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You Underbake Pie
Although rolling out the dough to form a pie crust is often the thing that home bakers are most nervous about, the actual problem Emily Elsen, of the Brooklyn pie shop Four & Twenty Blackbirds, sees bakers make more often is underbaking fruit pies. The top tends to darken before the bottom's done, so you pull the pie out of the oven—but it's too early, and then you're stuck with a soggy pie. Elsen, co-author of The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book: Uncommon Recipes from the Celebrated Pie Shop, says you can avoid this by using a glass dish so you can actually see the pie’s bottom and by beginning the baking in the hotter part of your oven (it's often the lower rack, but every oven is different—if you bake often, you'll notice where cookies tend to brown more quickly). After 15 minutes, move the pie to a cooler area (say, the middle or upper rack) and let it finish baking there. Finally, know that it's better to have an apple pie that's a little toasty on top versus one that looks pale. (And you can always buy crust shields or make your own out of tin foil if the top is burning but the bottom still needs more time to bake.)


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