+ enlarge imageFor easy cutting, let fruit pies cool
at least 2 hours before serving.
For a two-crust pie, be sure to use either a double-crust or lattice-top as the recipe specifies. Some fruit fillings require the venting that a lattice-top provides; others, such as apples, benefit from steaming under a top crust.
Make several slits in the top of a double-crust pie before baking to allow steam to escape and to prevent excessive bubbling. Or use a small cutter to cut a few decorative shapes from near the center of the top pastry.
For an attractive glazed crust, brush the top pastry with milk, then sprinkle with granulated or coarse sugar before baking.
To protect the edges of the pie from overbrowning, fold a 12-inch square of foil into quarters. Cut a 7-inch circle out of the center. Unfold and loosely mold the foil over the pie's edge.
Place a pizza pan or baking sheet under a double-crust pie when you put it in the oven to catch any filling that may bubble over.
Fruit pies should bubble in the center to be properly cooked -- otherwise, the thickener (cornstarch, flour, or tapioca) won't be clear and the filling will be too thin. To see if a double-crust pie is done, look for bubbling around the slits in the top crust.
So the pieces don't fall apart when you cut the pie, let fruit pies cool at least two hours before serving. Fruit pies may stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Cover and refrigerate for longer storage.
To freeze a baked fruit pie, let it cool completely. Place it in a freezer bag; seal, label, and freeze for up to four months. To serve, thaw the pie, covered, at room temperature. If desired, reheat pie, covered, in a 325 degrees F oven until warm.
To freeze unbaked fruit pies, treat any light-colored fruit with ascorbic-acid color-keeper. Assemble the pie in a metal or freezer-to-oven pie pan or pie plate. Place in a freezer bag; seal, label, and freeze for up to four months. To bake a frozen pie, unwrap it and cover with foil. Bake in a 450 degrees F oven for 15 minutes; reduce temperature to 375 degrees F; bake 15 minutes more. Uncover and continue baking for 55 to 60 minutes more or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly.