Pies are so wholesome. I think the fact they they hold fresh fruit gives them a redeeming quality not often found in other desserts. Therefore I have decided to master the art of pie making.
“Easy as pie” was always lost on me. I would end up with hard, burned, or soggy crusts. We would dutifully eat the filling, while setting aside the offending shell. So I read, asked questions, and decided to give pies my attention. Years ago my mother advised “make it cold and bake it hot.” Okay, but what does that mean? Others would say “don’t work the dough too much.” “Got it”, I’d think, but I didn’t really get it.
In doing a bit more research I think I get it now. By keeping the dough cold and not over working it those little bits of butter are distributed throughout and help puff up the pastry, making a nice flaky crust. I also put the finished, but uncooked pie in the refrigerator to chill before baking in a hot oven. Cover the edges of the crust with tin foil during the last few minutes to avoid burning.
I’m still working on presentation; mine look pretty rustic at this point. But they taste delicious.
I’ve learned that baking pies in metal produces a better crust than glass or ceramic. The metal allows the pie to cook hotter, avoiding that soggy crust. I found these little 6” inch tins at the local market. They’re perfect for two or three people and it allows me to practice making pie crusts more often. If you hold any other suggestions for successful pie making, please share!
Photo from Food52
Now I’m wondering if I might need a Pie Box. Aren’t these sweet for traveling with pie? They are available at Food52, a wonderful website full of everything you need for food. Or as their mission states: Helping people become better, smarter, happier cooks.
Happy Pie Making!