The Ultimate Guide to Baking Pies & Tarts
We'll show you how to make pie and tart baking, well, easy as pie! We've got all the techniques you need to make gorgeous desserts—including how to make the perfect pie crust.
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Who can resist a slice of apple pie a la mode or a wedge of strawberry pie topped with fresh whipped cream? These desserts are sweet and satisfying—even more so when you make them yourself. We’ve got all the tips you need to learn how to make pie crust, great classic recipes and even a few easy takes, like ice cream and no-bake pies.
Classic Pie Recipes
Looking for a great pie recipe? Why not start with the classics like apple pie, cream pie or even a meringue pie? These essential recipes include all the foundations you need to become a master pie baker.
- Fruit pies: Try our juiciest, freshest fruit pies.
- Cream pies: From banana cream pie to coconut cream pie, we’ve got all the best recipes.
- Pumpkin pies: There are lots of takes on this old-fashioned recipe.
- Slab pies: Serve a crowd with these oversized pies.
- No-bake pies: Get a delicious pie without the fuss with these no-bake recipes.
- Ice cream pies: For when you really need to cool off.
- Best tarts: Break out that tart pan and bake up these top-rated tart recipes.
Mastered the basics? Here are a few next-level pies and tarts to try:
Pie Baking Tips
Easy as pie? Not always. Baking pies and making pie crust can require some troubleshooting. We’ve got the tips and tricks you need to making the best pie crust and getting the right finishing touches on your pies. Before you get started, check out one of our most dependable pie crust recipes:
- Butter-based: Classic Butter Pie Pastry
- Shortening-based: Easy Pie Crust
- Lard-based: Mom’s Lard Pie Crust
- How to make decorative pie crust: We’ll show you how to make pretty pie crusts with all sorts of finishes and toppings.
- Secrets to your best-ever pie crust: Pie crust can be challenging. We’ll let you in on our pastry secrets.
The Baking Tools You Need for Pies and Tarts
A few extra tools, like a good pie pan and a sturdy rolling pin, can help you create great pies.
- Try a pie bird: This whimsical tool is your secret weapon for flaky, golden pie crust. Find out why this old-fashioned birdie needs to be in your kitchen.
- Have a trusty tart pan: A dependable tart pan will give your bake fluted edges that will rival any French patisserie. Get this 11″ non-stick pan ($15).
- Stock up on baking essentials: If you’re baking chops extend beyond pie, you should have all the best tools in your kitchen. Check out our essential list of gear and gadgets for everyday baking.
Pie and Tart FAQs
Q: What’s the easiest pie crust to make?
A: If from-scratch pie crust pasty seems intimidating, why not try a simple crumb crust? Our how-to for buttery graham cracker crust will walk you through the steps. While crumb crusts work with many different fillings, we prefer to save ours for cream pies and no-bake pies. Check out what other ingredients you can use for easy crumb crusts.
And if you’re really tight on time, try a store-bought crust. Here are our top picks.
Q: What’s the difference between a tart and a pie?
A: Pies and tarts are very similar, but there are a few key differences. Pies are baked in pans with sloped sides and can have a single or double crust. You serve pies right out of the pie dish. Tarts are baked in a shallow-sided tart pan and removed from the pan before serving.
Q: Can you make a tart in a pie pan?
A: If you’re in a pinch, you can certainly press your tart shell into a pie pan and fill it. The presentation, though, won’t be as nice and you will have some difficulting slicing and serving. The better substitute for a tart pan is a springform pan. You can press your tart shell into the bottom and easily remove the tart by releasing the springform.
Q: What are the best apples for apple pie?
A: For apple pie or any other bake, you want a nice, firm apple. We recommend Cortland, Braeburn or Granny Smith. These all have a firm texture that ensures they won’t fall apart while baking. If you like your pies on the tart side, opt for Granny Smith especially. Be sure to check out these lesser-known apples, too.
Bake These Next
Use your pie and tart know-how to make these sweet and savory recipes. They make use some of the same skills, like getting that perfect crust.