You Can Prevent Burnt Pie Crust With This Easy Hack

Pie is one of the most delicious dessert options. There's no argument against a buttery, flaky, golden-brown crust filled with juicy strawberries, chocolate custard, or classic meringue-topped lemon pudding. And while many of us probably pick up prepared pies from our favorite bakery, there's something fun about baking pie at home. Carefully preparing and rolling out the crust, selecting our favorite filling, and bringing it all together in a single or double-crusted wonder that impresses family and friends is too good an opportunity to pass up.

But baking pie at home isn't without its challenges. The pie's crust, in particular, can be difficult to master. You have to ensure that it stays flaky and doesn't dry out when cooking it through without leaving it gummy or raw. On the other end of the spectrum of raw pie crust is burned pie crust, which is just as unpalatable but unfortunately occurs all too often. This typically occurs because the crust that holds the pie filling is protected and cooks slowly, while the edges of the exposed crust burn under the intensity of the oven's heat (via Cook's Illustrated). If not careful, it can burn before other parts of the pie. Luckily, there's an easy way to protect your precious pie crust edges. All you need is a little aluminum foil.

Use aluminum foil to make a pie crust shield

If you've ever baked pie at home, you may have been disappointed by a crust burned at the edges. Perhaps you've tried to avoid this very outcome by haphazardly tacking strips of aluminum foil onto the exposed pie crust edge, but that's an imperfect method, as sometimes the strips fall off or don't adequately protect the crust. Enter the pie crust shield, described by Taste of Home as the best line of defense against burned pie crust edges.

To make one, the outlet suggests pulling off a square of tin foil that's big enough to cover your pie, then folding the square in half twice to obtain a perfect, smaller square. Then cut a curve around the edge, and cut a smaller curve within the larger one, about three inches inward. This will leave a circle of aluminum foil about three inches wide that will serve as your pie crust shield. The aluminum shield will protect the pie crust edges as they bake. Crimp the circle over your pie crust edge before baking the pie and remove it when baking time is down to 20 minutes. Removing the circle at this time will ensure that the crust browns. Alternatively, you can place the shield over the crust mid-bake when the edges have already browned and need protection as the rest of the pie finishes baking. With this quick trick, you'll never have to suffer burnt crust again.