HANDLE THE HEAT'S MONTHLY BAKING CHALLENGE

OCTOBER

OCTOBER

For the month of OCTOBER we’re making:

Best Ever Pie Crust

One recipe every month. Bake it. Share it. Savor it. 

Melt Hearts and win Prizes.

How it Works

1) Bake the Recipe

For October, we’re making my Best Ever Pie Crust.

Get as creative as you’d like with your pie filling! Check out all my pie recipes here.

2) Snap a photo

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.

3) Submit your entry

DON’T FORGET YOUR BONUS ENTRIES

• 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.

SUBMIT BEFORE OCTOBER 31ST 11:59PM PT

October's Prizes

Two Amazon.com $75 gift cards

4 ) Win Prizes!

Winners are picked randomly by our picker generator.

Giving Back

Here at Handle the Heat, we believe in spreading joy in all the ways we can, and making the world a better place one day at a time.

For each valid entry, Handle the Heat will donate $1 to the Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Foundation in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Community Entries

Your photos may be put on display to share with my entire audience – that’s hundreds of thousands of people! 

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Recipe Tips for
Perfect Chemistry

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. 

Pie Filling Recipes

Pie Filling Recipes

After making your pie crust, try one of these pie filling recipes!

Can't get enough?

More Baking Articles

More Baking Articles

Customization Ideas

Choose your own pie adventure with the Flavor Variations outlined below.

Butter vs Shortening in Pie Crust

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.

SHORTENING

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.

BUTTER

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.

Optional Secret Ingredient!!

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.

My Favorite Tools for this Challenge:

Get your Pie Crust Troubleshooting Guide!

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

We recommend clearing your web browser cache if you are having issues submitting your photo, a challenge page for a previous month is displaying, etc.

Control (PC) / Command (Mac) + Shift + Delete on your keyboard will clear the cache on most browsers. If you need any help with this, please email support@handletheheat.com and we’ll get you taken care of.

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?

Past Challenge Winners

November

Want to see the challenge first?

October (This Month)

Prize: Amazon Gift Cards

September

Prize: Amazon Gift Cards

WINNERS

Mike G.

Jessica D.

August

Prize: Amazon Gift Cards

WINNERS

Ally C.

Peggy N.

July

Prize: Amazon Gift Cards

WINNERS

Kiersten K.

Ginger A.

June

Lemon Pound Cake Loaf Challenge

Prize: Amazon Gift Cards

WINNERS

Didi B.

Kimberly Y.

May

Prize: Amazon Gift Cards

WINNERS

Nikki B.

Caroline M.

April

Prize: Amazon Gift Cards

WINNERS

Carlee

Debbie E.

March

Ultimate Muffins Challenge

Prize: Amazon Gift Cards

WINNERS

Debby K.

Judy H.

February

Prize: Amazon Gift Cards

WINNERS

Kasey S.

Rachel C.

January

Prize: Amazon Gift Cards

WINNERS

Jennifer G.

Nicole S.

Olivia I.

September

Prize: Amazon Gift Card

WINNERS

Mike G.

Jessica D.

August

Prize: Amazon Gift Card

WINNERS

Ally C.

Peggy N.

July

Prize: Amazon Gift Card

WINNERS

Ginger A.

Kiersten K.

June

Prize: Amazon Gift Card

WINNERS

Kimberly Y.

Didi B.

May

Prize: Amazon Gift Card

WINNERS

Nikki B.

Caroline M.

April

Prize: Amazon Gift Card

WINNERS

Carlee

Debbie E.

March

Ultimate Muffins Challenge

Prize: Amazon Gift Card

WINNERS

Debby K.

Judy H.

February

Prize: Amazon Gift Card

WINNERS

Kasey S.

Rachel C.

January

Prize: Amazon Gift Card

WINNERS

Jennifer G.

Nicole S.

Olivia I.

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