How to avoid soggy bottom pie crust

lpinkmountainJune 27, 2011

I made strawberry rhubarb pie with a crumble top. The bottom crust was very soggy, even though I baked it for 5 min. prior to filling. I always use store bought crust so I'm unlikely to do anything different along those lines. Is there any trick to keeping the bottom crust from getting soggy in a watery fruit pie? This almost always happens to me. BTW, the filling was thick, not watery when the pie was finished, so I meant watery in that the fruit is just naturally watery, like strawberries. I used flour and cornstarch to thicken the fruit part. Would maybe some butter on the bottom help?

I've heard all the arguments about how easy, better, etc. homeade pie crust is. I have made my own crust. But it's just not gonna happen much folks! ;) Maybe I need to stick to cobblers and crisps like I usually do.

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Brush it with a slightly beaten egg white before the prebake. That makes a seal between the filling and the crust.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 10:08AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I would bake it a little longer too. My quiche crusts bake for 10 minutes blind.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 11:02AM
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Also, the placement of the pie in your oven might make a difference. I typically bake crusts towards the bottom of the oven instead of the middle.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 1:04PM
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I wonder if the pie pan makes a difference? I used a ceramic one this time. Probably does not conduct heat as well as the aluminum ones I usually use. I have pyrex, aluminum which I'm not crazy about, coated steel which I don't like to use because the coating is coming off and they rust, and ceramic pie pans. The ceramic ones make the nicest presentation.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 1:13PM
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I don't blind bake a fruit pie and never have a soggy crust. I use a glass or pottery pie plate....cook the pie in the bottom half of the oven, start it at 425 for 10 minutes and without opening the door, turn the oven down to 350.
I make my own crust....have never ever used a premade crust.
do you mean the crust comes in a stick that you roll out? or folded up and frozen? or already made in one of those flimsy aluminum pie tins?
Pie crust is soooooo eaasy....there is really no reason to buy premade... Maybe the soggy has something to do with the kind of shortening used..?
I also have heard that a tablespoon or so of flour on the crust before adding the fruit, helps...but I would think that would only make a layer of glue.
Linda C

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 1:45PM
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L, my favorite pie plate is plain old clear Pyrex, they seem to make the crispest and flakiest crust for me. Like LindaC, I put my pie in the bottom half of the oven and I start at 425F (preheated) for 10 or 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350F. Sometimes the fruit is very juicy and the crust will get a little soggier after sitting a day or so, and I don't know what to do about that except eat the pie faster!

I do have a beautiful Emile Henry ceramic pie plate that David got me as a gift, and it makes a nice crust too, but I'm always afraid I'll break it, so I only use it for pies that are staying at my house. Pies "to go" get the $4 Pyrex pie plates, deep dish.

I also make my own crust but occasionally passed off the stuff in the red box next to the canned biscuits to Dad as my own. It's not at all bad (of course, I don't much care for pie crust, so maybe that has something to do with the opinion) and all Dad ever said was "you didn't make this with lard, did you?" Nope, Dad, I didn't. I never did confess, LOL.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 3:48PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Nothing wrong with using a premade pie crust if it works for you. We all use some form of premade items and the snobbery attached to "homemade" is uncalled for.
Not everybody works sixty hours a week like Lpinl, Linda.

For the amount she works, she does a very fine job of cooking.

Either way, nobody is the food police!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 5:00PM
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You could precook the filling a bit to remove some of the moisure, which would be a bit like cooking the crust and the filling separately and then adding them together at the end. You could broil the crumble crust to finish it, but you might have to protect the edges of the bottom crust with aluminum foil.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 5:19PM
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It's a long standing CF tradition for LindaC to tell me how easy it is for her to make pie crust, BB! :) Even if I had the time I would rarely make it, I loathe fiddling with pastry. Only problem is, I LOVE eating pie!! Especially now that fruit season is upon me. I'm gonna try some of these tips, with whatever pie crust I can scrounge. Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 7:51PM
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Nor are you the forum police.....wondering how many hours a week Annie works...including farming and fencing.
There is no snobbery attached to home made pastry only in your eyes...Lpink wondered how to avoid soggy crust, I made a suggestion.
I am so sorry you felt there was any sort of snobbery attached.
Linda C

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 7:56PM
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I second the recommendation of brushing the pre-baked crust with beaten eagg white. I just started making my own crust last year, but before that, used the frozen ones for pumpkin pie. Once I learned the egg white trick, I didn't have too much trouble with soggy crusts.

However, I combined it with some of the other suggestions. I always bake on the bottom rack of my oven. I always keep my baking stone on the bottom rack, so I preheat it long enough to get the stone really hot. In addition, I put a baking pan on the stone to preheat along with it and the oven. Then I place my filled pie pan on top of the hot baking pan. The baking pan also serves to catch any spillovers.

For some reason it never occurred to me to turn the heat up for the pre-heat and initial bake. I'm going to try that next time.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 8:14PM
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I used to keep my pizza stone on the bottom rack thinking it would stabilize temperatures, but it was suggested to me by someone with my oven that it wasn't helpful. Either way, pizza stone or no I have a soggy bottom crust. I'm going to try the egg white trick. I always use it with my quiches, but never think about it when baking a fruit pie..... I do place my rack low in the oven. I have placed my pie on a baking pan to catch drips, but have felt that it interfered with the bake time. I'll try preheating with the pan in the oven now.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 12:03PM
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I wonder if the proportion of shortening to water is what makes some crusts get soggy?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 2:18PM
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Okay, I am going to share our family secret for this with you.

Before adding the filling to the unbaked pie crust, crumble in, coarsely, 8-10 saltine or ritz-type crackers. Then add your fruit filling and proceed as usual.

I absolutely promise you that you will not notice the slightest trace of them and the flavor will not be affected.

Actually, by the time I started making pies, Grandma "Gell" had already died, and although I knew that this was her secret, I never got a chance to ask her why she did it. But my assumption is that it prevents soggy crusts. Anyway, it works for me!

Happy pie baking --

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 3:39PM
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8 or 10? that's a lot of crackers! do you adjust the amount of thickening you add then?
I might be forced to make a pie this afternoon!....Just to prove you wrong, of course...Don't think I could be forced to eat a piece of peach pie...just to understand??
Seems to me i remember reading about adding common crackers to a fruit pie....way back when you could buy common crackers.
....maybe rhubarb.....

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 3:46PM
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Shame on you having to experiment and all, Linda. You probably ought to experiment with several different kinds of pie, you know, just to make really certain. And then send me the leftovers, so I can add my research to the project.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 4:05PM
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    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 7:09PM
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I often use packaged pie crust too, especially in dessert pies. It is a little sweet for entree pies, so usually I make crust for them.

The best pie crusts I've tasted are made with lard, but I've never used it. Maybe the ladies who use lard are just really good at baking.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 3:51PM
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My MIL made the best pies ever! A trick she used is a layer of Corn Flakes on the bottom crust before adding the fruit. One would never know there was cornflakes but her crust was always perfect.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 8:46AM
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I made an apple pie last week and brushed the base with a thin layer of apricot jam before adding the fruit. No soggy crust, though whether the jam was solely responsible for that I can't say.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 1:15PM
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May I jump in as a lurker? I make a lot of pies, and the crust always comes out delicious, not soggy at all. I've found that the glass pie plates give the best results. I used a ceramic dish once, and I did get a soggy crust. I used pre-made crusts several times, and I did get a soggy crust. When I set the pre-made crust on a pre-heated cookie sheet, I got much better results. I'm betting that if you were able to put the pre-made crust into a glass dish you would have better results, but I don't know if it would fit properly. Also, make sure the oven is pre-heated and hot when you put the pie in, for best results.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 3:42PM
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