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Not Touching the Oven Dial

Many pie recipes instruct you to preheat the oven to a high temp, around 425°, and then to lower it to 350° (or 375°) about 15 minutes after you put the pie in. The reason for this quirky step, explains McDermott, is twofold. First, it counteracts the loss of heat that occurs when you open the oven door (the temperature can drop anywhere from 25 to 150°, depending on how long it's open). Second, the quick blast of heat sets the crust (helping you avoid the dreaded soggy bottom). There isn't much difference between lowering the heat immediately and lowering it after 15 minutes of baking, but McDermott prefers to do it right away since it's easier to remember that way.