Kitchen Hacks: Best Tips for Making the Perfect Pies

Blossom Lady
Oct 14, 2020 08:18 AM
Kitchen Hacks: Best Tips for Making the Perfect Pies

If you love pies as much as I do, you probably make a lot of pies — which is great, because practice makes perfect when it comes to pie-making. Along the way, I’ve picked up quite a few tips and tricks for the perfect pie, from rolling it to wrapping it. Whether you’re an absolute beginner or a pie-baking pro, you’ll learn something new from these simple tips.

Pie-dough spritzer

Kitchen Hacks: Best Tips for Making the Perfect Pies
Anyone who makes pie dough has faced the problem of dough that is too dry and crumbly when it’s time to roll it out. Mixing in more water with a spoon or spatula can overwork the dough and make the crust tough, so try using a spray-bottle full of ice water to distribute just the right amount.

Tricks for rolling out pie dough

Kitchen Hacks: Best Tips for Making the Perfect Pies
Pie and tart doughs can’t take the heat: in order to bake up flaky, the fat in the dough must stay cool, which is problematic, since working the dough warms it up. Here are two methods for keeping it cool.
A. While the dough is chilling in the refrigerator, fill two 1-gallon zipper-lock bags halfway with ice and lay them on the counter for 20 minutes.
When ready to roll out the dough, remove the ice bags and wipe any condensation from the surface. Work quickly with the dough in the cold space as directed in the recipe.

B. Cut a sheet of cotton canvas (available at fabric stores) into a 16-inch square; launder and dry. Fold the canvas, place it in a zipper-lock bag, and freeze. When you’re ready to use it, unfold the canvas and lay it on the countertop, sprinkle it with flour, and place the dough on top to roll.

Instantly flatter countertops

Kitchen Hacks: Best Tips for Making the Perfect Pies
Tile countertops may look attractive, but they are not especially practical when it comes to baking. To avoid rumpled pie dough (not to mention a floury mess in the cracks between tiles), place a flexible cutting board over the tile countertop to create a smoother surface.

Perfect pie crust cheats and shortcuts

Kitchen Hacks: Best Tips for Making the Perfect Pies
Smoothly rolling pie dough into an even circle requires deft hands and experience. Use these tricks to make the process less daunting.

A. To make sure your dough is the right size, make a template with parchment paper and a pencil.
Place a 12-inch skillet lid on a sheet of parchment paper. Using a pencil, trace a circle around the lid.
Roll out a disk of lightly floured dough on the parchment, using the tracing as a guide and stopping when the dough reaches the line.

B. To create as perfect a circle as possible before your pie dough goes into the pan, minimizing the need for trimming in the pan, try this trick.
Roll the dough into an 11-inch round. Place a 10-inch-wide bowl on top and trim around the edge. Finish rolling the circle into the desired size (the dough will be thin but sturdy enough to transfer to a pie plate).

C. Rather than pulling out a ruler every time you roll out a pie crust during busy baking times like the holidays, use masking tape to create a 12-inch square on your countertop to use as a guide for rolling out a 12-inch crust.

D. Try placing a nonstick silicone mat underneath the parchment paper when rolling out pie dough to keep the dough in place for smooth, stable rolling.

Quicker dough wrapping

Kitchen Hacks: Best Tips for Making the Perfect Pies
While preparing batches of pie dough for the holidays, I discovered a time-saving trick that keeps my hands and the counter clean: once the dough is mixed, transfer it directly from the bowl to a large zipper-lock bag. Shape the dough into a disk through the outside of the bag, and chill until ready to use.

Pie shell emergency repair

Kitchen Hacks: Best Tips for Making the Perfect Pies
Rather than throw away pie dough trimmings, save the scraps for patchwork. If there are any cracks or holes after prebaking a pie shell, patch them with the leftover dough, pressing it into place, and then finish baking according to the recipe.

Perfect pie crust for just pennies

Kitchen Hacks: Best Tips for Making the Perfect Pies
I prefer ceramic or metal pie weights to those old standbys, rice and beans. If you don’t have any of these, you can improvise by emptying the contents of your penny jar into an aluminum foil liner. The pennies lie flat and conduct heat beautifully.
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1 comment
Geok Hoon Lee
Apr 20, 2021 03:41 AM

Dear Anna, 

Thanks for this Tips, my hubby like to eat, but I only buy the Puff pastry to do for him the curry puff, and also meat pie. Haha! if you ask me for doing my Home town Malay satay or sweet, I will love to do them, but I cannot eat, because I am diabetic. I only cook some Chinese meals for us to eat. only some time his love to eat other, then I will cook or bake for him. 

Lots of love to you,