Chronicles of A Pastry School Student

Pies and Tarts

Below you will find tips and suggestions for baking Pies and Tarts. To view the collection of Pie and Tart recipes, click on the link provided below and you will be taken to my online recipe binder.

Pie & Tart Recipe Binder

Pie and Tart Baking Tips:

  • It’s best to use a glass, dark, dull-metal baking pan or baking stone. These types of pans are more neutral and will help allow your crust to brown evenly. A shiny pan or flimsy disposable pan won’t let it brown enough. The baking stone will also produce an evenly browned and sturdy crust.
  • What to do when your crust over-browns? Cover the edges with aluminum foil after it bakes for 15 minutes, or use a purchased pie crust shield. If it’s a double-crusted pie or galette, the edges need to be covered after 20 minutes.
  • While handmade crusts may be the flakiest, a food processor makes a consistently great dough, as long as you pulse and don’t overblend, and it does it all in a matter of seconds. When adding the ice water, stop the machine, remove the lid, and drizzle it evenly over the mixture. Then pulse until the dough begins to come together, but not as far as a solid mass. Dump scraggly, but moist dough onto a lightly floured parchment paper or workstation, then form dough into a ball and let rest.
  • Some bakers prefer ovenproof glass pie plates because they conduct heat well (some recipes suggest dropping the oven temperature by 25°F. when using glass). Plus, you can see if your bottom crust is golden.
  • Metal/Aluminum pie pans are standard and inexpensive. They allow you to take your chilled unbaked crust directly from the fridge and put it right onto a hot baking sheet that you’ve preheated at the same time as the oven, which helps the bottom crust cook through. Don’t try this with ovenproof glass pie plates—frozen/cold glass baked in the oven equals an explosion.
  • Ceramic plates bake evenly, but they may take a bit longer.
  • Chill, chill, chill. It’s your mantra for tender flaky pastry. For a double-crust pie, chill the bottom crust while rolling out the top crust, and keep both cold while assembling the filling. Then slap that pie together, crimp the edge, and don’t forget the slits in the top.
  • If your crust warms up too much during assembly, freeze the pie just long enough to firm up the dough.
  • Pies, like tempers, need time to cool off. If your apple pie took an hour to bake, it’ll take at least 3 hours to properly cool. Set it on a rack and walk away. The thickeners in fruit pies—flour, cornstarch, or tapioca—need plenty of time to do their job.
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