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Pie Crust Troubleshooting Tips
Problem Possible Causes Solutions
Crust is crumbly; too tender Too little gluten formation
  • Cut Crisco shortening into flour until it resembles coarse meal.
  • Chill shortening
  • Add more water; work dough more once water is added
Crust is tough Too much gluten formation
  • Cut Crisco shortening into flour more thoroughly.
  • Use Crisco shortening that is at room temperature.
  • Use 1 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar as part of the liquid.
Crust is not flaky Crisco (or butter or margarine) is cut in too finely
  • Use all Crisco shortening instead of part butter and/or margarine.
  • Keep ingredients and dough cold.
  • Cut Crisco shortening into flour in large pieces.
  • Chill crust before baking.
Crust shrinks excessively Stretching dough when placing in pie plate
  • Roll pastry large enough to eliminate need for stretching.
  • Ease toward center when placing in pie plate
  • Prick crust thoroughly.
  Baking pie shell immediately after preparation
  • Allow pie shell to rest about 30 minutes before baking
Bottom crust is soggy Oven temperature too low or baking time too short
  • Increase oven temperature and/or baking time.
  • Brush crust with egg white and chill before filling.
  Filling too hot when placed in pie shell
  • Cool filling before adding.
  • Add filling just before baking
  • Use a glass or aluminum pie plate