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easy as pie how to make a better pie crust
by Yee-Fan Sun |
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continued from page 3

forming the crust
When you have a nice big circle that's a fair bit large than the diameter of your pan, say a couple of inches, remove the top layer of plastic wrap. Pick up the dough, flip it over so the plastic side is up, and gently move it to your pan. Center it as best you can, and gently press it into place so that it fits snugly. Remove the plastic wrap.

Trim the overhang if it's greater than an inch; otherwise, tuck it under itself along the rim. If you're making a double pie crust, as with a traditional apple pie, now's the point at which you pile in the filling and top with more pie dough. Tuck the edge of the top crust under the edge of the bottom and pinch to seal. 

Otherwise, proceed directly to decorating your crust. Here are two of the most common methods to pretty up that border:

Fluted crust Crimped crust

Once you've finished your crust, pop it in the fridge for an hour, or the freezer for twenty minutes, until it firms up again. Bake as directed in your recipe (don't forget to make a few slits in the top crust of a double crust to give the steam an escape route).

blind baking
If you're making a single crust pie, like pumpkin, it's a dandy idea to pre-bake your crust before adding the filling. This is known as blind baking, and though it's an extra step, it ensures a nice, crisp crust rather than a soggy, pasty one.

Preheat the oven to 425F. Meanwhile, prick the crust all over the bottom with a fork. Line the crust with foil, and weight it down. You can get pie weights at any cooking store; alternatively, a couple of cups of dried beans or uncooked rice work just fine as well (and can be saved for this same use in the future).

Slide the crust into the oven, and bake for 12 minutes. Pull the crust out of the oven and carefully remove the foil and weights. Lower the heat to 350F, pop the crust back in, and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until the crust is firmed up and a lovely golden-brown. (If your recipe calls for more oven time once you add the filling, remove the crust from the oven a little earlier.)

o o o

If all this seems hopelessly complicated, trust me: it's all a lot easier once you just get your hands into that dough and start working. And after a few gos at it, you'll be able to make a great homemade pie crust with barely a glance at a recipe book at all.

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check out these related articles: 
galette | pot pie 

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