baking pies made easy

{strawberry-hazelnut galette} via chevrons & éclairs

That time of the year is upon us, and though I’m in a completely different country, Thanksgiving still is a special time for us all to come together. Celebrate family and friends. Cherish the moments. Enjoy the food. This year, I thought I would bring together my favorite food bloggers to give us their best kept tip when preparing {the best part of any meal} dessert. And since it’s the holiday of turkey and stuffing and maple essence and hints of cinnamon, a few tips to keep in mind when baking the perfect Thanksgiving pie.

{melissa, the fauxmartha}

When you’re planning a big Thanksgiving meal, dessert can often end up on the back burner. My advice—plan ahead because there’s nothing better than a homemade dessert. Most desserts benefit from a good rest, so make it the day before the big meal. Use the freezer where you can. If you’re making a pie, prep the crust a week or two in advance and store (wrapped in a layer of plastic wrap and foil, then placed in a plastic bag) in the freezer. If you’re making a cake, bake the layers a week or two in advance and store in the same way.

Melissa’s recipe to try: maple pumpkin pie

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{karen & todd, honestlyYUM}

When transferring your rolled out pie crust into your pan, loosely roll the flat dough around your rolling pin, like a paper towel roll, and then unravel the dough into your pie tin by lining the edge of the dough onto the lip of the pie pan and unroll across the pan. For years I lifted the dough with my hands and it always ended in a mess. With this tip you preserve your perfectly rolled out dough!

Karen & Todd’s recipe to try: chocolate pecan pie with bourbon maple whip cream

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{christina, dessert for two}

I think my best tip is to only add half the water the dough recipe calls for. Start to work the dough together, and if it feels too dry, slowly add more water.

Christina’s recipe to try: Orange Spice Coconut Pumpkin Pie

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{michelle, hummingbird high}

If you’ve had a problem with a soggy pie crust in the past, try this trick: replace the water in the recipe with the same quantity of ice cold vodka. What causes soggy pie crusts is the overworking of water and flour together — this causes too much gluten, and too much gluten will make things soggy. Vodka, however, evaporates faster than water during the baking process and therefore won’t bind as much with the gluten molecules in the flour {but will still give you the necessary moisture needed to bring the crust together}.

Michelle’s recipe to try: chocolate and pumpkin pie

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{a favorite c&é tip}

Use rice flour to roll out the dough. The reason for this tip is that the flour, since it is non-gluten, doesn’t contribute to the dough’s toughness. Just sprinkle and spread around a bit on your working surface and rub a bit on your rolling pin too. Roll out your dough and it will bit a bit sandy, but it won’t stick to the dough as much.

Supal’s recipe to try: persimmon-plum galette

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Do you have any tips or ideas for when you’re baking pies? Please do share!