March 14 is not just any day, it is national pi....errr, pie day! Call it 3.14 day or "just eat pie" day, it is great excuse to eat a delicious piece of pie. Even if you prefer a classic apple, mixed berry, extra creamy coconut or simple pumpkin, don't forget to eat a slice, or two, today.
If you plan on making a homemade pie, for the first time, in the future, it'll take time, practice, and some helpful tips. Check out my easy pie baking tips for a super sweet and successful pie:
Tip #1: Keep the pie crust chilled!
If you make your own crust or buy a pre-made crust, keep it cold in the fridge until ready to roll. Why? The fat in the crust (butter, lard, etc) needs to be super cold when rolling out into a round circle, thus it creates flakes and does not melt. Especially if you make a homemade crust, chill it overnight in the fridge before rollin'. (Check out my all-butter pie crust recipe)
Tip #2: Add salt to your filling!
When making your sweet filling: apple, berry, coconut cream, etc. Don't forget a pinch of salt! Why? Salt aids in flavor when making it. It balances the sweetness from fruit and extra added sugars.
Don't even forget to add a pinch to salt when making homemade pie crusts. It aides in browning and strength gluten strands to give it some structure.
Tip #3: When making a cream filling, chill the filling in a separate container before adding it to the pre-cooked crust!
When making a cream-based crust, you will need to cook it over the stove top to cook out any flour and dry ingredients. It'll be too hot to add to your crust, thus put it in a container (glass containers work best and won't react with food), in the fridge, and chill until cold (overnight, if you have time). Once chilled, add it to your pre-baked golden crust. Top with whipped cream and enjoy!
Tip #4: When making a lattice top, add egg wash and sugar!
Lattice top crusts, making a weave-like basket on top of a pie, are beautiful and stunning. After you made a lovely lattice top, egg wash (one whole egg, 1 tablespoon milk, and pinch of salt) the lattice crust with a pastry brush, and sprinkle demerara sugar (coarse brown sugar) for a golden and sparkly crust. If it gets too brown in the oven before the pie filling is fully cooked, cover with foil.
Tip #5: Lightly grease your pie pan!
Once again, no matter if you make a pre-made pie crust or make ya own, lightly grease your pie pan with soften butter (approx.1 teaspoon). Even if you a pie pan with a non-stick coating, greasing your pan will help ease your perfect slice out of the pan. Avoid aerosol sprays, they will leave a gross film on your pie pan over time.
Oh yes, tip #6 is to always enjoy a piece of pie with a foodie friend!