It’s hard to enjoy a pie if its crust has not been baked properly. However, how often do you see a pie that has its crust baked to perfection? Retaining a tender, flaky texture while giving its exterior a beautiful golden brown glow can be a bit challenging, even for the most seasoned bakers.
Believe it or not, it is not that hard. You just need to understand the science behind it. Like everything else, pie making also requires practice and a little bit of technique to get the best results.
To help you further, here are a few tips that can help you achieve the perfect pie crust!
Keep Your Ingredients Cold
Whether it is flour, butter, or lard, use ingredients in your pie that are icy cold. The colder the ingredients are, the lesser risk there will be for the pie to get soft or overworked. This helps in retaining the pie’s flakiness and making its crust crispy.
Use The Least Amount Of Water
Keep the amount of water you are using in your dough to a bare minimum. Add water drop by drop and stop when your dough is good enough for rolling. Excess of water often results in a hard crust.
Fold The Edges Towards Inside
There are two things you must keep in mind when putting the dough inside a pan: first, the dough should be thicker around the lip of the pan; and second, the edges should be folded towards the inside. Keeping the dough thicker on the edges will stop it from shrinking and make the corners look smooth and tidy.
Freeze The Dough Before Baking
The best way to keep your dough from shrinking is to freeze it before baking. For best results, freeze it overnight. If that’s not possible, cool your dough for at least thirty minutes to one hour.
Use Parchment Paper Instead Of Buttered Foil
A parchment paper works best for lining the dough, as it doesn’t stick to the surface like buttered foil. Once you have lined the dough properly, fill it with pie weights to stop the crust from bubbling up. Use dried beans or uncooked rice for pie weights.
Add Acid Or Egg Yolk To Your Dough
By adding an egg yolk to your recipe, you add more fat as well as natural lecithin to your pie. This makes the dough pliable and easier to handle. On the other hand, adding acids like an apple cider vinegar makes the pie crust tender and flaky.
Be Cautious When Rolling The Dough
Be extra careful when you are rolling the dough. Use a well-floured work surface and a well-floured rolling pin for the process. You can sandwich the dough between sheets of parchment paper to keep your fragile dough from sticking and tearing.
Don’t Over Handle The Dough
Avoid over handling the dough at any cost. Overworking develops gluten in the dough and toughens it, making the pastry seize up. Use fingertips instead of the palm of hands when working on the dough.
Make The Cuts Properly
To have your pie cooked well, make small cuts on the top its surface. This will help the excess of moisture to escape and keep your pie’s bottom crust from getting soggy.
Cool The Pie Pan
It is best to cool the lined pie pan before filling the pie. This helps the pie to retains its shape after being cooked. You can even use shape cutters to give your pie crust a bit of creative touch.
Heat The Oven Properly Before Baking
Make it a thumb rule. Heat your oven well before placing your tray inside. Always start baking at 425 degrees Fahrenheit, then reduce the temperature after 30 minutes.
Ultimately, relax before you start baking. Take things step by step, and you will have the perfect pie in no time!