4 Of Your Summer Pie Problems, Solved!

Because the season is too short for making any baking mistakes.

Fruit Pie, Peach Pie, Cookie Pie, and Meringue Pie
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Food Styling: Torie Cox

So many pies, so little time. You've completed your weekly farmers' market run, you have a stash of juicy fruits and berries, and now it's time to bake a pie. Where do you begin? Don't waste your seasonal fruit and cool cream making a throwaway pie. This season calls for a gorgeous pie that you'll be proud to share with friends and family. There are some mistakes that can easily be avoided while baking pies. Follow our advice to sidestep any baking mistakes and to ensure that your pie comes out picture-perfect every time. Follow these simple tips for the best pie on the block, guaranteed. You'll be on your way to perfect pies in no time.

Bubbled-over Fruit Filling

Leaks happen, especially with lattice pies. Crimp the edges of the pie tightly, and if it has a double crust, add steam vents. Be sure to bake the pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet to catch any drips.

Another trick for avoiding spillover is to make sure you aren't overfilling the pie. Fill the pie pan up to about a ½-inch from the top. The filling will reduce down and won't boil over.

Crumbly Cookie Crust

When making a cookie crust for an icebox pie, make sure the cookie crumbs are coated evenly with melted butter and are not too dry. For a nice thick crust, press into a pie pan with a measuring cup. Press the crumb crust into a pie pan just until it's firm. Applying too much pressure will turn it gummy and make it stick to the bottom of the pan.

Weeping Meringue

The key to meringue pies is to top the pie with the meringue when the filling is still hot. This "cooks" the bottom of the meringue and prevents beads of liquid from rising to the top. That's why it's important to have the meringue ready to go by the time the filling is done.

Other Reasons Your Pie Might Be Weeping:

Overbaking

Meringues are like Goldilocks, they only work when you bake them "just right." While underbaking meringue can make it weep, overbaking it causes the egg whites to shrink and release moisture as well.

Humidity

It's best to avoid baking meringue pies on humid days, as the excess moisture in the air can also make the meringue weep.

Not Spreading The Meringue To The Crust

When the meringue is spread all the way to the edges of the crust, it seals in the filling and helps prevent weeping.

Pro Tip: Try adding a pinch of cream of tartar, or a splash of lemon juice or white vinegar to the meringue. All of these ingredients will help stabilize the egg whites and prevent weeping.

Runny Fruit Filling

Baked fruit can release a lot of liquid. Make sure that your pie filling includes a thickener (such as flour, cornstarch, or quick-cooking tapioca) and that the pie is baked for long enough. Pre-cooking pie fillings before adding them to the crust can also ensure they aren't watery or undercooked. Lastly, make sure you allow your pie to come to room temperature after baking, as the filling will thicken as it cools.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles