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Preventing Soggy Pie Crusts

Could you please tell me what to do to keep my pie crusts from getting soggy? Thanks for your help. —M.Y., Midland, Texas

There are several tricks you can try to prevent soggy crusts: Choose a glass pie plate or metal pie plate with a dull finish. If your pie pan is shiny, you might need to bake the crust a little while longer for more browning. For double-crust fruit pies, cut slits in the top crust to allow steam to get out. The escaping moisture will help prevent soggy crusts. Bake your pie in the lower third of the oven. This will allow the bottom crust to become crisp while the top shouldn't get overly browned. Brush beaten egg white or whole egg onto the sides and bottom of pie shells (for single-crust pies).

First, place the pastry in a pie plate and flute the edges. Line the unpricked shell with a double thickness of heavy-duty foil. If desired, fill with dried beans, uncooked rice or pie weights. The weight will keep the crust from puffing up, shrinking and slipping down the pie plate during baking. Bake at 450° for 8 minutes. Remove foil; bake 5-6 minutes longer or until dry and crisp. Cool on a wire rack. Remove beans and cool; store for reuse. Finally, brush the bottom and sides of the crust with egg, then reheat at 400° for 4 minutes to set the glaze. Add filling.

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