As you might have guessed, we went all in for pies in this week’s food section. It’s our latest Year of Baking project, so we have a fun little video with some of our tips, but the real meat is in this story, which has some basic recipes and advice on making better pies.
Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind this pie-baking season:
- Foil is your friend. As soon as you see the edges of the crust start to get brown, put a sheet of foil or one of those pie shields on top. It’s so easy to accidentally burn a pie crust, in part because recipes often call for lowering the heat at a certain time and cooks forget to do that, or because your oven burns a little hotter than you might realize.
- Use a pizza cutter when slicing strips for a lattice, and don’t feel confined to the 1/2-inch strip. You could vary the widths of the pieces, make them all somewhat thick or criss
–cross them at less than 90 degrees. If you’ve never woven a lattice before, practice with strips of paper, just like you might have done in elementary school art class.
- Rather than create the lattice directly on top of the pie, you can practice on a pastry cloth — an old school tool that might become your new best friend — or piece of parchment paper and then gently lay the completed lattice on top of the pie.
- If you’re worried that your fruit pie filling is too runny, pour off some of the liquid and combine it with a few tablespoons of cornstarch. Some bakers always toss their fruit with cornstarch alongside the sugar and spices before baking.
- No need to toast nuts before adding them to your dessert. They’ll get that rich, roasted taste as they bake with the rest of the pie.
- To transport the dough from your floured counter or pastry cloth, gently roll it up so that it folds over the rolling pin.
- A pie will keep on a countertop for a day or so, but cover and refrigerate after that.