When it is pie season, every pie fan wants to make it right and have the best pie. This is from the fruit, the texture, the crust, the look, and all that is involved in a tasty pie. Therefore, practicing your pie skills can be discouraging at times. Since it requires you to know the dos and don’ts, but it is not impossible. So, if you always get a broken dough, practice by learning the secrets to a good pie to get better at it. Do you want to be a better baker of pies? In this article, there are tips you will learn how to make the best pie.
- Cold ingredients equal a better pie
The golden rule for making pie is to ensure the pie is chill. Keep your dough cold and the ingredients you use need to be as cold as possible too. Although this is always in every recipe, if you don’t follow exactly it will mess the pies outcome. For this reason, the water should be cold, and the butter ice cold as well. In this way, you will get a successful pie-making session as fats control how easy making a pie will be for you. Hence, if your fat is not chill, you get a tough and greasy crust or dough that sticks to the rolling pin.
- Use cold hands
Since you cannot chill your hands in a freezer and everything needs to be cold. Soak your hands in an ice bath or use ice cubes on your hands alternatively. Especially, during warm weather, it is not easy to have them chill for long. Therefore, after handling the cold butter you can use your fingertips that are cold at the moment to blend it in with the flour. This is important as the palms are warmer. Hence, whichever way that sounds easier is best as long as the hands are cold before getting intimate with the dough.
- Refrigerate the dough
Chilling your dough before you roll out is important too. This helps the flour rest and absorb all the liquid and fat. After 20 minutes you can test to see if it is ready to be rolled out. Tap the dough with your rolling pin if it breaks in two, it is too hard, and if it creates a big indentation, it’s too soft. Either way, you need to put it back to chill some more before accessing it again. More importantly, refrigerating the dough is best done after every step. For instance, chill the dough and prevent it from shrinking in the oven after rolling out and lining the pie pan. Also, if you are making the double-crust pie, refrigerate after rolling out the top crust as you prepare the pie filling.
- Do not panic as you roll out your dough
As you roll out your dough, it can crack, break and even stick. This should not cause any panic as you can easily fix it instead of repeating the whole process. In case it sticks, put a little flour on top and bottom of the dough, to prevent it from sticking. Optionally, you can put something between the dough and your rolling surface other than flour. Try a pastry cloth or a parchment paper, instead of having it stick continuously on your wooden surface. If your dough breaks or cracks, patch the cracks with very little water to get it back together. Avoid re-rolling the crust as you will over handle it and this makes the pastry tough. Find the best way to ‘superglue’ it as it is important to have a good crust.
- Don’t overfill your pie with filling
If you aim to get a classic rhubarb-strawberry pie, avoid too many juicy fillings to it as it is already perfect as it is. Hence, adding more fillings or too much of the same fillings is a mistake most people make. The best way to do a pie filling is to maintain it at about half an inch below the rim of the pie plate. Especially, with such a pie where the fillings are cherries, berries, rhubarb. However, if it is with fruits like pears and apples you can fill your pie as you wish.
- Decorating the pie
Not every pie needs to have beautiful edges. However, you win more if your pie looks like a party on a plate. Use braid, crimps, and cut out shapes to decorate your pie, and give it fun edges. Decorating the pie makes it have a lovely presentation as you serve. Although not everyone cares about how you make your edges, it will still make a lasting impression. Choose one that suits you, you can even use your index finger and thumb to create dough edge, a fork, a spoon, the list is endless. Nonetheless, all these are optional and it depends on what makes you happy as you make your pie.
- Choose any pie pan except for a shiny one
There is no limit with the pie pan you use, as every pie pan is a good pie pan. However, avoid a super shiny pie pan as it deflects heat. While you can easily use a glass pie plate instead of ceramic one if the recipe calls for the latter. If you have to use an aluminum pie plate, put your pie inside a glass pan first to ensure you have a sturdy platform to cook the pie. Plus, glass is a better conductor of heat than a disposable aluminum pie plate.
- Serving the pie
Different people prefer the pie in different ways. However, it is best when you allow it to cool to allow the filling to set, and it also helps to prevent the pie from being runny. So, bake your pies in advance for your meal to allow the filling to set and also a warm pie makes slicing messy. For fruit pies, allow them to cool three hours before slicing, and custard pies one and a half hours is enough.