There’s nothing like a holiday pie at a family feast. Whether you’re craving pumpkin, pecan, sweet potato, or apple filling, all homemade classics begin with the crust’s flaky, buttery perfection. Here are five tips and rules to abide by to ensure you’re stuffing your pie-hole with the perfect pie.
—Teresa Sabga, co-editor-in-chief of Baked Magazine. Follow Teresa on Twitter and Instagram @teresamarias.
1. Know your temperatures
When baking cookies and cakes, room-temperature butter is a crucial component for the perfect rise in the oven. But for pies, cold butter is absolutely essential for a crispy, light crust.
2. Abuse your freezer
If you make a pie, make enough dough for three. Tightly wrap the extra dough in heavy-duty aluminum foil, seal it in a freezer bag, and pack it away. Freeze frozen dough for up to three months, or refrigerate for up to three days.
3. Roll with papers
Easy cleanups guaranteed: roll your dough between two sheets of parchment paper to prevent dough from sticking to the rolling pin and kitchen counter. Also use the paper to line the crust to prevent the bottom of your pastry from burning.
4. Spin the wheel
Every oven has a hot spot—find yours. Halfway through your expected baking time, rotate your dish 180 degrees to ensure an evenly-cooked pastry.
5. Make it pretty
For a glowing crust, brush the top of your pastry with heavy cream or a simple egg yolk glaze. Sprinkle the crust with a handful of large-grain sugar particles for a sparkling surface.