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Making a pie can be a daunting task. So many things can go wrong, and it’s hard to know where to start! One of the most common problems is a soggy pie crust. In this article, we will discuss 10 simple ways to prevent your pie from becoming a mess.
- Use Crumbled Graham Crackers with your Crust
- Prebake the Pie Crust
- Reduce the Amount of Moisture in the Filling
- Use Thickeners
- Precook the Filling
- Make Holes in the Top Crust
- Make a Crumb Top Crust
- Bake the Pie on the Bottom Rack
- Bake the Pie Thoroughly
- Let the Pie Cool Completely
If you’ve ever noticed that the majority of your pies are soggy, these methods will help prevent that! Read on to see each unique tip.
Why Does Your Pie Crust Get Soggy?
As a general rule, the most common reason is that the filling is not thick enough. This can be due to too much liquid in the filling, not enough flour or cornstarch, or even overcooking the filling. Make sure to use the proper ratio of dry-to-wet ingredients to ensure proper consistency.
To bake a perfect pie, you’ll need to use a great pan. I recently came across this 9-Inch Non-Stick Aluminized Steel Pie Pan that is great for baking a pie. This pie pan is coated with a silicone called Americoat that prevents the pie from sticking. You can check out this pan on Amazon!
10 Simple Ways to Prevent a Soggy Pie Crust
Generally speaking, the best way to prevent a soggy pie crust is to reduce the moisture in the filling. Reducing the moisture will make the filling thicker and less likely to run. This can be achieved by adding enough thickeners like flour or cornstarch to your pie filling mixture.
Here are 10 simple tips to help you make a perfect pie every time:
Place Crumbled Graham Crackers at the Bottom of the Crust
Crumbled graham crackers can help to absorb excess moisture and prevent a soggy pie crust. Follow these steps to use graham crackers in your pie:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Place a layer of crumbled graham crackers at the bottom of the pie plate
- Add the filling on top of the crumbled graham crackers
- Bake according to the recipe instructions
If you prefer a traditional pie crust, you can add the crumbled graham crackers on top of the layer. I usually add 2-3 tablespoons of crumbled graham crackers on top of my pie crust layer.
It’s not enough to have a textural difference in the crust but it definitely helps when it comes to absorbing any excess moisture in the filling.
Prebake the Pie Crust
The pie crust is another important element in preventing a soggy pie crust. Prebaking the pie crust will help to create a barrier between the filling and the crust. This will prevent the filling from seeping through and becoming runny.
I’m not saying you should bake your pie crust every time, but if you’re worried about a runny pie, it’s definitely worth a try. This method is especially effective for fruit pies.
Here’s how to prebake your pie crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line the pie plate with the crust.
- Prick the crust several times with a fork.
- Bake the crust for 10 minutes.
- Remove the crust from the oven and add the filling.
- Bake according to the recipe instructions.
Another tip to use is if you are prebaking your pie crust, I highly recommend using pie weights. They allow the crust to bake evenly and prevents it from puffing up.
I’ve been using Ceramic Pie Weights for as long as I could remember and it saved my pie crusts on so many occasions. As a general rule, you should use about 2.2 lbs of pie weights for every 9-inch pie you make. I use these Ceramic Pie Weights that you can check out on Amazon!
Reduce the Amount of Moisture in the Filling
One of the best ways to prevent a soggy pie crust is to reduce the amount of moisture in the filling. Cooking the fruit before adding it to the pie: You can cook the fruit on the stovetop or in the oven. This will help to reduce the moisture content and prevent a soggy pie crust.
- Adding less liquid: If the recipe calls for 1 cup of liquid, try using 3/4 cup instead. This will help to thicken the filling and prevent it from becoming runny.
- Drain any canned fruits: Canned fruits are often packed in syrup, which can make the filling too runny. Be sure to drain any canned fruits before adding them to the pie.
- Use a thicker fruit: Thicker fruits like apples and pears are less likely to make a runny pie than thinner fruits like berries.
*By the way, I recently wrote an article about The Best Ways To Keep Your Pie Crust Dough From Burning. This article breaks down the most effective way to keep your crust from burning in the oven. You can check out this article here!
Adding a thickener to your pie filling can also help to prevent a soggy pie crust. Flour, cornstarch, and tapioca are all great options for thickening the filling. You should add the thickener when the filling is cooked and still hot.
This will help to distribute the thickener and prevent clumps evenly.
If you have a top layer of crust and can’t add it after it is cooked, you can add some extra cornstarch before baking. I typically add about 1 tablespoon more compared to what the recipe calls for.
The single tablespoon is enough to help thicken up the filling but not enough to change the texture in a negative way.
Precook the Filling
Precooking the filling involves cooking the filling ingredients together before adding them to the pie crust. This can be done on the stovetop or in the oven.
Precooking the filling will help to reduce the moisture and prevent a soggy pie crust.
Precooking the filling is simple:
- Combine the filling ingredients in a saucepan.
- Cook over low heat until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil.
- Remove from heat and cool before using the pie.
This allows the evaporation of any water that sits in the fruit. If you combine this method with the prebaking of the crust, it will ultimately prevent any soggy crust.
I’ve found that prebaking the crust and adding a cooked filling helps.
After adding the cooked filling, I bake the pie for about 15 minutes to allow it to all come together and allow the crust to fully cook through.
Make Holes in the Top Crust
Making holes in the top crust will allow the filling to bake more thoroughly. This will, in turn, ensure the filling is cooked properly and doesn’t become runny.
To make holes in the top crust, simply use a fork to poke several holes evenly over the crust’s surface.
This also helps with ventilation which allows for any excess evaporation of liquid. This prevents moisture build-up as well.
Make a Crumb Top Crust
A crumb top crust is a great option if you’re worried about a soggy pie crust. The crumb top crust will help to absorb the excess moisture from the filling and prevent a soggy pie crust.
To make a crumb top crust, simply combine the following:
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup butter
Use your hands to combine the ingredients until they form a crumbly mixture. Then, sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the top of the pie before baking.
Place the Pie on the Bottom Rack
The bottom of the rack will make the crust crispy. This is because the heat will circulate evenly around the pie, preventing the bottom from becoming soggy.
Placing the pie on the bottom rack is a great way to prevent a soggy pie crust.
Below, I found a video that explains the importance of placements in the oven:
If you are worried about the bottom of your pie burning, you can bake the pie for half of the cooking time on the bottom rack and then the other half on the middle rack.
This will crisp up the bottom rack which will make it harder to absorb any excess moisture.
*By the way, I recently wrote an article about Which Oven Rack Should You Use To Bake A Perfect Pie. This article breaks down what happens when you bake a pie in all the oven racks and why one might be better than the others. You can check out this article here!
Bake the Pie Thoroughly
Baking the pie thoroughly is another important step in preventing a soggy pie crust. The filling should be cooked through to prevent it from becoming runny.
You can test the doneness of the pie by inserting a knife into the center of the filling. If the knife comes out clean, the pie is done.
If you are worried that the pie is still raw in the center but the top is getting dark, the best thing to do is place a sheet of aluminum foil around the edge of your crust or lightly drape it on top of the pie.
This will slow down the darkening of your crust while still cooking the inside.
Let the Pie Cool Completely
Allowing the pie to cool completely is important for two reasons. First, it will solidify the fillings and prevent them from becoming runny. Second, it will allow the flavors to meld together and taste their best.
If you’re in a hurry, place the pie in the refrigerator to cool more quickly. Just let the pie come to room temperature before serving for the best flavor.
*Side Note: You might also be interested in knowing Why Is Apple Pie Served With Cheese. I recently wrote this article breaking down the origin of cheese on apple pie as well as great alternatives to use instead of cheese. You can check out this article here!
Will the pie filling thicken as it cools?
Generally speaking, pie fillings thicken up and solidify as they cool. Allow the pie to cool slightly before serving because there is a high chance the filling will spill out. When reheating your pie, do not reheat until very hot, the filling will liquefy. Instead, warm it up until warm and serve.
According to KingArthurBaking:
This is why it’s very important to allow your pie to completely cool before serving it to your guests!
How to Fix a Runny Pie After It’s Baked?
Generally speaking, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch to the filling. After that, mix gently and return it to the oven. To make the thickener active so the juices can thicken up, bake it for 10-12 minutes more. In the end, let it cool completely on a wire rack before serving.
This is a quick and easy way to fix a runny pie after it’s been baked. If you have a pie with a top crust that prevents you from adding thickener to your filling, there is a different method.
Simply crank up the temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and drape aluminum foil over the crust. This will allow the center to continue baking and stiffening up while the outside is protected from burning.
*By the way, I recently wrote an article about How To Fix A Runny Pie After It’s Baked. This article breaks down all the ways to fix the filling of a baked pie that is still runny. You can check out this article here!