Homemade pies can be tough(Opens in a new window). So, we asked expert baker Tessa from Handle the Heat(Opens in a new window) for her best pie-making tips and the baking tools(Opens in a new window) she uses to make them with.
1. A Bench Scraper is Your Friend
As you roll the dough out, it’s important to keep it moving. This prevents sticking, which can cause rips and tears. The OXO Multi-Purpose Scraper & Chopper(Opens in a new window) easily lifts and maneuvers the dough. It’s also helpful to lift up the dough and sprinkle more flour underneath it if you notice any sticking. If you’re working to make designs with your pie dough, like a lattice top, the measurement markings on this blade are super handy as well.
2. Shrinking? Give the Dough a Break
If you have problems with your crusts shrinking while baking, then they likely need more time to rest. This allows the gluten to relax so it doesn’t snap back to its original smaller shape. For best results, rest the dough:
- After mixing it: Wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- After rolling it out: Roll perfectly round crusts with the OXO Silicone Dough Rolling Bag(Opens in a new window). Then let it rest on the counter for five minutes before placing it into your pie tin if you have issues with shrinking. Don't stretch the dough to mold into the tin, as it will snap back like a rubber band while baking.
- After filling it: Refrigerate the assembled pie for 10 minutes before baking it.
3. Pay Attention to Your Pan
The material of your pie pan can make a huge difference in how your pie bakes. Glass bakes more slowly than aluminum, but since it’s slow and you can physically see how brown your crust is getting, you’re less likely to over-bake. The OXO 9-in Pie Plate with Lid is made from borosilicate glass, which helps withstand extreme temperature changes without shattering. Meaning you can take it from the freezer to the oven safely. The OXO pie plate is also nice and deep, so you can really get a lot of delicious filling inside your pie.
4. Eliminate Soggy Crusts
You may want to at least partially bake your bottom crust if your recipe doesn’t call for that. 20 minutes at 350°F should be enough to prevent sogginess.
If your crust is soggy, brush the bottom of the crust with an egg wash with the OXO Silicone Pastry Brush(Opens in a new window). You can also sprinkle a little flour over the bottom of your crust before adding the filling.
5. Avoid Leaving Unbaked Pies in The Fridge
Completely assembled pies should only be refrigerated for a few hours before baking, otherwise the moisture in the filling with create a soggy crust.
6. Freeze Your Pies to Save Your Sanity
Take advantage of these make-ahead steps during the holiday baking season.
Best Ways to Keep Pie Dough Fresh
- Pastry dough can be shaped into a disc and frozen for up to two months, well wrapped in plastic. Defrost in the fridge overnight.
- You can also freeze already rolled out dough if you have room in your freezer. You can use it straight from the freezer; just let it sit at room temperature briefly so it becomes easier to press into the pie tin.
- Unbaked pie shells can also be covered and frozen for up to two months. No thawing necessary.
Tips for Freezing Pie Filling
- Fruit fillings are perfect for freezing, especially if your fruit is at peak ripeness. The easiest way this is done is to make your filling according to the directions. If cooking is involved, let it cool completely. Cover a pie plate with foil. Scoop pie filling into a pie tin, cover, and freeze until very firm.
- Remove filling and peel off foil. Place frozen block of filling in an airtight container and freeze for up to three weeks. To serve, place the filling into the same pie tin with the crust and follow the recipe to bake.
How to Defrost Unbaked Pies
- Assemble the pie fully, double wrap in plastic, and then freeze for up to 1 month. If baking straight from the oven, be sure to use a pie plate, which can withstand that temperature change without shattering. You’ll also want to add about 45 to 60 minutes to the total baking time if baking from frozen, wrapping foil around the edges if they begin to brown too quickly.
How to Defrost Baked Pies
- Bake and cool your pie completely, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to one month. Defrost in the fridge overnight, then refresh in a 350°F oven for about 12 to 15 minutes.
Find the rest of Tessa's tips at Handle the Heat(Opens in a new window).
Now that you're ready to bake, try your hand at making a key lime pie with a garlic press.(Opens in a new window)