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How do good bakers make the bottoms of their pie shells stay crisp and flaky?
For two-crust pies, these tips will help ensure that your bottom crust is crisp and flaky:
• Bake pie on the bottom rack of your oven for 20 to 25 minutes, then finish baking the pie on the middle rack. A good dose of bottom heat will bake the crust before it absorbs moist fillings.
• Use Pyrex, glass, dark metal, or ceramic pie pans. These materials increase browning of the bottom crust. Clear glass pie pans also allow you to see how your bottom crust is doing.
• Sprinkle the bottom crust with crushed cornflakes or bread crumbs—they will absorb excess moisture.
For single-crust pies, these techniques will help:
• Refrigerate the bottom pastry for about 20 minutes before filling and baking.
• Moistureproof the bottom crust by painting it with a light coat of melted chocolate, beaten egg white, or melted jelly.
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