For the month of OCTOBER we’re making:
One recipe every month. Bake it. Share it. Savor it.
Melt Hearts and win Prizes.
Take a photo of your recipe using your phone, camera, iPad, or other device.
You can submit a photo of just your pie crust or of your fully baked pie after making your preferred filling.
• Leave a star recipe review and comment on the recipe post using the same name and email address.
• Receive an automatic bonus entry if you’ve participated in any previous baking challenge before using the widget. You must be logged into the widget to receive this bonus.
Two Amazon.com $75 gift cards
Winners are picked randomly by our picker generator.
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For each valid entry, Handle the Heat will donate $1 to the Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Foundation in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
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Tip 1: For flaky crust, keep everything cold, especially your butter.
If your kitchen is above 73°F, you can refrigerate all of your ingredients and equipment including your bowl, rolling pin, and pie tin until it’s between 65-70°F (dip an instant thermometer into your flour to gauge the temperature). If it’s a hot day, or you have hot hands, you’re probably better off making your pie dough in a food processor.
If your kitchen is warm, fill freezer bags with ice and a little water and set them on your work surface for 10 minutes to chill it before rolling out your pie dough. This will prevent the butter from becoming greasy as you work with the dough.
Tip 2: Cut the butter into small uniform pieces.
It should take just a couple minutes to cut the butter into the flour mixture. I’ve included two methods in the pink tip box on the recipe page: with a box grater or a food processor.
Tip 3: Know that whichever type of pie dish you bake in will affect how your pie bakes. My recommended pie dishes are linked in the My Favorite Tools section below.
Aluminum pie dish: These pans heat up and bake quickly, so you may need to shave some time off your baking to avoid overdoing it. Avoid dark or coated aluminum pans for baking pie crust, which are likely to result in overly browned crusts.
Ceramic pie dish: These pans are beautiful so you can take it from oven to table. However, ceramic also takes longer to heat up, so they can create pale, even greasy crusts. It’s also more expensive. If you have a problem with your crusts browning too quickly, ceramic might be a good option for you.
Glass pie dish: Glass bakes more slowly than aluminum, but since it’s slow and you can see how brown your crust is getting, you’re less likely to over bake. Don’t take your pie directly from the freezer to the oven unless the manufacturer says it’s safe to do so.
Choose your own pie adventure with the Flavor Variations outlined below.
When it comes to pie dough, I’ve heard a lot of confusing and conflicting opinions about which is the better fat. I tested the two fats in pie crust side-by-side to compare.
This all-shortening dough was very easy to work and requires less chilling time since shortening has a higher melting temperature than butter. However, this also means that unlike the very hard chunks of cold butter that remain in the control dough, shortening is soft enough that it is easily overworked, resulting in a crumbly dough instead of a flaky dough.
As you can see in the photograph, the all-shortening dough ended up being flat, tender, and fairly crumbly. The texture was actually reminiscent of shortbread, and it was completely lacking in flavor. In fact, the flavor reminded me of store-bought dough.
In this all-butter dough, there were plenty of visible chunks of butter studded throughout. Once it came together and was chilled, it was a bit of a challenge to maintain that perfect temperature where it’s warm enough to shape but cold enough that the butter doesn’t melt. The extra effort paid off immensely, though.
This pie crust was ridiculously light, flaky, and loaded with rich buttery flavor. You could immediately tell this was homemade, in the best way. This is why I almost always prefer a 100% butter pie crust.
If you like the affects of shortening, then I’d recommend a 50-50 ratio of butter and shortening to get the best of both worlds.
I’ve done a lot of side-by-side testing of pie crust variations. Most of the time the classic recipe has won out, with a single exception. SOUR CREAM!
Sour cream acts as a tenderizer in baked goods and I was curious to see if it would significantly affect the texture of pie crust. I added 2 tablespoons of sour cream to my standard single recipe along with the butter.
This dough was very soft and slightly sticky, but easy enough to work with. This pie crust puffed up to a surprising height. The texture was ultra light, puffy, and flaky, almost like puff pastry. If you have sour cream handy, I definitely suggest giving it a shot. Add in 2 tablespoons to the single recipe, and reduce the water by about 2 tablespoons, or as needed.
Winners are selected at random using a name picker generator from among all eligible entries received.
Winner will be notified and must reply with an Amazon account email address. If there’s no response within 2 business days, a new winner will be chosen. We personally contact each winner to confirm their win, so it sometimes take a few days if we don’t receive a response.
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No! This isn’t a beauty contest. A photo snapped on your phone is perfectly fine to submit. Take a photo of your recipe with whatever technology is available to you.
The prize is available to anyone in the world who can shop with Amazon. We will buy your gift card from your country’s Amazon website in the current market value equivalent to U.S. dollars.
Question Not Listed?
Lemon Pound Cake Loaf Challenge
Prize: Amazon Gift Cards
Ultimate Muffins Challenge
Prize: Amazon Gift Cards
Ultimate Muffins Challenge
Prize: Amazon Gift Card
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