All Things Pie
Everything You Need to Create Perfect Pies for the Fall and Holiday Pie Baking Season
It’s that time of the year when the temperature drops, the leaves start turning beautiful shades of red, yellow, and orange, and all you want to do is get cozy with a nice, hot cup of coffee (or even better, hot chocolate!). And you know what would go great with that cup? A slice of pie!
Pie is great any time, but there’s something about Fall that just feels like pie season. Maybe it’s the weather, or the abundance of popular pie fillings like apples, sweet potatoes, and pumpkins. Or maybe it’s the holidays and the time spent with family that bring up those memories of Grandma’s sweet potato pie. Or maybe it’s....sorry, I got distracted thinking about sweet potato pie. Mmmm, sweet potato pie.
Ahem. Where was I? Oh yeah! We’ve got some tips and tools to help you create the perfect pies for the holiday pie baking season.
1. Colder ingredients. Better pie.
If you want a flaky pie crust (and who doesn’t?) use ice cold ingredients. Especially the butter. You want your butter to melt in the oven, not before. That’s how you get a flaky crust! And to make sure everything stays cold, pop the dough in the refrigerator after each step.
2. Choose your pie dish wisely.
Metal vs Glass vs Ceramic? All three have advantages and disadvantages so there’s no right or wrong answer.
- Pro: Metal pie dishes, mostly aluminum, conduct heat very well and cool very quickly which makes them a great choice for blind baking (pre-baking your pie crust).
- Con: Since they heat so quickly, there’s a danger of your crust over-browning.
- Pro: Glass heats up slowly which means your crust will brown evenly and not burn. Plus, since glass is clear, you can see through the bottom of the dish to see if the crust has browned yet or not.
- Con: Glass is susceptible to breaking. Especially when going from a cold refrigerator or freezer to a hot oven (or vice versa).
- Pro: Ceramic, like glass, heats up slowly and evenly. Unlike glass, however, most ceramic pie dishes can handle abrupt temperature changes without shattering. Ceramic pie dishes are also the most aesthetically pleasing of the three, making for a beautiful presentation.
- Con: They’re thicker and heavier than metal and glass, so pies can take longer to bake. This is great for pies that might normally overcook in a metal or glass dish, but not so much for other pies. Also, the thick rim can sometimes cause the edges of your crust to brown faster than the rest of the pie bakes, so it’s recommended to use a pie crust shield (more on that later).
Pie Pan 9 inch Pie Tin, Recipe Right Non-Stick
Pie Pan Glass 9.5 inch Pie Dish Bakeware
Mrs. Anderson's Baking Easy-As-Pie 9.5 inch Pie Plate
3. Art Is In Pies.
Sure, you could make a boring looking pie with crust edges, but why not jazz it up? From lattice tops to crimps, and so much more, there are countless ways to decorate your pie top or crust. You can do it yourself, or check out some of the handy, dandy tools we offer below.
4. Protect Ya Edge, Kid.
There’s a tendency for the edges of your pie crust to brown or even burn while the rest of the pie is still thinking about getting done. Don’t let burnt edges and a soggy bottom ruin Thanksgiving (that’s what political conversations are for), use a pie crust shield.
Pie Crust Shield, Flexible Silicone, Adjustable from 8 - 11 1/2 inches
5. Hold down the fort- er, the crust.
Some single-crust pies, such as pumpkin, pecan, or sweet potato, have a lot of moisture in the filling which can make your crust soggy. By partially baking the pie crust, also known as blind baking or par baking, before adding the filling, you can prevent a soggy crust. Use pie weights to hold down your unbaked pie crust when blind baking to prevent it from puffing up and sagging.
Pie Weight Ceramic Beads To Prevent Bubbles During Baking For Your Pie Crusts
6. Take it down a notch. Or two.
Another tip to ensure your bottom crust doesn’t end up soggy and your edges don’t burn is to bake your pie on the lowest oven rack.
7. Don’t slice that pie just yet!
I know you’re hungry and that beautiful pie you spent all afternoon baking and just took out of the oven looks sooo good. But hold your horses! Hot pie + knife = disaster. Give your pie plenty of time, maybe several hours, to adequately cool before cutting. That’s the only way to ensure your filling stays firm and your pie doesn’t end up looking like a huge mess.
In conclusion, pie is quite possibly mankind’s greatest achievement. So, please use these tips to continue the long tradition of beautiful and delicious pies this holiday pie baking season.
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