Pie Crust Collapse


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I am trying to make pie using my grandmother’s pastry recipe. Her pies were always perfect. My mom used the recipe too, with flawless pies. Now that it’s landed with me, I’m struggling. The pastry is still delicious, but no matter what I do, my crimped crust collapses.... to the point of hanging & on occasion ripping. (Pic attached - edges WERE crimped & sitting high - no before pic, sorry)

i am using very cold ingredients. I am chilling my pastry for a min of 2 hours (and often overnight) before rolling. My last 2 attempts I put the fully assembled pie in the freezer prior to baking (tried 15 min & also tried 30 min). I bake starting in a preheated oven (400), and then decrease temp (375) after 15 min. The crimped edges sit beautifully.... but once baked are completely gone.

help!
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@Smud, Instead of tucking your crust ends under, try tucking them over. It’s the only thing you can do without changing the recipe.

Also use a pie plate with a lip like a pyrex Easy Grab.

Edit, Also make sure you don’t have too much excess crust hanging beyond the pie plate. you really don’t need much overhang at all


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Thanks Norcal. The plate im using does indeed have a lip - it’s like the pic, but without the crimping pattern.

i did actually fold the excess up.... but in the baking it released, and hung down.

I felt like I didn’t have a lot of excess - a few crimps were sad little bits LOL - but it seems to, in addition to releasing the overtuck, sagged down a lot.

I’ve done some reading and wondering if I’m under-mixing. Both my grandmother & mom hammered in to not over mix.... but maybe I’ve taken it too far the other way. I mix (by hand) until it just comes together.

Also read it could be too wet. I’m going to pull back a little while n the next attempt.
 
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Thanks Norcal. The plate im using does indeed have a lip - it’s like the pic, but without the crimping pattern.

i did actually fold the excess up.... but in the baking it released, and hung down.

I felt like I didn’t have a lot of excess - a few crimps were sad little bits LOL - but it seems to, in addition to releasing the overtuck, sagged down a lot.

I’ve done some reading and wondering if I’m under-mixing. Both my grandmother & mom hammered in to not over mix.... but maybe I’ve taken it too far the other way. I mix (by hand) until it just comes together.

Also read it could be too wet. I’m going to pull back a little while n the next attempt.


Piecrust is not overworked. I can tell you that just by looking at it.

Water is not the issue. Puff pastry is 50% water to flour. I use 30% water in my pie crust. And the standard in the industry for commercial pie crust is 30% hydration.

Most vintage recipes for home bakers is severely under hydrated. Most only call for about 15% water.

There is no gluten in flour. There’s only two proteins in flour: glutenin and gliadin. They need a water molecule to bind them together to make gluten. You need water in a pie crust. The biggest mistake people make in pie crust is not adding enough water.

Roll your crust a little bit thinner and slightly reducing the fat. It’s difficult for me to tell the thickness of your crust because the photograph is from above. But it could also be you’re rolling your crust too thick and with a high fat content it could cause it to break apart. You’re definitely not over working the dough. I can see the puffiness in the crust. If you were overworking your dough the butter would have heated up and melted into the dough. There would not be the telltale signs of all those butter bits or whatever fat you used in your dough If it had been overworked.

You don’t have much gluten development at all. So you don’t have much strength in your piecrust. Leave in the water, Roll your crust a little bit thinner, and try reducing the fat a little bit.
 
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Well that all sounds great!!! I have some leftover dough in the fridge so will try rolling that one out thinner (this pie was just a little less than 1/4 inch) & see if that helps. And if not, going to try again on the weekend and will try your suggestion to reduce the fat (I use shortening - original recipe was lard, but know both my grandmother & mom made it often with shortening so feel safe sticking to that - much to hubbies insistence that I switch to butter, but tested previously and I actually prefer the shortening) .

Thank you so much!!
 
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Well that all sounds great!!! I have some leftover dough in the fridge so will try rolling that one out thinner (this pie was just a little less than 1/4 inch) & see if that helps. And if not, going to try again on the weekend and will try your suggestion to reduce the fat (I use shortening - original recipe was lard, but know both my grandmother & mom made it often with shortening so feel safe sticking to that - much to hubbies insistence that I switch to butter, but tested previously and I actually prefer the shortening) .

Thank you so much!!

if ever you decide to try lard as the recipe was originally written, it’s important that you use leaf lard. Normally you have to purchase leaf lard from your butcher. Leaf lard is the fat around the kidneys. It is a much finer texture and mellower flavor than regular lard. Regular lard is very porky in flavor. Great for making things like tamale masa, not so good for pie.


There’s only a small amount of leaf lard available on each animal. That’s why it’s usually only available at the butchers.
 
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your oven is too cool at the beginning.
a very hot oven will set the edge of the crust before it can melt down.
Thats what is happening.
If 400f isn't doing it, try 450 for 10 minutes, don't open the door. Don't use a tray under the pie, don't place in the bottom of the oven.
 
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if ever you decide to try lard as the recipe was originally written, it’s important that you use leaf lard. Normally you have to purchase leaf lard from your butcher. Leaf lard is the fat around the kidneys. It is a much finer texture and mellower flavor than regular lard. Regular lard is very porky in flavor. Great for making things like tamale masa, not so good for pie.


There’s only a small amount of leaf lard available on each animal. That’s why it’s usually only available at the butchers.

Is that what its called in the US ? its suet in europe, hard to come by.
 

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