Pie Crust Problems: And How To Fix Them

by Gina Elizabeth
How to fix pie problems

Having a pie crust emergency?

You’ve come to the right place.

Here’s everything you need to know to fix & prevent pie crust problems.

HOW TO FIX COMMON PIE CRUST PROBLEMS

Common pie crust issues include things like overbaking crust and/or a soggy bottom crust.

Following a good recipe is key to eliminating these and other baking issues.

Here’s how to fix your pie crust problems if you have…

1. Soggy Pie Crust

How to prevent soggy bottom pie crust:

The best way to ensure a crispy, golden pie crust is to blind bake it.

To prevent your pie’s bottom crust from becoming soggy, it needs to be partially cooked before adding fillings.

This is known as blind baking.

How to blind bake a pie crust

  1. Chill your pie crust before baking
  2. Pre-heat oven to 425°F
  3. Place parchment paper on the pie crust. Fill the pie with weights to keep the crust from bubbling up.
  4. Place pie on a cookie sheet. This helps liquefy the solid layers of fat in the dough.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the edges of the crust are start browning.
  6. Poke holes all over the bottom of the crust with a fork.
  7. Coat the surface of the bottom crust with a layer of slightly beaten egg white to create a barrier to prevent sogginess. This will form a seal between the pie dough and the filling and will help make the crust crisp.
  8. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. Cool before filling.

Tip #1: Roll your bottom crust slightly thicker than your top crust. This will keep the filling from seeping through the dough. 

Tip #2: Add crushed cornflakes on the bottom crust before adding the filling. This will help prevent a soggy crust. 

How to fix soggy bottom pie crust

  1. Remove the pie from the oven and scoop out the filling.
  2. Cover the edges with foil or a pie shield.
  3. Put the pie back in the oven and allow the bottom crust to cook all the way through.
  4. Simultaneously heat the pie filling on the stove (over a low simmer) until the juice reduces.
  5. Once the bottom crust cooks, reinsert the filling.
  6. Wait for the pie to cool.
  7. Then top with a whipped cream crust.

Which oven rack is the best for baking pie?

Baking the pie on the lower rack will ensure that bottom crust gets crispy and golden brown.

2. Burnt Pie

If your pie is burnt or unsalvageable make a sundae, parfait, or shake out of the unburnt sections:

Make A Festive Sundae

The best kind of mess.

Instructions: Pie Sundae

  1. Scoop ice cream into individual serving bowls or glasses.
  2. Top with the pie filling and crust.
  3. Garnish with whipped cream and nuts.

BOOM!

3. Underbaked Crust

If you don’t bake your pie at a high enough temperature, the crust becomes raw and soggy.

This is due to the butter in the crust melting into the dough without evaporating.

To fix this, start out your pie at a higher temperature, between 425 and 450 degrees F.

Then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F after about 20 to 30 minutes.

Continue baking until the pie is nicely browned and the filling is bubbling.

12 BAKING TIPS TO AVOID PIE CRUST PROBLEMS

Things That’ll Help You Bake The Best Pie Crust Ever!

Making your first pie?

Want to impress everyone with your baking skills?

Here’s how:

1. Choose A Reliable Recipe

Pie is very finicky & unforgiving.

Make sure to use the best pie recipe you can find and follow it exactly, for the perfect pie every time.

Tip: Read the whole recipe once or twice before getting started.

You’ll be much more likely to get it right the first time!

2. Measure Ingredients Accurately

Baking is more science than art. Eyeballing ingredients or making substitutions isn’t good practice for baking!

Tip: If your recipe calls for a specific brand (like Karo Syrup), don’t use a generic brand. this may add moisture and cause runny pie.

3. Use A Glass Pie Dish To Bake

Use a glass pie pan.

Glass is the best choice for pre-baking a custard pie like or pumpkin.

Although metal pans conduct heat better, radiant energy can pass through glass pans and help the crust heat and brown quickly.

4. Put a cold pie into a hot oven

“Make it cold, bake it hot.”

Putting a cold pie into a hot oven will help avoid a soggy bottom.

  • Everything should be chilled: ingredients, bowls, and materials.
  • Refrigerate the pie crust dough until your filling is ready. Warm dough causes butter to soften—which will cause a soggy instead of a flaky crust.
  • You can also chill your pie in the fridge for 15 minutes before baking.

5. Cover Your Crust Edges

Don’t use the brownness of pie crust to judge doneness.

  • Cover the crust edges with foil to avoid burning. Or purchase a pie crust shield.
  • Remove the pie crust shield during the last 15 minutes of baking.

6. Use An Oven Thermometer

Pre-heat your oven and verify the baking temperature with an oven thermometer (don’t trust your dial).

  • Pie baked at too hot a temperature may cause the egg custard to break and weep.
  • Oven temperature that is too cool may also cause runny pie.

7. Do Not Overfill Your Pie Plate

Stick with the amount of filling that your recipe calls for to avoid a watery mess.

Extra filing can also cause a soggy crust. Stick with the amount that your recipe calls for to avoid watery pie filling.

8. Partially Blind-Bake Your Bottom Crust

As an alternative to blind-baking, you can also sprinkle cornstarch (or flour) on top of your bottom crust. 

This will soak up excess liquid. Sprinkle before adding your pie filling.

If you opt for a frozen crust, place a cookie sheet in preheated oven.

Pour filling into frozen crust and bake on the preheated cookie sheet.

9. Judging Doneness

Do not shorten cooking time or lower oven temperature to avoid over-browning your crust.

pie is a notoriously difficult to bake because it can be difficult to tell when it is done.

The crust and the s can burn easily if overcooked, but the middle can come out runny if it’s not cooked long enough.

How can you tell when pie is done?

Shake it. Give it a little shake back and forth.

It should jiggle a little in the middle.

A wobble means it’s not done yet.

Another method is to stick a fork in it. Insert a fork in the center of the pie, between the s. It should be clean when the pie is ready. The filling will continue to cook and fully set as the pie cools.

10. Adjust Recipe In High Altitude

If you live in a high altitude, adjust the recipe (ingredients and oven temperature).

11. Cool Before Slicing Or Refrigerating

Cutting a hot pie will cause it to collapse.

Do not place a hot pie into the fridge, the temperature difference is too drastic.

Cool for at least 2 hours on wire rack before serving.

PIE BAKING FAQs

How long can you keep a pie in the freezer?

You can keep frozen, homemade pie will keep well in the freezer for 3-4 months.

But it’ll taste best if eaten sooner. If you freeze the filling by itself, it will last up to 12 months.

How do you freeze pie?

Step 1: Allow to Cool Completely

After baking, allow your pie to cool at room temperature for up to 30 minutes.

Then chill the pie thoroughly in the refrigerator. It’s important that the pie is chilled before being frozen

Do not take your pie out of the oven and place it directly in the freezer.

It won’t set properly.

Step 2: Slice and Wrap

The less cold air that comes into contact with your pie, the longer it’ll last in the freezer.

Once your pie is fully chilled, it’s time to prepare it for freezing.

If you’re freezing individual slices, slice the pie and wrap each piece tightly with two layers of plastic wrap.

Step 3: Wrap with Foil

Wrap it well in plastic wrap, then foil.

Repeat until all of the slices are tightly wrapped. 

Then label and date it to keep track of how long your pie is frozen

As you put the pie in the freezer, carefully place it to ensure it doesn’t get crushed by the weight of other foods.

How do you reheat a frozen cooked pie?

Baking a frozen or thawed pie is tricky.

The length of time you will re-heat the pie depends on how cold your freezer is, how hot the oven is, and the amount of filling in the pie.

Re-heat frozen pie

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F and place the individual slices or pie in a disposable metal pie pan or foil-lined baking sheet. 
  2. Brush the top crust of the pie with melted butter if desired. 
  3. Line the edges of the pie with foil to prevent over-browning. Or, “tent” a piece of foil over the top of the pie.
  4. Place the pie on the bottom rack of the oven. You can move the pie lower and higher as it bakes.
  5. Bake the pie at 350° F for 15-20 minutes.
  6. If needed, bake longer on a lower temperature.
  7. Let your pie to cool slightly before serving.

Re-heat thawed pie

Thaw it for up to 30 minutes at room temperature, or overnight in the fridge.

Some people suggest thawing the pie before you place it in the oven because it helps the pastry flour cook better.

Also, be aware that thawing your frozen pie may cause sogginess and the pie likely won’t be the exact same consistency it was before.

Important! Never place a cold Pyrex or a glass pan directly into a hot oven, it can shatter.

Do I need to refrigerate pie?

Yes! Refrigerate within two hours of baking to prevent food borne illness.

A warm pie is okay to place in the fridge.

What is blind-baking?

Blind-baking is pre-baking the crust without the filling.

This step ensures a crispy crust. For extra crispy pie crust – partially blind bake the crust before adding filling.

How do I partially blind-bake a pie crust?

To partially blind bake, pierce the pie dough in the pie plate with a fork.

Chill for an hour.

Then line with foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans.

Bake at a moderate temperature (350 degrees F) for about 5 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned, removing the pie weights halfway through.

Can I make substitutions?

No. Substitutions can add moisture, which may cause runny pie.

How do you fix a burnt pie?

Use a handheld grater to scrape off the burnt parts.

Cut or break off burnt edges and garnish the  pie with a ring or topping of whipped cream instead.

Or re-purpose sections that aren’t burned to make an ice cream parfait or bourbon shake.

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