If you’re not sure about how to make pie, follow my 10 pie baking tips for guaranteed success! I’ve been making pie from scratch professionally for over 10 years and have tons of tips on how to do it – easily. I promise YOU can make pie!
Start with COLD Ingredients
No matter what kind of crust you’re making (all butter or one with shortening), you want to start with ICE COLD ingredients. Make sure your butter is diced and chilled and that your water is actually ice water.
Using cold butter (and all the ingredients being cold) will help avoid the butter melting into the flour. This is what helps create a flaky dough!
Learn to roll out dough EASILY
Just like I do with my cut out sugar cookies, I roll out pie dough before I chill it. It makes it easier to roll at this point so there is less tearing (and less swearing, by me).
I use two sheets of wax paper and roll the crust between them. This prevents sticking and I use less extra flour. Less flour = more flaky crust.
Use cornstarch to thicken fruit filling
One of my pie baking tips I tell everyone: cornstarch!
I’ve made lots of fruit pies over the years and I’ve tried both flour and cornstarch as thickeners. I’ve found that cornstarch works the best!
Dusting your berries or fruit with cornstarch will help your pie end up thicker than if you use flour. But there are also a few other tips I suggest:
- Make sure your ratio of sugar to berries is right. I love my normal ratio (5 cups berries to 2/3 cup sugar) because too much sugar will make a wetter pie.
- Always thaw frozen fruit and make sure to drain your fruit well.
- If your filling sits at all before adding it to the pie crust, it’ll weep. Drain that first!
COLD crust bakes best
Top pie baking tips for baking: COLD!
Your pie crust should go into the oven COLD, no matter what pie filling you’re using.
If you’re making a baked pie, make the crust and put it in the pie plate before making the filling. Chill it until ready to bake.
If you’re making a filled pie (blind baking the crust), for SURE it must be cold. I actually prefer to bake from frozen so that the crust doesn’t fall down the sizes or shrink.
Make the top sparkle
If you want your top crust be more golden you can do the following:
- Brush the top with a beaten egg (this produces the most golden look)
- Brush the top with cream or milk
To add sparkle or flavor to your top crust, brush on one of the above and then sprinkle the pie with:
- Course sugar, for crunch
- Cinnamon sugar, for flavor
Vent a double crust pie
I seem to rarely make a double crust pie (I prefer crumble topping) but if you do a double crust, you need to make sure and vent the pie crust.
For the easiest vent method, top the pie with the top crust then cut for slits in the crust. Or, if you want to make it pretty, you can make a design ahead of time with cookie cutters or words.
Protect your edges
It’s super important to use a pie crust shield or cover your edges when baking your pie, especially if your pie has a long bake time.
I’m pretty sure people don’t love pie crust because they don’t protect their crust; it burns or gets overdone and that doesn’t taste good at all!
You have two options:
- Buy a pie crust shield off amazon – they’re cheap and easy to use.
- Cover the edges with strips of foil as shown.
Either way works!
Get jiggy with it!
How do you know if your pie is done? A lot of times, you can tell by the jiggle.
For custard and pecan-like pies, the pie will look just a bit jiggly in the center. That’s how you know it’s done! It will firm as it cools.
Don’t slice a hot pie!
Want your pies to slice pretty? CHILL THEM first!
A pie is less likely to fall apart and weep if its cold. You have to at least let it cool completely before slicing but for fruit pies and custard/pudding pies, it’s a sure bet to chill them before cutting.
Short on time? Semi-homemade is FINE!
I love my all butter pie crust recipe but if you’re in a pinch – use semi-homemade! A Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust is just fine – it’s easy to use and tastes great. I prefer refrigerated over frozen because I find the frozen ones break a lot.
There’s no shame in the semi-homemade game!
My favorite pie tutorials:
- All Butter Pie Crust Recipe
- How to make a lattice crust
- How to make a crumble topping for fruit pies
- How to make a double crust pie
- Ultimate guide to making pie crust!
My favorite pies:
- Blueberry Pie
- Peach Pie
- Raspberry Pie
- Dutch Apple Pie
- Blueberry Crumble Pie
- Pecan Pie
- Pumpkin Pie
- French Silk Pie
- Lemon Meringue Pie
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All text and images © DOROTHY KERN for Crazy for Crust. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Disclaimer: Nutrition information shown is not guaranteed to be accurate.
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Published on: November 11, 2019