Crispier Graham Cracker Crusts

When making a pie with a graham cracker crust, keep the bottom from getting soggy by using only butter or regular margarine, not low-fat spreads, which add water. Bake your crust to make it crisp,…

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Decorating Pies with Pastry Cutouts

Pastry cutouts are a fast, festive way to dress up plain single-crust pies. To make cutouts, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out with 1/2- or 1-inch cookie cutters of desired shape. If…

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Finishing Touches for Pie Crust

To top off double-crust pies before baking, use a pastry brush to lightly and evenly apply one of the following washes to the top crust, avoiding the edges:

For a shine and light browning,…

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Firmer Pie Crusts

To make my pie crust firmer, I add 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar for each cup of flour. My crusts turn out great. —Caroline C., Boise, Idaho

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Foil Cover for Pie Crust

If the edge of your pie crust is becoming too brown while baking, cover it with foil. It's easy to make a foil cover that can be washed and reused. On a 12-inch disposable foil pizza pan, draw a…

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Food Coloring and Cherry Pie

Many cherry pie recipes call for a few drops of red food coloring in the filling, since tart pie cherries lose some color when cooked.

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Graham Cracker Crust From Scratch

When a recipe calls for a 9-in. graham cracker crust, you can make one from scratch in a pretty pie plate. Begin by crushing 24 graham cracker squares to yield 1-1/2 cups crumbs. In a mixing bowl,…

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Lattice Crust

A pizza cutter is a handy tool to use when cutting strips for a lattice crust. —Laurie Todd, Columbus, Mississippi

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Perfect Cut for Chiffon or Refrigerator Pies

Here's a tip for a smooth, clean cut on a chiffon or other refrigerator-type pie. Warm the blade of a sharp knife in hot water, then dry and make a cut. Clean and rewarm knife before each cut.…

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Pie Crusts Falling Apart?

A reader's pie crust falls apart when she rolls it out. Her recipe includes 1 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/3 cup shortening and 3 tablespoons water. What can be done? For a single-crust pie…

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Pie Dough Delights

“Mother used to roll extra pie dough very thin, then top with cinnamon, sugar and dots of butter,” relates Florence C. of Sebastopol, California. “She’d roll it up, slice off 1-inch pieces and…

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Pre-Baked Pie Crust

To prevent the crust from bubbling up into the filling of a custard pie, pre-bake the crust at 450° for 5 minutes before you add your custard. Place foil over the crust and pour several cups of…

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Preventing Pie Crust Edges From Burning

To keep a pie crust's tender edges from burning, fold a 12-in. square of foil into quarters. Make a mark on the two folded sides about 3-3/4 in. from the closed corner. Holding the closed corner…

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Problem-Solving Pointers for Pies

Crust is Not Flaky

The shortening was cut in too much. Cut in shortening so it resembles coarse crumbs, not any smaller.

Crust is Tough and/or has Shrunk

The pastry was…

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Quick Pie Toppings

Fold 2 Tbsp. of Bailey's Irish Cream, Kahlua or apricot brandy into an 8-oz. carton of thawed whipped topping. Serve with slices of apple or pumpkin pie.

Fold 2 Tbsp. caramel ice cream…

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Sealing a Double Crust Pie

When making a two-crust pie, I brush a little water around the edge of my bottom crust before putting on the top crust. This creates a good seal once the two are crimped together—I never have any…

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Secrets for Successful Pie Pastry

Classic pie pastry recipes are prepared with solid shortening. Lard or butter-flavored shortening can be substitutes for plain shortening if desired.

Measure ingredients accurately, using…

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Slicing Fruit Pies

Fruit pies slice more attractively if you add a tablespoon or two of cornstarch with the other dry filling ingredients. It won’t change the taste, just give the filling more body. Plus, it won’t…

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Testing Custard-Type Pies for Doneness

The most common doneness test for custard pies is to insert a table knife about an inch from the center of the pie. If it comes out clean, the pie is done, Or try the jiggle test. Gently shake the…

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Thickeners for Fruit Pies

Thickeners help prevent fruit pies from being too runny. All-purpose flour, cornstarch and quick-cooking tapioca are the thickeners commonly used in fruit pies. Flour gives the filling an opaque…

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Tips for Buying Baking Apples

Select apples that are firm, crisp and deeply colored.

Store apples in an open bag in the refrigerator and don't wash until you're ready to eat or use in baking.

There are many…

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Trick for Tiny Tarts

I find that rolling dough into balls and pressing them into mini tart pans is a tedious job. Luckily, I discovered that I can roll the dough flat, cut out small circles and quickly press them into…

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Working with Cream Pies

To prevent the filling in a cream pie from becoming thin and watery as it cools in the baked pie shell, be sure to cook the filling sufficiently after the egg yolks are added to the rest of the…

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