No one needs an "excuse" to eat pie — pie should be eaten freely and with joy whenever the craving strikes — but yesterday was Pi Day (? Day), and we would be remiss if we didn't celebrate.
Photo by Daniel Garcia.
People tend to fret over crust rather than filling, so we've rounded up three of our favourite tips for making yours extra special. My personal favourite is the second one, because of the whole cookie thing.
- Let it rest: Make an extra flaky crust by letting your dough chill out for at least half an hour in the fridge before rolling it out. This gives the fat time to firm up again, and lets the moisture redistribute.
- Roll it out in cookie crumbs: Anyone can roll a crust out in flour, but a genius would roll theirs out in cookies. There really are no rules here, but pick a flavour that compliments your filling. (I like Pecan Sandies for pecan pie, ginger thins for lemon meringue, and Oreos for fresh strawberry). Just pulverise the cookies into a fine powder in the food processor, sprinkle it on your work surface, and roll out your dough as you usually would.
- Keep it dry with bath salts: Don't worry, I'm not suggesting you bake magnesium sulfate into your pie — because that would be bad — but I am suggesting you use its hygroscopic abilities to keep your crust crisp. Just grab a box of unscented, food-grade Epsom salts and dry them out in a 200C oven until they resemble a chalky white powder. Line the bottom of an airtight container with the your newly anhydrous substance, and set the pie (in a pie plate) right on top. The salt will absorb moisture from the air, keeping the crust in tip-top shape for as long as possible. (This also works with pastries, just lay a dish towel over the bath salts first.)