Novice pie baker seeks crispy flaky bottom crust

Discussion in 'Desserts' started by Brandonvercnocke, Nov 14, 2019.

  1. Brandonvercnocke

    Brandonvercnocke New Member

    Nov 14, 2019
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    I am new to making fruit pie would really love my bottom crust to be CRUNCHY AND FLAKY!

    Every recipe that I have tried seems to have to short of a baking time as well. For a glass pie pan my mantra has become “the pie will bake for 90 minutes” . But even with that the bottom crust seems to be....floppy.

    Is blind baking the only way to achieve this crust I desire? And if so then how do I attach the lattice once the bottom crust is cooked?
    Brandonvercnocke, Nov 14, 2019
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  2. Brandonvercnocke

    J13 Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2019
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    Here are five ways to prevent a soggy bottom pie crust:

    There's also the advice to let your pies bake in the oven for waaay longer than you think. I know you went 90 minutes, but this person says go a full 2 hours:

    And then there is the egg-white coating:

    Personally, I'd mix egg white coating with a long bake for a fruit pie....get back to us and tell us how it goes!
    J13, Nov 14, 2019
    Brandonvercnocke likes this.
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  3. Brandonvercnocke

    Brandonvercnocke New Member

    Nov 14, 2019
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    Thank you!

    I just pulled another Apple pie out of the oven and I’m pretty happy. This was in for 90 minutes total and from the looks of the bottom it may have used another 10-15 minutes but it looks damn good.

    I’m getting a lot of bubble over on my Apple pies. What gives? Is this common for you guys? Would that extra liquid make my pie soupy and I should be happy it’s gone?
    Brandonvercnocke, Nov 17, 2019
  4. Brandonvercnocke

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2017
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    Northern California
    1. .Right Ratios: The recipes out there wrong on the ratios. Do you have to get the right amount of fat and water in the dough. See below.

    2. Technique: use the correct mixing technique. The rough puff pastry produces the flaky crunchy crust. see below.

    3. Bake hot: 400°F – 425°F depending on the deep dish or not.

    4. Rack position: Most bakers put the rack dead center. But the bottom of the pie should be one rung below the middle.

    5. Metal rimmed baking sheet: preheat the baking sheet with the oven

    6. Thickener: are use the correct thickener. See below

    7. Use glass or metal pie plate.

    8. Do NOT dock pie crust unless you are blind baking it. If you dock a pie crust that is going to be filled and baked, the juice fillings the holes and makes the crust soggy

    9. Par-cook apples. Then completely cool before filling the pie shell.

    Bakers percentages

    • Flour 100%
    • Fat 70%
    • Water 30%
    • Sugar 5%
    • Salt 1.5%


    Double pie crust

    320g unbleached all purpose flour (2 1/4c dip & level you must use this method if you use volume measurements)

    16g (1 TBSP) sugar

    224g (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold

    5g (1 tsp) Diamond brand kosher salt

    96ml (7.5 TBSP) ice water


    1. Dissolve salt in ice water.
    2. In large bowl whisk sugar into flour
    3. cut butter into half inch cubes
    4. Toss butter into flour
    5. Pinch each butter cubes flat into flour
    6. Stir salt water into flour and butter
    7. Mix the flour and butter into a dough ball
    8. Lightly flour work surface
    9. Roll ball into rectangle
    10. Fold each end to center
    11. Fold in half for double book fold
    12. Turn dough 1/4
    13. Roll the dough into a rectangle
    14. Double book fold
    15. 1/4 turn
    16. Roll the dough do a rectangle
    17. Double book fold
    18. Divide the dough in two; one slightly larger piece. The larger piece will be the bottom crust.
    19. Wrap the dough and refrigerate it at least two hours, preferably overnight.
    20. Resting the dough is necessary to allow the gluten to relax and allow the flour to fully hydrate.
    21. Allow the dough to warm up for approximately 15 minutes before rolling.

    Follow the mixing instructions through three double folds. Since you are making pie dough not rough puff pastry you do not need to chill and do additional folds and turns.

    Flours brands:
    Unbleached - all of these flowers are in fact Central Milling Beehive 10.5% protein
    • Whole Foods 365 all purpose
    • Safeway O organics all purpose
    • Central Milling Beehive (available on their website)
    I do not recommend King Arthur all purpose flour for pie crust because the protein content is way too high at 11.7%.

    I also do not recommend Bob’s Red Mill because they do not care enough about the quality of their flour to maintain a consistent source of wheat. Their protein content varies from 10% - 12%. So one bag can be like pastry flour, the next bag can be bread flour!

    Fat: European style butter at 83% butterfat such as Pulgra provides flavor and is not too soft.

    Water: 30% water is correct. The biggest myth in baking is add Just enough water to pie dough to pull it together. That is completely wrong. Do you need water to make a dough. Puff pastry is flaky and crunchy. It has 50% water in it. So do not believe that crap about sprinkling water a tablespoon at a time into pie dough. And if you don’t want to take my word for it, believe the master. I purchased the textbook from the top baking school in America. It’s 30% water.


    Thickener: tapioca starch is the best thickener or fruit filling

    fruit filling with high water content such as blueberries, blackberries, cherries. This formula was devised by pastry chef Stella Parks. And it works every time. with the sugar you can go as high as 30%. It’s based in science and it works trust me it works if you don’t want to run he saw the pie use this formula.

    Weight of the fruit
    Sugar 25% weight of fruit
    Tapioca starch 5% weight of fruit

    Fruit with a high pectin content such as Apple and peach

    Weight of the fruit
    Tapioca starch 2% weight of fruit

    Attached Files:

    Norcalbaker59, Nov 17, 2019
  5. Brandonvercnocke

    retired baker Well-Known Member

    Jan 12, 2020
    Likes Received:
    Northern Maine .
    Recipes are only guidlines.
    As a rule of thumb, pies are done when the filling boils.
    Once the filling is bubbling the starch is bloomed, if the rest of the pie isn't done then something is out of sync, maybe the dough being used isn't suitable, too thick etc.
    The quick solution is just precook the filling, then the pie dough problems can be easier to address because you've eliminated one half of potential trouble.

    A pie bird was used in times past as a relief valve,
    I prefer a paper cone, it boils up into the cone then seeps back down into the pie as it cools.
    retired baker, Jan 15, 2020
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