True Pies. An Exhaustive List.

I am writing this emergency post from the cottage.

You weren’t going to get a new post for the entire time I was up here, but I’ve come into possession of some information that I felt it would be irresponsible not to share.

I am filling the gap left by the sudden demise of The News of the World.

I believe it is new information that has not been shared with the world before, and until now has been kept a discreet secret by a society not unlike The Knight’s of Columbus, The Illuminati and the Freemasons. Or those girls with bleached blonde hair who never seem to be in need of a touch up.

Are you ready? There are only 4 true pies.

This is according to my fella’s father who is up at the cottage with us. He’s full of this sort of information.

All other pies are faux, jumped up, pretend pies. He is serious. And not senile. And passionate about pies.

Here is the transcript of how I came upon this bit of information.

Me: I was wishing I’d brought a strawberry/rhubarb pie up to the cottage.

Fella’s Father: That’s not a true pie.

Me: Huh?

Fella’s Father: That’s not a true pie. And I don’t want it in this cottage you stupid, stupid girl. Why don’t you just bring a pie made out of mud, sticks and gummy worms? You stupid, stupid girl. (I may have just surmised those last few sentences.)

Fella’s Father: There are only 4 true pies I’m afraid.

Me: Really? O.K. And what are they?

Fella’s Father:

1st. The truest of the true. The one true original. The King of pies … the ultimate true pie is “The Apple Pie”. No other pie comes close. It is acceptable to serve said pie with a piece of cheddar cheese the size of a roofing shingle. But nonetheless, not unlike the fact that there are several Royal Families of the world … there are other true pies.

2nd. Blueberry.

Me: That’s a true pie?

Fella’s Father: Yes. And it has the added distinction of being the only blue food. I dare and defy anyone to contradict me on this.

Me: Uh. O.K. Are there seriously only 4 true pies?

Fella’s Father: What are you stupid? (Again .. I might be making this up)

Me: Um. No. Go on …

Fella’s Father: The 3rd true pie is Cherry. (as seen above)

Me: What about Strawberry Rhubarb? Why isn’t it a true pie?

Fella’s Father: Well, I haven’t gone through the true pies yet. There’s one other true pie.

Me: Sorry. Yes? What is the final true pie?

Fella’s Father: Raspberry.

Me: I don’t really agree with that choice. I’ve never even eaten raspberry pie. Honestly? That beats out Lemon Meringue Pie as a true pie?

Fella’s Father: (at this point I don’t even hear what he says but I can tell you it’s punctuated with flying saliva.)

Me: That’s O.K. Raspberry is fine. Never mind.

Fella’s Father: You’ll notice there are no cream pies on that list. One of the reasons is that any pie that doesn’t have a roof on it isn’t a true pie. And with a lot of cream pies you just have a shell and some filling and no roof. That’s not a pie. They can call it a pie all they want, but that’s not gonna make it a pie.

Out of curiosity I throw a few other pies at him. To find out of they’re true pies. As it turns out there are a few honorary pies. Sugar Pie. (I debate him on this until he explains that it’s like a butter tart exploded out to the size of the pie) Pecan Pie. And Pumpkin Pie, altouugh Pumpkin Pie’s place on the list of honorary pies is fleeting. It gets a special pass as an honorary pie from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. I am told it will never ever be admitted to the pantheon of true pies.

Me: So what about the Strawberry Rhubarb pie? Honorary?

Fella’s Father: No. Definitely not. Neither strawberries nor rhubarb should ever be put in a pie and in fact, rhubarb, should never even be put on a plate. And lest people think this belays a small, narrow view of the world of pies … well … it does.

So. There are only 4 true pies.

The 4 True Pies





In closing, the fella’s father, leaves me with this final piece of advice … The perfect meal ends with one of the true pies, and of course begins with one of the only 4 true soups …



  1. Tanya says:

    But in fact blueberries are purple, so there in their name Lays a lie, does that now make it an untrue pie? Replace it with Saskatoon pie it is to die!

  2. Karin says:

    My grandma made the best rhubarb pie ever and so for me, rhubarb and apple are the very best pies because those pies are what my grandmothers made, and they were sweet, chewy and delicious. The apples were sliced very thin, and the whole thing was like candy.

  3. Sarah says:

    The two things I love most in the world; Crotchety old men, and fellow Pie Enthusiasts!

    Unfortunately, I love rhubarb pie. With or without the strawberries. Ho hum.

  4. Leslie Zuroski says:

    It’s great that you are chronicling your conversations with him! And I agree, I love true pies with crust on the top! Strawberry rhubarb makes an awesome sort of bar the size of a piece of pie. :)

  5. Terri says:

    Now that I’ve read the lists of True Pies and True Cookies, I would really like to hear about the four true soups. I am guessing they would be clear soups, not creamy – but I may have that all wrong…

  6. Meg says:

    I think this rocks…I want to hang out with fella’s father and hear some of his other lists. Pie is something to be passionate about.

  7. Deb says:

    Butter tarts!!!! OMG, now you’ve done it….I cannot get them out of my mind. They must be a Canadian thing, cause here in the old US of A I cannot find a recipe that even comes close to what my (Canadian) Mother & dear old (English) Nanny used to make and all my feeble (American) brain retains from childhood was LOTS of brown sugar, butter and walnuts (we didn’t care for raisins). ANYONE have a good old CANADIAN recipe for the real deal?

    • Karen says:

      Deb – I don’t have a tried and tested butter tart recipe, but if anyone has one I’d love to hear about it too. The pastry is the MOST important part! ~ karen

  8. Ashley says:

    Hahahaha….this is the bee’s knees. Hilarious!

  9. Jess says:

    Huh? I’ve never even heard of strawberry rhubarb pie?! Maybe you’ll have to post a recipe :) We don’t really eat many sweet pies over here in England, I think apple pie is quite popular but I am a savoury pie fan -with puff pastry top (or roof!) of course- all the way, I make a mean chicken one with leek, lemon, mascapone etc nom, nom, nom!

  10. Jillian says:

    What about Shepherds Pie? It’s called “Pie” so it must be a Pie lol No?…Kidney Pie?…Can’t eat any Pie due to allergies but reading the blog gives me a delicious fix. Thank you for who you are and what you give to the world Karen!

  11. Noel says:

    All sweet pies I noticed, must be your American sweet tooth, because you’ve all forgotten your British roots……. Chicken pies, potato pies, steak and onion pie (washed down with a beer). There’s a whole savoury world forgotten by you Americans.

    (I am an Australian – where pie knowledge is essential for citizenship status)

    • Karen says:

      Noel – Um … I’m Canadian. This blog is from Canada and the fella’s father is as Canadian as you get. The savoury pies are a whole other category that obviously couldn’t be included in the dessert pie list! ~ karen

  12. Liz says:

    In all honesty I’d take a Saskatoon berry pie over a blueberry pie ANY day. Do you think your fella’s father would accept that as a suitable substitution? Also (even though I’m not a fan of rhubarb) growing up Mennonite, we occasionally had a main meal of fresh baked rhubarb pie and salty ham. I know it sounds ridiculous to serve pie as a main course, but it was AMAZING! You had your sweet, salty & sour all in one serving…mmmmmmm

    • Karen says:

      Liz – Mmmm. It’d probably only make the list in Saskatchewan. Mennonite?! I’d like to hear about that. I once bought apple butter from a Mennonite farm. That would be the extent of my Mennonite experience. That and the beautiful buggies. (I live a short drive from Mennonite country in Ontario) ~ karen!

  13. Samantha says:

    Having just returned from Muskoka myself, I must admit I agree. Yet, do convey to your fella’s father that he has missed the 4 key pie consuming opportunities in the list. There are only 4 times a day that is appropriate to eat pie. That would be breakfast pie, lunch pie, supper pie and midnight pie. Of course this schedule only applies to cottage pie consumption and is totally calorie and fat free.

    • Karen says:

      Samantha! You’re not going to believe it but that’s exactly when pie was consumed at the cottage! Honest to God. ~ karen

  14. Liz S. says:

    So now that you have teased us with these 4 true pies, what about some true pie recipes? I have mastered your pumpkin honorary pie and am eager for more.

  15. Rebecca says:

    Love this! I’ve never had a blueberry pie and I disagree with the Fella’s Father about Strawberry Rhubarb pie, it’s by far my favorite (and of course this means he’s wrong). Will we hear about the 4 true soups?

  16. Veronique says:

    I am deeply hurt by this post, for Strhubarb pie is my all time favorite.

    *yes you can call it “Strhubarb pie” too, but for your own safety I’d drop the word “pie” around Mr. Only4truepies.

  17. Deb J. says:

    Maybe rhubarb pie doesn’t make the official ‘pie’ list because it is the ultimate breakfast food. Don’t get no better. And ‘raspberry pie’. My grandma fed me lots of raspberries – and I even helped pick them – but NEVER in a pie. Recipe please.

  18. Bill Grigg says:

    Karen, I hope your man doesn’t go all dementia like his father obviously has. Seriously. What’s next “The Only True Jam” list?

    Is it sweet and tasty and paired with pastry? Then its damn fine pie!

    You show up at my cabin bearing any flavour of pie you want. The door doesn’t even have a lock.

    Who grows both strawberries and rhubarb just for pie.

  19. Andrea says:

    Oh man, now I seriously want, no – need – a piece of pie. I’m feeling raspberryish.

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