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.

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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

52 Days of Thanksgiving
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52 Days of Thanksgiving

Top-notch recipes, expert tips, and all the tools to pull off the year’s most memorable feast.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • lisa Petrusich
    lisa Petrusich
  • olchicago
  • Jenny
  • Brotha Percy
    Brotha Percy
  • darksideofthespoon
Brette Warshaw

Written by: Brette Warshaw

I'm a reader, eater, culinary thrill-seeker, and food nerd.


lisa P. February 15, 2014
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.
olchicago August 28, 2013
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.
Jenny August 23, 2013
That was supposed to say HOT HOT HOT and 15-20 minutes. I am better at baking than I am at typing.
Brotha P. November 14, 2012
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?
darksideofthespoon November 14, 2012
Have you ever tried blind baking your crust before adding the filling?
AntoniaJames November 14, 2012
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)
Brotha P. November 15, 2012
Thank you; I will do that.
Jenny August 23, 2013
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.