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The Essential Baking Tools You Need for Pies and Tarts
Make pie baking easy as pie with these must-have baking tools. With a good rolling pin, a few pie pans and some fun gadgets, the sky's the limit with your pie recipes.
Sydney Watson/Taste of Home
Baking a pie has got to be easy as pie, right? With the right baking tools, pie baking can get a lot simpler. Find out what gadgets our Test Kitchen and editors love for baking up their favorite pies from classics to new favorites.
New to baking? Here are the essential baking tools every home cook should own.
Cutting butter into pie pastry is essential for flaky pie crust. Make this process simple and keep your hands off the dough with a pastry blender ($6). When you’re done making pie, you can use it to cut butter into your biscuit dough. Show off your skills by making our recipe for classic butter pie pastry.
Silicone Pastry Mat
It sounds silly, but bakers know this is the truth: Rolling out the right size crust for your pie can be the trickiest part of the whole process. A silicone pastry mat ($20) can solve all those problems. This mat has printed guides to help you measure the right size round for your pie or tart pan. Soon this will become one of your favorite baking tools.
Rolling pin picks are personal. Some folks like a hefty marble one, some prefer grandma’s hand-me-down rolling pin, others still like the French option. If you’re looking for a good all-purpose rolling pin, though, go simple with this wooden rolling pin ($16).
If you’re topping your pies with a lattice-style crust, grab this nifty gadget. This double-sided pastry cutter ($10) helps cut perfect strips of crust for decorating pies. One side cuts straight lines like a pizza cutter and the other makes fluted edges for a bit more panache.
Marble Pastry Board
When you’re making pie crust, or any kind of pastry, keeping your pastry cool is critical. Cold butter means flaky layers, melted butter means a mess. Use a marble pastry board ($70), especially one that’s been chilled, will ensure that your pie crust stays cool to form those irresistible flaky layers.
Basic Pie Pan
Deep Pie Dish
For some recipes where you just can’t get enough filling, you’ll want a deeper pie dish. This glass pie dish ($13) is just a bit deeper than its classic counterpart and perfect for accommodating all kinds of fillings, especially fruit.
Many pies and tarts require you to blind bake the crust prior to filling. But you can’t just pop an empty shell into the oven—you need to put some weight inside to keep the bottom nice and flat. That’s where these reusable ceramic pie weights ($12) come in handy. Sure, you can use dried beans in a pinch, but the extra heft of these specially designed weights keeps everything in order.
To get a shiny glaze on top of your pies and tarts, you’ll need a pastry brush. For the delicate crust and fragile fruits, we recommend a natural fiber brush ($7 for 1″ size). It helps give all your bakes a pretty finishing touch.
When you make double-crust pies, over-filling is always an issue. You don’t want the insides to bubble over and mar the gorgeous crust. A pie bird is an old-fashioned device that can remedy this problem. Set this birdie ($13) into the top of your pie for a vent that will help release steam and prevent filling from seeping out of your pie. Read more about the pie bird here.
Sometimes the crust of your favorite pie starts to brown faster than the filling can bake. Don’t fret! Prevent your crust from browning (or burning) with a pie shield. This adjustable silicone one ($10) fits any round pie pan and is much simpler to use than strips of aluminum foil.
We all know that the first slice of pie is the trickiest to remove from the pan, but with a flexible pie server, the job gets a lot easier. The flexible silicone of this OXO server ($8) bends easily to scoop up every bit of filling and crust.
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