Pie Crust-Making Tips

The buttery crusts for perfect pies and tarts are actually pretty easy to achieve. No rolling or blind baking required! The dough is mixed in a food processor, chilled and then pressed into the pans. Follow these tips for success:

Use cold butter This helps prevent the dough from becoming too soft when mixing.

Press with your heel When pressing the chilled dough into a pan, use the heel of your hand, not your fingers, to lightly pound and press the dough, moving it to the outer edges.

Push with your fingers Use your fingertips to push the dough up the side of the pan when called for, making sure the dough is evenly thick. Pay particular attention to corners, where the dough can easily get too thick. Flour your fingers if the dough starts to get too soft or sticky. You can also refrigerate the dough for 10 to 15 minutes to cool it down.

Poke with a fork After pressing the dough into the pan, poke it thoroughly with a fork to avoid air bubbles arising during baking.

Check during baking Check the crust after 10 minutes. If it begins to puff up, use a small knife and gently poke the puffed areas to deflate them.

Get creative You can give the crust a tasty twist by adding ½ tablespoon grated orange or lemon zest; substituting ¼ cup of finely ground nuts for ¼ cup of the flour; or replacing the vanilla extract with another extract or liqueur.

Try these tips when you make Chocolate-Raspberry Mousse Tartlettes.

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