Want to learn to make stellar homemade pies? I gotcha covered. Whether you’re using a storebought pie crust or making your own, there are some easy tips, tools, and homemade pie recipes to make the process delicious and easy.
Once you’ve reviewed the tips, be sure to check out some of our most popular homemade pie recipes, including Single Crust Pot Pie, Press In Pie Crust, and Blueberry Pie.
If you’re a fan of pie, then you’re going to want to learn how to make homemade pies. You just can’t have one without the other. Not really.
You see, I have been a pie lover since birth. I’d much rather have pie than cake. And as soon as I tasted Lemon Meringue Pie as a child, I decided that I had to learn how to make it myself. I was ten.
It took some trial and error, and yes, I did use a boxed mix of lemon pie filling at the beginning. And yes, I did accidentally put ½ cup of salt into the pie dough instead of ½ teaspoon! But eventually I arrived. And homemade pies are my jam now.
I’ve learned from experience — sometimes the hard way! Here are some things I’ve learned about baking homemade pies and ensuring they turn out well.
Tips for Baking Homemade Pies
Homemade pie crust is better than the store kind. Like way better. And healthier. And cheaper, too. You can make a batch of homemade pie crust for about 80 cents, much less than the $2 to $4 each that you’ll pay at the store. Be sure to try your hand at Graham Cracker Pie Crust as well.
Pie dough ingredients should be cold. This will help give them a light and flaky texture. If your kitchen is warm, slide the pie plate into the freezer for a few minutes before baking.
Fruit pies can sometimes overflow in the oven. Due to the bubbling nature of hot fruit, sometimes your pie can overflow in the oven. To prevent a smoking, stinking oven, place your pie on a rimmed baking sheet before sliding it all in the oven. Any drips will be caught in the pan and not fall to the bottom of the oven where they will burn and smoke. Bonus points if you line the pan with some aluminum foil. Then you don’t even have to wash the pan.
Kids love to help you make pies. Don’t hesitate to let them help. My Gramma John’s Press In Pie Crust is super easy, even kids can do it.
Sometimes the top crust is baked before the filling is done. If you pull it out too soon, you’ll have a drippy, soupy pie. Bleh. To allow the filling more time to bake, cover the pie with foil to prevent over browning on top.
Cool the pie completely to allow the filling to set. As tempting as a warm piece of apple pie is, you may have a soupy, soggy mess if you cut into it too soon. Allow the pie to cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into it. If you want warm pie, reheat it in the oven or microwave before serving.
Make the top crust pretty. You can easily give your pie a beautiful top crust in just a few simple steps. Crimp the edges around your thumb or with a fork, create a lattice or layered cut-out top, brush the crust with a pastry wash, sprinkle it with coarse sugar. Any one or combination of these steps will make for a prettier pie.
Best Equipment for Homemade Pies
You don’t really need special tools for homemade pies. You could pretty much make pie dough with a bowl and a fork, but there are some things to make the process quicker and easier.
Here are the tools that I recommend for making homemade pies:
- food processor or pastry blender – Either of these tools make quick work of the short dough. You can do it by hand with two knives, but I prefer my food processor.
- large cutting board – I use this super size cutting board for a work surface for all my doughs. I can easily clean and sanitize it and move it around the kitchen.
- rolling pin – Necessary for making homemade pie crust.
- plastic wrap – Too much flour can make your dough tough, but too little makes it stick to your work surface. I use plastic wrap to help me roll the dough easily and transport it to the pan without tearing it. Stretch-Tite is the best, in my opinion.
- pie plate – obviously, but some brands are better than others. I particularly like those made by USA, Pyrex, and Granite Ware.
- liquid measure – these beakers are more accurate for liquids
- kitchen scale – Love this one! I have had mine for over ten years. I weigh my flour instead of scooping it.
Pie dough can be frozen for a later date. If you don’t get around to baking up your pie for whatever reason or want to have some pie dough on hand for spontaneous pie baking, you can freeze the unbaked dough. Wrap the round or the formed pie dish well with plastic wrap and stash it in the freezer.
Many pies freeze beautifully! Fruit pies as well as savory ones freeze beautifully. Cream pies, not so much. To freeze a fruit or savory pie, wrap the unbaked pie gently but completely in heavy duty foil. Store it on a level surface in the freezer. When you’re ready to bake it, unwrap it, place it on a rimmed baking sheet (see tip #4), vent the top crust, and bake it at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375 and continue baking until the top is golden and the filling is hot and bubbly.
Pies that contain eggs or dairy should be refrigerated and never left at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. Fruit pies can be stored at room temperature, loosely covered, for up to 2 days. Consume all pies within 2 to 3 days for best taste and texture.
We’ve rounded up all the basic recipes for both sweet and savory homemade pies, including pie crust recipes and recipes for pie toppings. We can’t wait to hear which ones you like the best!
Pie Crust Recipes
Homemade pie crust is the best! If you’re new at it, remember that it’s okay not to be picture-perfect. It’s the taste that matters.
Savory Dinner Pies
Homemade pies are great for dinner. Consider making a savory pie with turkey, chicken, lamb, beef, or even beans! Quiche can also count as a delicious dinner “pie”.
Dessert pies are a sweet ending to any meal. Offering more than one option will make you a very popular person.
Depending on the type of homemade pie you make, you may want to garnish it with a homemade pie topping, such as whipped cream, ice cream, or a fruit or chocolate sauce.
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This post was originally published on March 10, 2019. It has been updated for content and clarity.
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