03 February, 2008

Pie Baking Tips

All liquids should be ice-cold.

When making pie dough over mixing will make pie dough tough and hard to roll out. Mix just till it holds together for a tender crust.

Always chill pastry dough before rolling and cutting. Chill it again afterwards, before baking, to further relax the gluten.

When rolling pie dough between waxed or parchment paper, dampen the countertop first, to keep the paper from slipping.

When rolling pie dough, always start from the center and work your way out in all directions. Use a heavy rolling pin for rolling piecrust.

To prevent a soggy pie crust, refrigerate for 15 minutes before filling or seal by brushing with slightly beaten egg white, then refrigerate for 15 minutes.

For a two-crust pie, brush a little water around the edge of the bottom crust before placing the top crust. This creates a good seal once the two are crimped together.

Before placing double-crusted pies in the oven, loosely wrap aluminum foil around piecrust edges. This will help the edges from browning too quickly. Remember to remove the aluminum about 10 minutes before pies are ready to come out of the oven so the crust is properly browned.

Brush beaten egg white over piecrust before baking to yield a beautiful glossy finish. Sprinkle with sugar if desired.

Two sure-fire ways to keep meringue toppings from shrinking. First, spread on the pie while the filling is hot. Second, make sure the meringue touches the crust all around.