To avoid the hassle of making and rolling out pie dough altogether, just swap out the traditional dough crust for a cookie crust. Cookies like graham crackers and vanilla wafers are great for this. Just mix the finely-ground cookies with melted butter and press into a pie dish.
These are simple because there is no need to be neat and clean. Just roll out the dough, pour in the filling, and fold the edges up. You don’t even need a pie pan, which is great for clean-up.
Pies that don’t require any baking are perfect for the hot summer months when you don’t want to use your oven. Cheesecake and stove-top custard pies are some great options for these types of pie.
For fruit pies, you want the consistency of the filling to be just right. Instead of chopping with a knife or whirling in the food processor, try using your potato masher. It smashes the fruit just enough without juicing it too much.
If you’re new to baking pies, invest in a glass pie baking dish. It allows you to see the bottom of the pie as its baking. This can help you make sure that the pie is golden brown on the bottom without getting too burned.
Whenever you are making pie dough, you want to make sure that all your ingredients are cold cold cold! First, make sure you start with cold, cubed butter. Next, chill your hand in ice water before mixing the dough. And finally, chill the dough after each step, once after mixing, after rolling out, and before baking.
When your pies are in the oven, sometimes the top outer rim can get burned before the pie is cooked through. A trick is to cover the edges with aluminum foil. You can do this by cutting a doughnut shape in the foil and resting it over the edges, so they won’t get burned and the center and inside of the pie can continue to bake.
If you are making a pie with a top that completely covers the pie, you want to make sure to cut slits into the pie to help steam escape. First, chill your pie, and using a sharp knife, cut 4 to 6 slits in the top of the pie dough.