January 23 is National Pie Day — and there really isn’t a better way to warm up the house while we’re stuck in the pits of winter than making a pie. If you’re new to pie-making, pies can be intimidating, but we put together a list of some of the most useful tips for making a perfect pie.
Make It From Scratch The grocery store has loads of pie crusts ready to fill and bake, but none of them compare with what you can make at home. Pie crust only requires four ingredients: flour, salt, fat (butter, shortening or lard); and you don’t have to do a lot of work to turn it into dough for your sweet treats.
Pea Size Chunks For a flaky crust, when you’re working the flour and butter together — either with your hands or in a food processor — make sure the fat doesn’t break down too much. Making sure your fat is very cold helps with that. For a top crust, the fat chunks should be about the size of peas. The bottom crust should be a mealy dough and the size of the chunks don’t matter.
Wash Though it doesn’t make much impact on how the pie tastes, a wash is very important. It can be an egg wash (beaten with a splash of water), buttermilk or cream to brush on the crust just before baking. Egg wash makes the crust shiny and golden, and cream or milk washes give the pie crust more color and texture to make your pie look more appetizing than it would with no wash.
Edging Your pie dough should be cold to hold its shape. When you’re rolling out the bottom crust, keep the top crust in the refrigerator until you’re ready to roll. Once the two crusts are sealed and fluted, put your pie in the freezer for at least 30 minutes (if you want to bake it later, you can leave it in the freezer until you’re ready to bake). When you’re ready to bake, cover the edges with foil. Leave it on there for the first 20 minutes of baking. The edge bakes first and without the foil, it will burn before the rest of the pie is ready.
- Cold Filling Let your filling cool before pouring it into your crust.
- Bread Crumbs Before you pour in your filling, sprinkle bread crumbs in the bottom to create an unintrusive barrier between the moisture in the filling and the pie dough.
- Pizza Stone Bake your pie on top of a pizza stone. With the weight of the filling, the pizza stone helps the bottom bake at the same rate as the top of the crust.
At LTD Commodities, we want to help you make Pie Day and every day a little bit better! From baking accessories for your culinary ambitions to whimsical decor to make your home brighter for spring, shop LTD for products priced for fun.