The history of pies dates back thousands of years. Archaeological finds prove that people already baked filled pastries 9500 BC. Those pies with salty (meat, fish or vegetable) filling were foods for travelling. Sweet fillings spread only thousands of years later, around the 6th century BC, when sugar cane was discovered.
The definition of the Hungarian pite doesn’t completely equal to the English pie. Similar to pie pite primarily means those pastries that consist of two layers of shortcrust pastry with a sweet (or sometimes a salty) filling between them. The top of this kind of pite can be smooth or latticed.
Besides the traditional pies some of the so called mixed, spongecake like cakes (all the ingredients are mixed together and the batter is poured into a pan) are also called pite, in this case the batter is topped with fruits (sour cherry, cherry, raspberry, apricot, etc.). In connection with those yeast pastries that are filled with for example cottage cheese, walnut, poppy seeds or apple opinions vary if they should be called pite or lepény.
The batter of sour cherry squares is very fluffy, it looks like spongecake, but it’s much richer and better. It contains butter, sour cream and milk that are all added to make the cake light and airy. Not only sour cherries go well with this pite, feel free to replace them with any other fruits you like or you have at hand.
- 250 g (~2 cups) flour
- 150 g (~3/4 cup) sugar
- 150 g (~2/3 cup) butter
- 2 eggs
- 100 ml (~1/2 cup) milk
- 100 ml (~1/2 cup) sour cream
- 15 g (~4 tsp) baking powder
- 500 g (~1 lb) pitted sour cherries
Size of baking pan: 20×30 cm / 8×12 inch
Butter and flour a baking pan. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
In a small bowl combine flour and baking powder. In a mixing bowl cream butter and sugar together, then add the eggs and whisk until well combined. Mix in sour cream and milk until fully incorporated. Add the flour to the egg-butter mixture and gently fold in. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth out the top.
Arrange the sour cherries on the top and gently press them into the batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let it cool down. With a sharp knife cut the pite into squares. Store in the fridge.