The Aluminum Foil Hack To Save The Edges Of Your Pie Crust

Homemade pie is a wondrous thing. There's something about the flaky, tender crust with any type of filling, whether it's savory or sweet, that is completely satisfying. The perfect pie crust holds together so the filling stays where it belongs. The crust browns in the oven, creating lots of flavor compounds that add toasty and caramelized notes. Without that crust, it's not pie. 

You can make homemade crust from scratch, or there are tons of ready-made options, from refrigerated dough to frozen, fully formed crusts. But whether you make your pastry dough or use a store-bought version, there's one thing that can ruin your creation: burnt pie crust edges. 

Because the edges are exposed, with no contact with the filling (they're basically uninsulated), they're open to the high heat of the oven. That means the pie crust edges can overcook and burn before the rest of the pie is done.

Aluminum foil to the rescue

There are a number of factors that can contribute to pie crust edge failure. If the filling takes a long time to bake, the edges will automatically bake too for long. And pies with a high edge are more susceptible to burning. But there is something you can do: use aluminum foil to shield those edges.

Tear off a long sheet of foil, fold it so that it's thinner, and gently wrap it around the pie, suggests Hamilton Beach. According to Cook's Illustrated, you can also cut a circle in the middle of a square sheet of foil and place that over the pie. That lets the center of the pie cook and brown while the edges are protected.

You can also buy pie crust edge protectors, like this one from the King Arthur Baking Company. They range from silicone models to thin pieces of flexible metal. Whichever type of pie protector you use, burnt edges will be a thing of the past.

Bake the perfect pie

Now that you know how to get a perfectly browned pie crust, it's time to head to the kitchen. You might have some classic family recipes or some from favorite cookbooks you want to try. Grab your ingredients, your pie plate, and some aluminum foil, and start baking. 

Keep an eye on the pie and check on it a couple of times while it's baking. If the edges are browning faster than the center, slap on that pie protector (aluminum or otherwise).

Perhaps you'd like to make a classic apple pie recipe? Or for a deliciously decadent recipe, make chef Michael Symon's bacon caramel apple pie recipe. Go savory with a Spanish beef pie recipe, flavored with oregano and cumin. For a riff on classic pecan pie, try this recipe for vanilla walnut pie. Whatever recipe you choose, pie is the perfect finish to any meal.