Some pies are obviously better than others, but why? Experience and training of the baker generally help. No one comes out of the womb with a perfect recipe for apple pie no matter how American they are.
But science also plays a big part in baking. In the video above, Amy Rowat, an assistant professor at the UCLA Department of Integrative Biology & Physiology, looks into some of what’s happening way behind the scenes when your make a pie crust. It’s got something to do with different states of matter.
According to the video’s description, “Rowat started the UCLA Science and Food program, where students not only explore why different cuts of meat have different textures, why some food is crispy, and how to create and stabilize the air pockets you find in a soufflé.” It’s not making pies in a test-tube, but they’re probably not eyeballing ingredients either.