Every holiday season, I hear mixed advice on best practices for baking pies that can lead to confusion.
For instance: The recipe on the Libby’s can emphasizes that you shouldn’t par (or blind) bake the crust first, but my crust is always soggy on the bottom, so I started blind baking them. My cousin, who bakes apple pies for every Thanksgiving and Christmas, never cooks her apples first, even though apple pie filling you’d buy at the store is already cooked.
I decided to reach out to local pie queen Jodi Elliott, whose two locations of Bribery Bakery have evolved into so much more than your everyday bakery — serving savory dishes, cocktails and more from breakfast through dessert. Elliott put to rest two long-running debates I’ve had in my head about pies.
On blind baking the crust for a pumpkin pie: For pumpkin pie, it’s not absolutely necessary to blind bake, but I do. I like to ensure a fully baked crust, so blind bake, but don’t take it too far! It should be a nice blond
e color and not look wet or doughy at all, but don’t take it to golden brown. I think blind baking gives you more control, especially in finicky ovens, which most home ovens are! Make sure to refrigerate or even freeze the crust for 20 to 30 minutes before baking. It makes it easier to blind bake and also will hold its shape while baking.
On making apple pie filling: Definitely don’t cook the apples before. The apples will get way too soggy and soft. I use all Granny Smith apples, always. I love the texture and tartness. I toss the sliced apples in brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, lemon juice, cinnamon and flour. I place that in the pie crust and then place a few pieces of butter on top of the apples before the top layer of dough goes on.