Pies and indeed the crusts are not something everyone can do. Sure, most people can make a pie, but can you make a good pie? These ten tips are all easy to follow and when used together will make every pie you make seem like something special. It’s time to up your pie game with these ten amazing tips…
Tip 1: Keep Your Butter Cold
Have you ever wanted to make a pie with those lovely flaky pastries you often see? That lightness all comes down to cold butter and the best tip I can give you is to keep it cold from start to finish. Even if you just want to brush some onto your crust you can always melt a small knob of it.
Tip 2: Use a Pastry Blender
A pastry blender is a kitchen gadget with metal lines that allows you to mash the butter into the mix even when it is cold as in our first tip. You can do this without one, but it is much easier, especially with the cold butter chunks.
Tip 3: Flour is Not Your Friend
Try to keep your use of flour to a bare minimum at all stages. This is because the pasty can often absorb the flour and that will make the pie crust seem dry and brittle. The best you use, the more flakey and tasty that crust will be.
Tip 4: Don’t Play With The Dough
Most people spend far too much time messing around with the pastry dough and that is not a good thing as over handling the pastry dough will make it tough and dry. So try to keep rolling and kneading it down to a minimum.
Tip 5: Know Your Pie Dishes
Do you know the difference between cooking a pie in a metal pie pan or a ceramic dish? While a metal pie pan will make your food hotter and taste slightly better a good quality ceramic dish can go from oven to table and still look great. But it does take longer to cook things in.
Tip 6: Over-Roll
While there is no error in making a pie crust bigger than you would like there is an error when you make it too small! So when you are rolling that pastry dough out make sure it is at least an inch over the size of the top of the pie dish over the whole circumference.
Tip 7: Learn to Blind Bake
Sometimes you might need to “blind bake” your pie crust, especially with regards to dessert pies. This means you pre-bake the pie crust and sometimes the top of the crust first, before adding the filling. You will be surprised at how many pro-chefs do just this in order to save time.
Tip 8: Slow Cook is Best
If you don’t want a soggy bottom on your pie, nor a crusty top you might want to bake your pie over hours rather than just 1 hour. By taking the time to slow cook it will make sure the inside of piping hot and the crust isn’t all or nothing.
Tip 9: Use The Lowest Over Rack
Surely there is no difference to the shelf you bake your pie on right? Well…yes there is. If you bake on the lower shelf it will take longer as in tip 8, but it will also make sure the pie crust isn’t too dry from the cooking process.
Tip 10: Let it Cool
Even if the pie is meant to be served hot letting the pie cool down for just 30 minutes before your server will give the crust time to be more flakey and cool down. This is the best way to make sure you get that crunchy satisfying first-cut pie makers love.