With the holiday season in full swing, you might want to impress your family and friends with a delicious, homemade pie at your festive gathering. Although making a pie from scratch seems intimidating, these tips from the pros will ensure that your crust turns out completely flawless.
- Chill everything. It’s fairly common knowledge that a good pie crust relies on very cold butter, but you can even go one step further by chilling everything (like flour, butter and shortening) before beginning.
- Keep things lumpy. While most recipes require you to blend or mix the dough until it’s perfectly smooth, a good pie crust relies on those small chunks of butter or other fats. This is what creates small air pockets for that lovely flaky texture once it’s done baking.
- Don’t over-handle the dough. The warmth from your hands can cause the gluten in the dough to seize up, so be sure to only touch the dough when transferring it into the pan.
- Use parchment paper. Not only does sandwiching your pie dough between parchment paper keep your kitchen cleaner, it also prevents the crust from tearing when it gets too thin.
- Create an aluminum shield. Because the pie’s filling and its crust tend to cook at different speeds, wrap a shield of aluminum foil around the crust’s edges during the last five minutes of baking.