Pies Tips

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Why is my pie sticking when I serve it?

Keep Pie From Sticking While Serving

If you have chilled your pie before serving, the crust will probably stick. To prevent this, rest the pie on top of a warm towel. The shortening in the crust will melt slightly and release the pie more easily.

   
Do you have a recipe for a light cheesecake pie?

Angel Cheesecake Pie

This wonderful light cheesecake pie was a winner in the Pillsbury Bake-Off long ago. It is a wonderful combination of flavors and textures.

Cookie Crumb Crust
1/3 cup sugar
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup whole milk
1 egg yolk
12 oz. softened cream cheese
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg white
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar

Combine 1/3 cup sugar, gelatin and salt in medium saucepan. Blend in egg yolk and milk and mix well. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil and gelatin is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and blend in cream cheese, lemon juice and vanilla. Beat until fluffy.

Chill in refrigerator until mixture is thickened, but not set. Beat egg white until soft peaks form, then beat in 2 Tbsp. sugar and beat until stiff. Beat cream with powdered sugar until thick. Fold egg whites and cream into cream cheese mixture. Spoon into cooked cookie crust and chill before serving.

Cookie Pie Crust

This easy pie crust is a great choice for beginning cooks. The crust is crumbly, slightly chewy, sweet and nutty - a perfect foil for almost any chilled filling.

1-1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup finely chopped nuts
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter

Combine flour, nuts and brown sugar. Cut in butter until a crumb mixture forms. Do not form into ball; place crumbs in a 9" square baking pan, and bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Cool the crumbs and then press firmly into a 9" pie pan.

   
Do you have a recipe for a white chocolate pie?

White Chocolate Raspberry Pie

1 9" pie crust, baked and cooled

1-2/3 cups milk
1 tsp. unflavored gelatin
1 (3-oz.) pkg. vanilla pudding and pie filling mix (not instant)
3/4 cup white vanilla milk chips
1 cup whipping cream
Topping
2 cups fresh raspberries
1/4 cup white vanilla milk chips
2 tsp. oil

In medium heavy saucepan, combine milk and gelatin; mix well. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in pudding mix. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.

Add 3/4 cup vanilla milk chips to pudding mixture; stir until melted. Place plastic wrap over surface of pudding and refrigerate 1 hour to cool.

In small bowl, beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of whipped cream into cooled pudding mixture. Fold in remaining whipping cream. Spoon pudding mixture into cooled baked pie shell; spread evenly.

Place raspberries on filling. In small saucepan, heat 1/4 cup vanilla milk chips and oil over very low heat until melted, stirring constantly until smooth. Drizzle over raspberries. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or until serving time.

   
Do you have a pecan caramel pie recipe?

Pecan Caramel Pie

This recipe was a winner in the 1988 Pillsbury Bake Off. If you love pecans, you have to try this pie!

1 9" pie shell
36 caramels
1/2 cup whipping cream
3-1/2 cups pecan halves
2 tsp. butter
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. whipping cream

Blind bake the pie shell and set aside to cool completely.

Combine unwrapped caramels and 1/2 cup whipping cream in a heavy saucepan and cook over low heat until mixture is smooth and melted together. Remove from heat and add pecans, stirring to coat. Spread in cooled, baked pie crust.

In small saucepan, melt butter and chocolate chips over low heat, stirring until smooth. Add 2 Tbsp. whipping cream and stir until blended. Drizzle over pecans. Chill for 1 hour or until firm.

   
How thick do I need to roll pie crust?

Thickness of Pie Crust

The standard thickness for rolling pie crust is 1/8 inch.

   
Do you have a recipe for a vanilla chiffon pie?

Chocolate Sundae Pie

This recipe comes from my grandmother's collection. The name is somewhat deceptive, since the only chocolate in the pie is grated over the top - to form a "sundae". For food safety reasons, I strongly recommend that you use pasteurized eggs for this uncooked filling.

1 pkg. unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
3 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1-1/3 cups whole milk
pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla
3 egg whites
1 baked and cooled 9" pie crust

Sprinkle gelatin over the cold water to soften and set aside. In large mixer bowl, whip the egg yolks until fluffy. Gradually add sugar and a pinch of salt, beating until the mixture is light yellow and very fluffy.

Heat the milk in a saucepan until it forms a skin and steams. Pour a small amount of hot milk into the egg yolk mixture, beating well, then add the tempered egg yolk mixture to the hot milk in the saucepan. Heat until it just begins to simmer. Remove from heat, add softened gelatin and mix well to dissolve. Then stir in nutmeg and vanilla. Cool by setting the saucepan in a large bowl of ice water for about 1 hour.

Beat egg whites until very stiff. Beat the cooled egg yolk and milk mixture until fluffy, then fold in the beaten egg whites. Pour into baked, cooled pie crust and refrigerate overnight.

Serve with whipped cream and lots of shaved chocolate to sprinkle over the pie.

   
Do you have a recipe for French Apple Pie?

French Apple Pie

This pie with the streusel topping is a classic. I especially like the easy press-in-the-pan crust for beginning cooks.

Nut Cookie Crust

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar
1-1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup finely chopped nuts
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda

Cream together butter and brown sugar. Add remaining ingredients until crumbs form. Press crumbs against bottom and sides of 9" pie place, building up a 1/2" rim.

8 cups thinly sliced peeled apples
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup cold butter

Mix together apples, sugar, 3 Tbsp. flour and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Place into Nut Cookie Crust.

Mix together 1/2 cup flour, brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over the apples in the crust.

Bake at 425 degrees for 12 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees, and bake 25-40 minutes longer, until apples are tender when pierced with fork and juices are bubbling. Cool pie on wire rack. Serve warm.

For information about making pies, see Pastry 101.

   
How do I keep waxed paper from slipping around when I am rolling dough

Roll dough on waxed paper

When you are using waxed paper to roll out your pastry, dampen your countertop or table before applying the wax paper. It will prevent the paper from sliding around.

   
Do you have a peanut and chocolate pie recipe?

Tin Roof Fudge Tart

1 9" pie shell
2 oz. dark chocolate candy bar
1 Tbsp. butter
20 caramels, unwrapped
1/3 cup whipping cream
1-1/2 cups Spanish peanuts
8 oz. dark chocolate candy bar
2 Tbsp. butter
1 cup whipping cream
2 tsp. vanilla

Blind bake the pie shell at 425 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely.

Meanwhile, melt 2 oz. dark chocolate and 1 Tbsp. butter, stirring constantly until smooth. Spread over bottom and up sides of cooled baked pie crust.

In heavy saucepan, melt 20 caramels with 1/3 cup whipping cream until smooth, stirring frequently. Stir in peanuts until coated and spoon into chocolate lined crust.

In another heavy saucepan, melt 8 oz. dark chocolate and 2 Tbsp. butter, stirring frequently until smooth. Cool for 10 minutes.

In small bowl, combine 1 cup whipping cream and the vanilla and beat until soft peaks form. Fold into cooled chocolate mixture and spread over the caramel peanut layer. Chill for 2 hours or until set.

   
What´s the best thickener for fruit pies?

Great Thickener

For a wonderful way to thicken fruit pie juices without cloudiness or taste, use potato starch in the recipe instead of cornstarch or arrowroot.

   
Do you have a recipe for apple peach pie?

Apple Peach Pie

This pie is a fabulous combination of flavors and textures. The juice produced during baking is like a wild nectar. This pie was the first place winner in "Pie On The Square", a local baking contest our editor judged.

1 2-crust recipe Refrigerator Pie Crust Mix
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. tapioca
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
4-5 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
1 peach, peeled and sliced OR 1/2 cup frozen solid-pack peaches
1/2 cup crushed corn flakes
2 Tbsp. dry lemon Jell-O
2 Tbsp. butter

Line 9" pie pan with one crust.

Combine sugar, tapioca, cinnamon, and apple and peach slices. Sprinkle corn flakes in the bottom of the pie crust, and fill with apple-peach mixture. Sprinkle with the dry lemon Jell-O and dot with butter. Add top crust and flute. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then lower temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 45-50 minutes, until juices are bubbling and crust is deep golden brown.

   
How do I make a lattice top?

Lattice Crust

Lattice crusts aren't difficult. Start by laying half the pastry strips in parallel rows over the pie filling, with a space in between each equal to one strip width. Then fold back every other pastry strip onto itself. Place one strip at right angles to the rest, in the middle of the pie. Unfold the folded strips over this new strip. Then fold back every other pastry strip onto itself. Repeat, working out to the pie edges from the center in both directions. Then crimp the edges and bake.

   
What can I glaze my pie with before baking?

Glaze Pie Crust Before Baking

Before baking your two crust pie, brush it with a little milk or beaten egg and sprinkle with a little sugar.

   
How can I keep a graham cracker crust from crumbling when I cut it?

Bake Graham Cracker/Cookie Crusts

After you make your graham cracker or cookie crumb crust, bake it at 350 degrees for about 3-4 minutes and it will crumble less when you cut it.

   
How do I roll out doughs evenly?

Non-stick dough rolling

When rolling doughs between waxed paper or parchment paper, dampen the countertop first, to keep the paper from slipping.

   
How can I lift a crust without tearing it?

Moving Pie Crust

When you need to move the top pie crust on top of pie fillings, roll it partway around the rolling pin and support it with your other hand.

   
Is there a pie crust recipe that uses oil?

Oil Pastry

Competing giants Pillsbury and General Mills came up with this pie crust method at about the same time. Use the waxed paper method of rolling for this pastry.

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup plain oil (peanut, safflower, NOT olive)
1/4 cup cold whole milk

Mix flour and salt together. Add the oil and milk all at once and stir lightly until a dough forms. Use in any recipe calling for a two-crust pie.

   
How do I make whipped cream?

Whipping Cream

When whipping cream, make sure that it is cold and wait until it is almost done before adding the sugar otherwise it may not whip up. You should add about 2-3 tablespoons of sugar per cup of cream. And don't forget the vanilla!

   
Why are my pie crusts always tough?

Keeping Pie Crust Flaky and Tender

When making pie crust use ice cold water and mix very quickly. Pastry becomes tough from too much handling. The less you handle it, the more tender it will be.

   
How do I roll out doughs evenly?

Dough Rolling

When rolling doughs, always start from the center and work your way out in all directions, rolling with even pressure.

   
Can I freeze pie crusts ahead of time?

Freeze Pie Crusts

Next time you make pie crusts, make a few extra and roll them out between sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap. Store them in the freezer inside a clean, empty pizza box to protect them.

   
How can I make sure the apples in my pies are tender?

Apple Pie

The apples in your apple pie will be tender and juicy if you make sure a little lemon juice is included in the pie. The acidity helps break down the apple flesh so juices are released during cooking.

   
How do I roll out doughs evenly?

Let Dough Rest

Once you've made your dough, flatten it into a disk and chill the disk in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes. This step helps the dough to roll out better and keeps it from springing back because the gluten in the flour has a chance to relax.

   
Do you have a recipe for homemade pie crust mix?

Refrigerator Pie Crust Mix

6 cups flour
1 Tbsp. salt
4 tsp. sugar
2-1/2 cups solid vegetable shortening

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in the vegetable shortening until mixture is the consistency of coarse meal. Store in refrigerator in airtight container.

For pie crust, scoop out 2-1/2 cups of the mix and combine it with 3-5 Tbsp. cold water and 1 tsp. lemon juice. Mix lightly with a fork, tossing the mixture, until it holds together when squeezed gently into a ball. Separate into two balls and roll out for double crust pie.

   
How do you make a pie crust in a food processor?

Food Processor Shortcut

To make a pie crust in your food processor, place shortening, flour and salt in the bowl. Cover and process using quick pulsing until mixture is crumbly. With the processor running, pour the cold water all at once through the feed tube just until dough leaves sides of bowl. A ball shouldn't form at this point. Gather into a ball, then roll out.

   
Do you have a recipe for Derby Pie?

Chocolate Chip Pie

This wonderful pie is also known as Derby Pie. The filling is a combination of chocolate chip cookies and pecan pie. Yum!

2 eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup melted butter, cooled
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (or use 2 cups chips and leave out the nuts)
1 9" unbaked pie shell

Beat eggs well. Add flour and sugars and mix until well blended. Stir in the melted butter. Add chips and nuts (if using). Pour into unbaked pie shell, and bake at 325 degrees for 55-65 minutes until puffy and golden brown.

   
How do I make cookie crumbs?

Making Cookie Crumbs

There are several ways that you can make cookie crumbs for pie crusts.

1) Toss cookies into a food processor.
2) Place cookies in plastic bag and whack with a meat tenderizer.
3) Place cookies in a bag and roll over with a rolling pin.
4) Crush cookies with the flat bottom of a drinking glass.

   
What should I do with the pie crust while making the filling?

Chill Pie Crust

For best results, chill the pie crust while you are preparing the filling.

   
Can I use frozen pie pastry straight out of the freezer?

Frozen pastry

When you are making pie pastry from scratch, double the recipe and freeze half in a fat round. This pastry can be grated on top of pies for a super easy top crust. Just bake as directed in the recipe.

   
Do I have to use cold water when making a pie crust?

Hot Water Pastry

It's really hard to ruin this pastry. It makes the most tender crust you've ever tasted! This recipe works best if you use the waxed paper method for rolling out the dough.

1 cup minus 2 Tbsp. shortening
1/4 cup hot water
1 Tbsp. milk
2-1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt

Place shortening in large bowl. Pour hot water and milk over the shortening. With a dinner fork, break up the shortening. Tilt bowl and beat quickly until the mixture looks like whipped cream. Pour flour and salt over shortening mixture and beat well with the fork, forming a dough that cleans the bowl. Divide into two parts and roll out with waxed paper instructions (see Pastry 101 in my Articles section).

   
Do you have a recipe for miniature tartlets?

Mini Jam Tarts

2/3 cup butter, softened
1 3-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
2 cups flour
3/4 cup preserves

Beat together butter and cream cheese until blended. Mix in brown sugar, then vanilla and eggs and beat well. Add flour until dough forms. Chill in refrigerator 2-3 hours.

Press dough into 48 miniature muffin cups to form tart shells. Spoon jam into each filled cup. Bake at 350 degrees for 11-15 minutes until set and very light brown. Remove from cups and cool.

   
Do you have a lemon pie recipe?

Lemon Truffle Pie

This fantastic pie from the 1992 Pillsbury Bake-Off has a cream cheese and white chocolate base and a tart lemon topping. It's one of my favorites.

1 9 inch pie crust, baked and cooled
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. flour
1 cup water
2 egg yolks
1 Tbsp. butter
1/3 cup lemon juice
1-1/2 cups vanilla milk chips
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

Combine sugar, cornstarch and flour in heavy saucepan. With wire whisk, stir in water until smooth. Cook over medium heat until boiling, stirring constantly. Cook 2 minutes. Stir about 1/4 cup of cooked mixture into egg yolks and blend. Return egg yolk mixture to saucepan and cook 2 more minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in butter and lemon juice.

Transfer 1/2 cup of the cooked lemon filling to small bowl with the vanilla milk chips. Set rest of lemon filling aside. Microwave the chip mixture on low 1-2 minutes or until chips are melted. Beat cream cheese and add vanilla chip-lemon filling mixture and beat well. Spread over cooled crust. Spoon lemon mixture over the cream cheese layer. Refrigerate 4 hours to set.

   
Do you have a recipe for a nut crust?

Nut Cookie Crust

This crust can be used for any pie. It's very simple and has a wonderful flavor and texture.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar
1-1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup finely chopped nuts
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda

Cream together butter and brown sugar. Add remaining ingredients until crumbs form. Press crumbs against bottom and sides of 9" pie plate, building up a 1/2" rim. Fill with desired filling and bake as directed in pie recipe.

   
What can I do with the leftover dough scraps?

Dough Cinnamon Treats

Make tasty dessert treats out of leftover scraps of pie dough. Braid or twist dough scraps into desired shapes, roll in a cinnamon and sugar mixture and bake for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees.

   
Do you have a recipe for chocolate pecan pie?

Chocolate Silk Pecan Pie

1 pkg. refrigerated pie crust
1 tsp. flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 eggs
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup hot milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1-1/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Prepare pie crust according to package directions for filled one crust pie using a 9" pie pan. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, beat sugar, corn syrup, butter and eggs at medium speed for 1 minute and stir in pecans. Pour into pie crust and bake at 350 degrees for 40-55 minutes until center of pie is puffed and golden brown. Cool for one hour.

While filled crust is cooling, in blender or food processor, combine milk, vanilla and chocolate chips; blend 1 minute or until smooth. Refrigerate until mixture is slightly thickened, about 1-1/2 hours. Gently stir filling and pour into cooled filled crust. Refrigerate until firm, 1-2 hours.

   
Do you have a recipe for cream cheese pastry?

Cream Cheese Pastry

I found this recipe in the marvelous book "Cook My Darling Daughter" by Mildred O. Knopf. That's definitely a book worth searching for! The pastry is easy and works beautifully every time.

2 sticks butter, softened
1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 cups flour

Cream the butter with the cream cheese until thoroughly mixed. Add flour and mix well until a dough forms. Form into ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight before using. Use the flour method for rolling out this dough.

   
What are some tips for making perfect streusel?

Perfect Streusel

For perfect pie streusel, add a bit of cornmeal to the flour, and use melted butter instead of softened. The structure of the fat breaks down when melted, so the fat soaks all the way through the flour instead of remaining on the surface. The result? Crisp, tender streusel.

   
How do I make my pie shine on top?

Want Your Pie to Shine?

While your pie is cooling, brush the top with diluted honey to make it shine.

   
How can I make pie weights easier to use?

Pie Weight Holder

Whether you use special metal pie weights or dried beans to keep your crusts from puffing up, try using a doubled-up oven cooking bag to store them. You can just place the bag with the weights in the pie shell, then lift it up again to store. Reuse the same bag as often as you like.

   
Do you have a recipe for a pat-in-pan cookie crust?

Cookie Crust

This easy pie crust is a great choice for beginning cooks. The crust is crumbly, slightly chewy, sweet and nutty - a perfect foil for almost any chilled filling.

1-1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup finely chopped nuts
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter

Combine flour, nuts and brown sugar. Cut in butter until a crumb mixture forms. Do not form into ball; place crumbs in a 9" square baking pan, and bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Cool the crumbs and then press firmly into a 9" pie pan.

   
How do I keep piecrust tender?

Flaky Crust

The secret to tender, flaky piecrust is to handle the dough as little as possible.

   
How do I keep pie crust from shrinking during baking?

When Stretching is Not Good

When you are placing your crust into a pie tin, be careful not to stretch or pull the crust to the edges. It will shrink back when it is baking.

   
What are some good Pillsbury Bake-Off recipes?

Grands Little Pies

Grands! Little Pies

3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup chopped nuts, if desired
1 17-oz. can refrigerated biscuit dough
1 21-oz. can apple, blueberry or cherry pie filling

Combine flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Stir in nuts.

Separate dough into eight biscuits, and split each in half to make 16 rounds of dough. Using floured fingers, flatten each to form a 4" round. Place in ungreased muffin cups, pressing to form a crust. Spoon about 2 Tbsp. pie filling into each cup. Sprinkle each with about 2 Tbsp. crumbly mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-22 minutes until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes, remove from muffin cups, and cool on wire rack. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

   
Is there an easy way to roll pie crust?

Pie Crust

To make rolling pie crusts easier, roll between 2 sheets of parchment paper, waxed paper or plastic wrap. No messy flour all over the kitchen, no sticking and your crust will be more tender

   
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