Are you wondering how to make the flaky, buttery pastry, juicy fruit pies, or and silky custard pies? Here are the top ten tips to improve your pie-making skills.

How to Make the Perfect Pie

1. Use cold ingredients.

  • A great pie starts with a great crust. So, no matter what kind of crust you’re making, make sure to use ice-cold ingredients.
  • Keep your butter refrigerated until use to avoid it from melting into the flour. Make sure it is diced and chilled. Store your solid vegetable shortening in the freezer without freezing hard as a rock.
  • Add ice cubes to a measuring cup and fill it with more water than you’ll need; add ice-cold water to the pastry mixture one tablespoon at a time to create a flaky dough.

2. Refrigerate the dough after every step.

  • After mixing, chill dough immediately for the flour to absorb all the liquid.
  • To relax the dough and prevent it from shrinking in the oven, chill the dough
  • after rolling it out and lining the pie pan.
  • If you’re making a double-crust pie, roll out the top crust and refrigerate it on a flat plate or a parchment-lined sheet pan while you make the pie filling.

3. Avoid over-handling the dough.

Over-handling makes the pastry tough. To handle the dough as less possible, try to patch cracks in your dough rather than re-rolling the crust.

4. Use as little flour as possible when rolling out the dough.

The pastry can absorb extra flour while you’re rolling out the dough, which will also make it tough. To brush off loose flour after rolling the dough, use a pastry brush or gently brush it with the edge of a clean kitchen towel.

5. Bake plain crusts or filled pies in a hot oven to set the crust’s structure.

Bake-plain-crusts-or-filled-pies-in-a-hot-oven-to-set-the-crust's-structure

Most of the pie recipes require a high temperature at the beginning and then a reduced oven temperature for the rest of the baking time. For quiches, custard pies, and cream pies, it’s a good idea to “blind cake” or pre-bake the crust.

6. Vent double-crust pies.

If you’re making a double-crust pie, make sure to vent the pie crust. Cut slits in the top crust or use decorative cutters to allow steam to escape, which is especially crucial for fruits that have high moisture.

7. Protect your pie crust.

It’s easy for pie edges to burn or get overly burnt while the bottom is still soggy, so it’s essential to protect the crust edges, especially when baking your pie takes a long time. Cover the edges pie shields using strips of aluminum foil to keep it from getting too dark during the long bake time.

8. Eliminate soggy crusts in several ways.

Pre-baking or blind baking your crust can effectively reduce soggy crusts. If your recipe doesn’t need blind-baking, you may want to at least partially bake your bottom crust for twenty minutes at 350°F to prevent sogginess.

If you often get soggy crusts, try brushing the bottom of the crust with a beaten egg before adding the filling. You can also try sprinkling a little flour over the bottom of your crust before adding the filling.

Lastly, avoid keeping your unbaked pie in the fridge for too long. Otherwise, the moisture in the filling will create a soggy crust.

9. Bake your pies long enough.

For fruit pies to thicken properly, it needs to be hot enough for the filling to boil. Custard pies require more delicate handling because they can crack, pull away from the crust, and “weep,” or lose moisture if you overbake them. An excellent way to know if your custard pie is done is when a knife tip inserted an inch from the center comes out clean.

10. Let pies cool before serving.

The filling needs time to set, so the pie doesn’t get runny. Bake your pies well in advance of a meal so that the filling has time to set. Keep in mind that a warm pie will not be easy to slice.

If your family prefers having a warm pie, cover the pie loosely with foil and warm in a preheated 300 degree F oven for 15-20 minutes before you serve it. Fruit pies should cool at least four hours before slicing, while custard pies should cool for two hours before serving or being refrigerated.

Bonus Tips

Decorate Your Pie

Cool-Down-Your-Pies

Adorning your pies even after they’re baked doesn’t only make it look festive, but it is also a great way to hide cracks in pumpkin pie.

Take the Extra Dough and Use Mini Leaf Cutters to Cut Out Leaf Shapes.

Use the back of a paring knife or a dull butter knife to press veins in the leaves. Brush the dough shapes with egg wash and bake on a lined baking sheet in a 375 degree F oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Arrange a sequence of leaves in the center of the pie or any part with flaws, and garnish with a few cranberries frosted with superfine sugar.

Make the Top Sparkle

Serve your pie with a dollop of whipped cream to make it extra decadent. Boost its flavor by adding two or more tablespoons of sugar, and a teaspoon of vanilla extract to every two cups of heavy whipping cream. You may also add a splash of liqueur to make things merrier. For a delicious sweet-tart topping, use half sour cream (not low-fat) and heavy cream.

Slice the Pie

Nothing can be worse than serving your homemade pie only to have the first piece look like a complete mess. So before removing your first piece of the pie, make a third cut to form the second piece of the pie. This gives you enough wiggle room to remove that first slice without making a big mess.

If you want your pie to look delightful and neat, whether it’s for business or personal satisfaction, we recommend that you use a pie cutter. It adds another dimension to your pie cutting. The NuPro Company’s Stay Fresh Pie Cutter’s are unique, durable, handy, and clever little gadgets that make your time in the pie cutting easier.

After cutting the pie with our pie cutter, leave it there to protect and ensure that every piece of your pie is fresh and indestructible. Visit our website today at https://www.piecutters.com/ to learn more about our Stay Fresh Pie Cutters!