Tips & Techniques

2 Cool Tips for Rolling Pie Dough in a Burning-Hot Kitchen

August  1, 2017

Heat might be the enemy of pie dough, but that doesn't mean you should stop (or can resist) baking pie on the hottest days of the year, in your tiny kitchen, without A/C or even a fan, wearing only your bathing suit. (Come on, I know I'm not the only one.)

In her forthcoming book, Brave Tart: Iconic American Desserts (it's out August 15, so let the countdown begin!), Stella Parks shares advice for handling her all-butter pie dough (of which many of you are devotees) as temperatures rise:

  1. It's not only the air temperature that's disturbing your dough. When the temp in your kitchen rises above 73° F (for me, that's all summer long), Parks says "that everything from your countertop to your rolling pin and the flour itself will act as a heat source to the butter." To protect your butter, refrigerate pie plates, rolling pins, and dry ingredients until cool (but not cold or frozen).
  2. And, if it's really steamy, buy a few bags of ice from the convenience store: Wrap them in kitchen towels (to absorb moisture), then spread them over your counter. The ice water should chill down your surface, making it less likely that your dough will melt into a sticky, uncooperative glom.
Photo by James Ransom

So go forth and make pie: A little heat can't stop you!

Eyes on the Summer Pie Prize

How do you keep your cool when working with warming pie dough? Tell us in the comments below.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

I used to work at Food52. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream.


Mickey August 1, 2017
I keep a marble pastry board in my refrigerator where it stays cold. The board is heavy, around 25 pounds, so build up those muscles. Since the board takes up little space I put much of my refrigerator items on the board. About twice a week I unload the bottom of my refrigerator take out my board for pie doughs, cookie dough and other pastry doughs for rolling. I also use a non slip mat under the board when in use. On hot steamy days the board will accumulate some condensation, but a paper towel and extra flouring takes care of the problem. For hot days rolling out all butter pie doughs are not a problem and no rush to get the job done. I do not keep my marble rolling pin in the refrigerator because or the wooden handles.
Mickey August 3, 2017
Oh, from a food52 email ad, I now see that Food52 aslo sells a marble pastry board.