6 Essential Pie Tips from Pie Experts

Food & Wine: 6 Essential Pie Tips from Pie Experts
Georgia Peach Pie © Quentin Bacon
By F&W Editors Posted March 14, 2014

Making pie isn’t easy as pie for everyone. But for these experts, it’s second nature. Here, some smart tips for easy pie making.

Keep it cool. “All the ingredients need to be cold, so some of the butter remains in pieces,” says baker and cookbook author Alice Medrich. “That’s what creates the flakes.”

Use bleached flour. “It makes the most tender crust,” says Medrich.

Don’t add too much water. While the result is instantly workable, it won’t yield an ideally flaky, tender crust. Instead, Medrich says that the dough should just barely hold together. It will relax as it rests.

Hold back the fruit until the end. F&W Best New Chef 2000 Eric Moshier waits to add roasted fruit to his peach pie until just before serving to avoid any possibility of a soggy crust.

Don’t under-mix your dough. “I find people under-mix pie dough because they’re too worried about overworking it,” chef Karen Demasco says. “But when it’s under-mixed, it’s difficult to work with. So once you’ve reached that pebble consistency, add all the liquid ingredients and pulse them in until the dough actually does start to come together. Then dump it into a bowl and press it together with your hands. And really press it, until it holds together with ease.”

Label your sugar and salt. One of the first dishes chef Loren Falsone ever made was apple pie but it didn’t come out well. “Everyone took one bite and spit it out,” she says. “I think I put in a cup of salt instead of a cup of sugar.”

Related: Delicious Pies and Tarts
New Ways to Eat Pies
America's Best Apple Pies

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