Baking pies is something that you likely do during certain times of the year. Some people bake pies regularly so that they can enjoy treats with their families on the weekends.
Others will simply bake pies for special occasions such as holidays. Whatever the case is, you’re always going to want the pies to turn out the best that they can.
The pie crust is one of the most important aspects of baking a homemade pie. If the crust doesn’t turn out just so, then the entire pie will be the lesser for it.
Have you noticed that some of your pies have had issues with the crust shrinking? This can be very annoying because it throws everything off.
Why does this happen and what can be done to fix it? Keep reading to learn how to keep pie crusts from shrinking.
The Pie Crust Needs Time to Rest
Trying to bake the dough right away will sometimes make it more likely that the pie crust will shrink. After you’ve mixed the dough for the pie crust and shaped it into a disc, it’s recommended that you wrap the dough in plastic and put it in the fridge to rest for around thirty minutes.
Later, once you’ve rolled the dough out, you’re supposed to let it rest for five minutes before you put it over the pie pan. So long as you’re remembering to do this, it’ll be less likely that you’ll encounter shrinkage issues.
Sometimes the reason why pie crusts shrink on you has to do with impatience. You might have just rushed things a bit and you should remember to rest the dough the next time to get better results.
This isn’t the only thing that you have to worry about, of course. There are other reasons why pie crusts will sometimes shrink.
Overworking the Dough
You might not realize this, but it can actually be detrimental to overwork the dough. It’s best to work the dough just enough to get things to stick together.
When you work the dough too much, it’s going to make the dough significantly firmer. This also seems to make the dough more likely to shrink when you’re baking it.
If you’ve been working your dough a bit excessively, then this could be why your pie crusts are shrinking. Try to work the dough a bit less and see if you get things to turn out right.
The Type of Pan That You Use Has an Impact
When trying to determine why pie crust will shrink sometimes, it’s important to take a look at the type of pan that you’re using. The pie pan that you’re using might be more likely to cause the pie crust to shrink.
There are many different types of pie pans out there that people like to use. Some people like to use metal pans while others will use unglazed ceramic pie pans.
Interestingly, the type of pans that seem to cause pie crusts to shrink the most often are glass pie pans. Glass pie pans look incredibly pretty, but they might be the worst ones to use when you’re concerned about pie crust shrinkage.
The best pie pans to use will be metal pie pans and unglazed ceramic pans. It seems that glass pie pans cause shrinkage because the pie crust will slip down a bit due to how smooth the glass is.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t use glass pie pans to bake pies. It just means that you need to be a bit more careful to get the best results.
You see, the type of pie pan that you’re using isn’t the only thing that has an impact on whether the pie crust will shrink. Temperature also seems to play a significant role.
Baking at High Temperatures Causes Pie Crusts to Shrink
Baking at high temperatures has the potential to cause a pie crust to shrink. It isn’t going to happen every single time, but it’s more likely that a pie crust will shrink if you bake it at a higher temperature.
For example, if you choose to bake a pie crust at 425 degrees Fahrenheit, then it’s going to be more likely that you’ll see some shrinkage of the pie crust. If you bake at a lower temperature, such as 350 degrees Fahrenheit, then you’ll be far less likely to see any shrinkage.
Whenever you’re baking pie crusts, it’s going to be wise to go with the lower temperature option. Baking pie crusts at 350 degrees Fahrenheit might take slightly longer, but it’s safer and it’s going to allow you to get the crusts finished properly in most instances.
Even if you’re baking using a glass pie pan, it’ll be more likely to avoid shrinkage if you’re baking at a lower temperature. You can use this to mitigate the fact that you’re using a glass pie pan.
There are some other options that can help you to get things just right as well. For instance, there’s a way that you can plan ahead for a bit of shrinkage.
Make the Crust a Bit Longer
Have you thought about making the crust a bit longer than you need it to be? If you’re using a glass pie pan, then this is going to be an excellent way to keep the pie crust from shrinking too much.
Essentially, you’re going to be making the pie crust so that it goes a bit beyond the rim of the pie pan. You don’t have to make it overly long, but you could get good results with about an eighth of an inch more pie crust length.
This is going to offset the potential for shrinkage so that you will get the right amount of pie crust. Even if the pie crust slips a bit while baking, the extra bit of dough that you used should make up for it.
Anyone who wants to continue to use glass pie pans will find this method to be quite useful. It allows you to keep baking pies using the pretty glass pie pans without it being a big deal.
It should be noted that you should also still try to bake the pie crusts at a lower temperature. So long as you take these steps, it’ll be easy to get consistently good results.
You should have a much better idea of what needs to be done to avoid having pie crusts shrink. It’s important to take how you’re handling the dough into consideration when you’ve been having significant issues with shrinkage.
Working the dough too much often leads to problems with shrinkage. Not taking the time to let the dough rest will make it more likely that the pie crust will shrink as well.
Using glass pie pans will make it so that the crusts will shrink more often. You’d be better off using metal pie pans or unglazed ceramic pie pans.
If you’re going to use glass pie pans, then you should try to make the pie crust a bit longer than you need it to be. This helps to account for some shrinkage and slippage.
It’s also imperative to bake pie crusts at low temperatures to avoid having the crusts shrink. Stick to baking pie crusts at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and you won’t have to worry so much.
With all of this information, it’ll be a lot easier to get things right when you’re baking pie crusts. You should be able to have pies that taste fantastic and look beautiful.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard.