This summer I’m all about the pie. Buttery, flaky crusts surrounding mounds of fresh fruit are my preference, but I’ve also been whipping up some pudding pies for my boys with great enthusiasm. No one is ever disappointed when they see a piece of pie on their plate, and while not all fillings appeal to all eaters, it’s pretty easy to land on flavour that will generally appeal to the masses.
Last month, I filled my freezer with strawberry rhubarb crumble pies in anticipation of houseguests next week, and on Canada Day I made a patriotic cherry slab pie for a crowd. Both varieties of pies tend to be wet and I’m convinced my Pie Crust Dust is what saved them all from soggy bottoms.
While prepping pie doughs with a barrier of protection is nothing new (I’m most familiar with idea of brushing a bottom crust with a little egg white and baking it until the egg has lost its glossy sheen) this method is so simple and really seems to work. I came across the idea in the book Pie it Forward where the author (fun side note: the author is Gesine Bullock-Prado, sister of actress Sandra Bullock, and her memoir My Life From Scratch is one of my most favourite food memoirs to date!) instructs you to make a fifty-fifty mixture of flour and sugar and keep it in a jar on the counter. When making sweet pies you sprinkle one to two tablespoons over the bottom of an unbaked shell (can be homemade or store-bought!) before adding the filling to create a bit of an absorbing action, which will protect the raw dough. Brilliant.
I filled a 500 mL mason jar with enough Pie Crust Dust to get me through the summer and I’ve been storing it in the freezer ready to use whenever needed. While I didn’t know about it when I made this cherry bourbon crostata, I would definitely use some Crust Dust in this recipe the next time I make it.
Tell us, do you have any pie making tricks of the trade to share? If so, we’d love to hear them!