Pie can seem a little intimidating to the novice baker but with a little practice and the proper tools you will be making pie with ease in no time. Here are the must have tools you will need to become an expert pie baker:
Glass Mixing Bowls:
One of the keys to a great crust is keeping the ingredients cool. If the butter or shortening is allowed to melt your crust won’t turn out as light and flakey as you would like it. Glass mixing bowls are perfect for mixing crust because they tend to stay cool. You can even buy a nesting set of bowls and place ice in the largest bowl and nest your medium bowl into the ice while you mix your crust.
This might seem a little out of place on the list, however as you practice making pie crust you will note that you have to learn to get the right consistency by adding water gradually. The best way to do this is to keep ice water in a large glass nearby while you work so you can add water as you need it. The water will remain cold so your ingredients remain chilled as you work. It will also spare you from running back and forth to get more water if you need it.
→ See all of our amazing recipe for the perfect Apple Pie!
Toss aside the notion you can use a wine bottle to roll out your dough. You want a real rolling pin that is wide enough to accommodate the dough as it spreads without too much effort. There are a number of rolling pins available and part of the success of your crust will come from your comfort level of getting your crust rolled out properly. You might want to try on a few for size. Many cooks love a French rolling pin which is a wide “tube” of solid wood sometimes tapered at the ends. It allows you to roll with ease and the wider the pin the better as it will allow you to shape and thin the crust without as much trouble. You will have control over the thickness for a nice, even crust that will get better with each pie you make.
Assorted Pie Plates:
Of course you can’t bake a pie without a pie plate. You should look for a number of options to suit the type of pie you are baking. Most pie bakers are happy to use good old glass Pyrex plates and you probably want to have at least two in your kitchen cupboard. Depending on the types of pies you might want to bake you can also look into buying a metal pie plate that is fluted with a removable bottom for easy serving. This makes it easier to serve the pie. Ceramic pie plates are also nice if you bring desserts to dinner parties as they look nice, wear well and bake lovely pies as well.
The old school cook uses beans to weigh down a crust required for a no cook pie filling. Today you can find a number of choices for weights including pie chains as well as ceramic weights. This will keep the crust from rising as it bakes.
Pitters and Corers:
Pie baking does take some patience and you may be happy to chop, slice and pit your fruit by hand. However if you plan to become a serious pie baker you might want to consider investing in a few time saving tools that will help you prep your fruit such as a cherry pitter, an apple corer and an apple/fruit slicer.
These tools will help making pie a little easier as you hone your pie baking skills. You can also add a few more time saving tools such as a dough scraper to assist in the clean up and a good pie server that will slice and serve your pie for perfect wedges of your sweet treats.