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Pastry 101

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Inspired by conversations on the FOOD52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun. Today: everything you need to know about pies and tarts.

Pies and tarts

Don't get us wrong: we love our cherries pies, our raspberry pies, our peach pies: those warm-weather, eating-in-a-bathing suit kind of pies, the ones meant to sit out in the sun, to serve with hamburgers and sangria.

But when it comes to pies, autumn -- and that food-filled celebration that falls within it -- is prime pie season. Because what's a Thanksgiving table without at least one kind of pie? (Or, really, at least three?)

In honor of this prime pie season, here are all of our pie-making tips and techniques. Better start practicing for the big day!

How to Hack a Tart Pan (with just a baking sheet and some foil)

How to Roll Out Pastry Dough

A Pastry Trick: The Best Way to Use Butter

Peeing an apple

And some tips and tricks for what to go in, around, and on top of your pie:

How to Make Whisk-Free Whipped Cream

How to Peel an Apple

Making the Perfect Caramel

Tags: holdiays, thanksgiving, baking, pie, pies, tart, tarts, how to, holiday, how-to & diy

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Comments (8)


over 1 year ago lisa Petrusich

There is more than one kind of lard. The typical lard that comes in a blue box at most grocery stores, is hydrogenated, and not healthy at all. The other kind usually comes in a bucket and is simply rendered fat. Use this is you can find it. There is also leaf lard which is even harder to find, but apparently most desirable.


about 2 years ago olchicago

Hi Jenny,
I couldn’t agree more with lard instead of Crisco, don’t know why lard got such a bad rap, it's just rendered pork fat, ever look at the solvents and processing chemical list for vegetable oil? Wonder if DuPont or Exxon originated the process.

My Grandparents ate lard and used bacon fat for everything, they both were centurions, according to the health experts they did every thing wrong, I don't get it.


about 2 years ago Jenny

That was supposed to say HOT HOT HOT and 15-20 minutes. I am better at baking than I am at typing.


almost 3 years ago Brotha Percy

I love pies and the making of pies, but I have one major problem - the bottom crust rarely ever comes out fully done; what am I doing wrong?


almost 3 years ago darksideofthespoon

Have you ever tried blind baking your crust before adding the filling?


almost 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Another trick is to put the pie plate on a preheated cookie sheet, i.e., heat the cookie sheet while you're preheating the oven. Also, don't put the pie into the oven until about 15 minutes after your oven says that it has reached the requested temperature. ;o)


almost 3 years ago Brotha Percy

Thank you; I will do that.


about 2 years ago Jenny

When I make a pie, I turn the oven on HOT HO HOT, like 425. I put the pie in, covered in foil, for about 14-20 minutes then turn it down to 350. Keep the foil on until it's almost done, then take it off for about the last 15 minutes, maybe turn the broiler on for JUST a few minutes to brown the top if it's not brown enough. I learned how to make pie from my great Aunt Myrtle, who would be over 100 if she were alive today. Oh, and use lard instead of crisco if you wanna really wow the crowd.