Q.: My problem is bottom pie crust. I can never get it to be crisp. It is always soggy. Can you help? I love pumpkin and pecan pie and I have been buying them because I can’t get the bottom crisp. Help.
— Betty Hawkins, Tallmadge
A.: This is the time of year when many of our thoughts turn to pie baking.
There are two steps you can take to help assure a crispier bottom crust, for custard and other filled pies or quiches.
Try pre-baking the bottom crust first. This is called blind baking.
Heat your oven to 400 degrees.
Prick the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork, then line it with foil and fill it with dried beans or pie weights. If you don’t add the weights, the crust will puff up and crack before you can fill it, so don’t try this with just a foil liner.
Bake the crust for 6 or 7 minutes until it starts to appear dry, then remove from oven and remove the foil and beans or weights. (You can save the beans and use them over again as your pie weights, but you won’t want to cook them.)
Cool slightly. At this point, you can fill with your pumpkin pie, pecan pie or quiche filling and bake as you normally would.
For even greater protection against a soggy crust, beat an egg lightly with a teaspoon or two of water and brush this egg wash on the bottom of the crust. Return it to the oven for another 2 or 3 minutes until the egg wash has dried, remove the crust from the oven, fill and bake as you normally would.
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