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In the Bag

A foolproof method for filling a pastry bag
Pastry Cream
Photo: Devon Knight/Tasting Table

Filling a pastry bag may sound cumbersome or even intimidating. If you’ve ever attempted this task only to find more whipped cream on your hands than in the bag, fear not. Here’s a foolproof method for filling a pastry bag with ease.

① Push the bag down into the tip. This keeps the filling from accidentally coming out.

② Grab a widemouthed jar and place the pastry bag inside.

③ Fold the top edge of the bag over the jar to secure it in place and leave a wide opening.

④ Fill the pastry bag.

⑤ Lift the bag out of the jar and twist the top shut.

⑥ Untuck the bottom of the bag that was folded in the tip and gently squeeze the filling down.

⑦ Pipe away!

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The ticket here is that the jar not only provides stability but also leaves you with a wide opening at the top of the bag to work with. This keeps your hands from getting messy. An alternative method if you don't have a jar is to fold the bag over your hand, sort of like a sock puppet. Jar, sock puppet: Whatever the method—don't laugh—this folding technique makes all the difference.

Another crucial step is pushing some of the bag into the tip. Do this, and worry no longer that the contents of the bag will spill out before you’re ready.

Once you’ve mastered this part, the real fun begins: getting your pipe on.

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