When making a pie crust or pastry, carefully follow the recipe, but remember that results may vary. Protein content in flour, humidity in the air and elevation levels can affect the end result. You can take a few steps, however, to prevent problems.
If the pie filling is particularly wet, brushing the bottom crust with beaten egg can help prevent it from becoming soggy.
Substitution of one type of fat for another can lead to an unsatisfactory result. Different fats have variable water content, which may impact the pastry.
Pie and pastry dough should be handled as little as possible. Over-working the dough can cause it to be chewy.
Do not fail to check on the progress of the crust while it is cooking. Bake times are approximate. Cover the edges with tin foil if they are browning too fast.
The fat and liquids used in a pie pastry dough should always be chilled. This will give the crust a flaky, light texture.
If rolling out the pastry or pie crust is difficult, try chilling the dough for 30 minutes to one hour. This will solidify the fat, making the dough less sticky.
Cheryl Balasubramanyam is a freelance writer working out of her home on the East Coast. She holds degrees in psychology and science and has written for medical and information technology journals. Her areas of expertise include patient education on heart disease and diabetes, as well as maternity issues.