferably on top as well as the bottom, otherwise it's encroaching on the territory of the tart). I'm not convinced that the biscuit-crumb base of a cheesecake is sufficiently pastrylike to qualify it for piehood. I therefore voted "cake", which can apply to pretty much any solid substance.
Apr. 14th, 2010 07:02 pm (UTC)
Pies have pastry tops, cakes don't. If a cheesecake is anything (other than a cheesecake, it's a flan.

Or a Tart.
Apr. 14th, 2010 07:39 pm (UTC)
It's a custard pie, like pumpkin pie. I'm going on preparation method for that vote. You make the shell, you pour the custard in, you bake it.

I am not convinced by the "but it isn't pastry" or "there's no top crust" arguments. There's no top crust on a pumpkin pie, and even on fruit pies it's optional (it's so not-structurally important that people do crazy decorative things with the top crust on a pie all the time). And crumb crusts are an absolutely acceptable variation on pie crust lining, especially for custard pies: I have never seen a peanut butter pie or a chocolate mousse pie made of pastry, for example.

I think to be a cake you have be a little breadlike, and cheesecakes are not at all so.
Apr. 14th, 2010 09:07 pm (UTC)
so much heresy!

Apr. 14th, 2010 09:10 pm (UTC)
ive been contemplating it was about time for another pie off. I was going to discuss it with billy this weekend. What with us being the 2 pie masters left in London iirc.
(no subject) - owlfish - Apr. 16th, 2010 02:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - billyabbott - Apr. 17th, 2010 12:48 am (UTC) - Expand
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( 33 comments — Leave a comment )