Look at any cookbook or website featuring pies and pastries, and you will find numerous tips, hints and techniques for making a perfect crust. The focus, however, is almost entirely on the top crust -- latticed or slit, straight or ruffled edge, brushed with egg white or sprinkled with sugar. The bottom crust matters, too, especially if you are using a moist filling, such as fruit or a syrupy mix. Browning your bottom crust helps it develop the proper texture, and prevents it becoming soggy.
Prepare and roll out the pie crust according to your favorite recipe. Preheat the oven to the temperature specified in the recipe.
Use a Pyrex, glass, dark metal or ceramic pie pan, as these materials help the bottom crust brown more efficiently. Lighter metal reflects heat away from the pie crust, which results in less-successful browning.
Put the bottom crust in the pie pan. Do not poke holes in the crust. Refrigerate the unfilled pie crust for about 20 minutes, then brush the crust evenly with beaten egg white. This keeps the crust from becoming soggy when the filling is added.
Fill the crust according to your recipe, then bake the pie on the bottom rack of the oven for the first 15 to 20 minutes of baking time. This will increase browning on the bottom of the pie crust. After the browning time, move the pie to the center rack of the oven to complete the baking time.
Items you will need
- Pie crust
- Pie pan
- Beaten egg white, optional
- Pastry brush, optional