• Top 6 Tricks for a Perfect Prebaked Pie Crust

    1. Start with chilled dough.  After making the dough, make sure to chill it 20-30 minutes before you start to roll it out.
    2. Roll from the center out.  (Just like in life.)  This will keep the dough from becoming tough and shrinking when you bake it.
    3. Make a “pinched” flute design and pull the “tip” of the pinch just under the outside edge of the pie plate.  This should be a subtle wrap of the dough over the edge of the plate – enough to hold it in place as it bakes, but not so much as to make it hard to cut and serve the edge of the crust later.
    4. Be sure to use a fork and prick the entire surface, bottom and sides, of the crust before baking.  Prick about 1” apart. This will prevent it from puffing up during baking.
    5. Use pie weights.  These are designed to hold the bottom of the crust down, again to prevent the puffing up that can happen when you’ve made a delightfully flaky crust.  Use either a pie crust chain, available at baking shops, or pie weights (ceramic or dried beans) set on top of a piece of aluminum foil on the bottom of the crust.  The pie chain is easier to use because you leave it in the whole baking time and then lift it out afterwards with a fork.  The pie weights are fine, but you’ll need to remove them halfway through the baking process to allow the bottom of the crust to cook completely.  If the crust puffs up during baking, gently poke it with a fork.
    6. Fully bake the crust.  Make sure it’s nice and golden brown.  Using a glass pie plate is preferable for this reason, so that you can check the bottom, too!
  • Top 4 Tips for Getting Your Pie Crust into the Pie Plate Successfully

    1. Make a larger batch of dough.    Having a generous amount of dough to start with allows you to roll it out plenty big and then trim away the extra instead of stretching and patching to make it fit the plate.  My recipe for a generous double 9” crust can be found under the “Pie Crust” section of recipes at www.piepals.com
    2. Roll on a cold surface.  This can make all the difference!  The pastry will hold together better (and be more flaky).  Use a chilled rolling surface, such as a plastic one that has icy packets inside (available at cooking stores), a marble one, or chill your counter by setting a bag of ice on it ahead of time.
    3. Loosen and add flour as you go.  Using a large spatula, gently lift the dough after every few strokes of the rolling pin.  Add a pinch of flour underneath if it’s sticking.  When the dough is rolled out all the way, again loosen it gently all around.  
    4. Roll the dough onto the rolling pin for transfer.  Place the rolling pin near the far edge of the dough, holding it above by ½ inch.  Using your spatula, start the dough rolling up onto the pin, then continue winding the dough up onto the rolling pin as you comes towards you.  When you’ve got it off the rolling surface, transfer it to the pie plate, setting the edge of dough about 1” out from the edge of the pie plate.  Unroll the dough, easing it gently into the pie plate…and voila!  You did it!
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