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What's the secret to pretty pie crust?

Mine taste good (usually ATK foolproof pie dough), but always look terrible. Is it possible to have both?

asked by AnneR 3 months ago

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6 answers 348 views
cv
cv
added 3 months ago

Absolutely. You have have a magazine cover photo pie that still tastes good.

Do you want shine? And egg white wash is typically used for that.

There are various ways for prettifying the edge and I'm sure YouTube has a plethora of various bakers doing various edge treatments.

You can do lattice strips, add pie dough ornaments (e.g., leaves) and such. I'm sure Pinterest has tens of thousands of ideas for that.

The options are too numerous to cover in a Q&A forum such as this, I suggest you start searching for images or video.

Pretty pie crusts was mastered centuries ago, there's plenty of information out there.

Best of luck.

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AnneR
added 3 months ago

I probably should have clarified that my problem seems to be that no matter how nice it looks going in the oven, it always comes out shrunken or otherwise misshapen. What’s going on? I chill it before baking it.

cv
cv
added 3 months ago

Well that changes the question considerably.

There still seems to be some important information missing for people here to help you solve your conundrum.

Are these blind baked crusts that are problematic?
What type of pie pan are you using?
What temperature are you baking at?
How long?
Are you lining with foil and using some sort of weight (beans, sugar, etc.)?

cv
cv
added 3 months ago

And while you are waiting for other people to respond, here's the obligatory Serious Eats article about blind baked pie crusts:

https://www.seriouseats...

by Stella Parks. Hers look pretty enough to me.

AnneR
added 3 months ago

I'm replying here because it was the only option to directly reply.

Yes, I almost always blind bake the crust when I'm making a pie, but either way, they both come out sad looking. I use a mixture of pie weights and beans, and sugar once. I line with either foil or parchment paper.

I usually bake at 425 for 15 minutes before removing the weights, then anywhere from 4 to 12 minutes longer, depending on whether I'm doing a partially or fully baked crust and how nicely it's browning.

I mostly use a 9-inch glass pie plate, but I've also used a ceramic.

Thanks so much for the Serious Eats link! I will definitely try that method next. I think that the people who respond to these questions on Food52 are the best people on earth. Thank you so much for lending your expertise!

cv
cv
added 3 months ago

One difference between Serious Eats and Food52 is that the former will deliberately and explicitly say "Don't do this because you will get this result" and accompany it with multiple photographs.

Currently Food52 only cares about beauty shots of the final product. They don't care about photographing the process nor showing what happens when you do something the wrong way.

Serious Eats does this (one of the few American food sites that do).

A Food52 recipe only tells you what to do, won't tell you what happens when you do something else, and you just get 3-5 beauty shots of the same damned slice of cake. Not particularly helpful.

Anyhow, have a great evening.