We love baking pies for gatherings with family and friends, and since freshly baked pies are always better, we have gathered a few of our favorite tips that will help you during dinner parties and the holiday season that can be used all-year round – because as far as we are concerned, every day should be pie-eating day.
- Make pie-crust dough well ahead so that it has time to chill – at least 2 hours, but we like overnight; it will roll more easily, as the gluten (protein) will have time to relax. Ever had a pie crust fight back, where every time you roll it out it seems to want to shrink back? Chilling and resting the crust will eliminate this problem.
- Lightly flour your work surface for rolling; too much flour will toughen the pie crust. If the room is warm or your hands are warm, lightly flour your rolling pin and hands as well.
- Use the proper-size pie plate as suggested in each recipe; they are not interchangeable. A standard 9-inch will give you different results from a 9-inch deep-dish.
- Coat your pie plate with nonstick spray to make serving easier.
- Make sure your oven is preheated properly. Many pies need a very hot oven in order to set the crust quickly. Some bakers get good results placing a baking sheet or pizza stone in the oven as it preheats, then place your pie plate upon that hot surface.
- Classic pumpkin pie fillings and pecan pie fillings can be made the day before and refrigerated in an airtight container. Then just stir, pour and bake!
And our #1 Time Saver Tip:
- Crusts can be rolled out on parchment, rolled up, wrapped well in plastic wrap, then frozen up to a month ahead (or refrigerated for up to 3 days) – this is a huge time saver. We like to store them in round mailer tubes (get the 18-inch) so that the crusts don’t get crushed. It’s like having refrigerator crusts on hand at all times – but homemade and so much better. Then just defrost, unroll, place in pan and you are ready to bake!
Images: Dédé Wilson
a huge thankyou for all your hard work in producing the website – Love the tips about pastry and pie making – more please – and have a great Christmas
Thank you. We are busy little elves:) We are working on 2014 already and have much more in store. If there is anything in particular that you would like, let us know. Always interested in what our community wants.