Kitchen Shrink: How can you make sure fruit pies don’t become too soggy when baked?

I got a question entitled “Soggy Fruit Pies” from Audrey, a viewer. That got my attention! She asked for my best tip for “making sure fruit pies don’t become too soggy when baked.” She particularly asked about blueberry and peach fillings.

Here are my thoughts. If you are making a single crust pie, just brush the crust with beaten egg or egg white and bake about 8 minutes until the top surface is dry, add the filling, and finish baking.

If you are making a double crust pie, you don’t want to prebake the bottom crust but you can brush it with beaten egg or egg white and set it aside to dry while you are making the filling. You can also use a cooked filling rather than one made by combining raw fruit, sugar and a thickening agent. Just use your favorite recipe and combine the fruit with the sugar in a saucepan; set it aside about 20 minutes until the fruit releases some juice, then stir in the thickening agent and cook, stirring constantly just until thickened. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Spoon the thickened filling into the crust, add the top crust, flute the edges, and cut a center hole or slit in the top. Then bake until the crust is crisp and well browned.

No matter the type of pie, it is always a good idea to preheat a metal cookie sheet for 5 minutes while you finish assembling the pie. Place the pie on the hot cookie sheet and bake as directed. This gives the bottom crust a chance to bake before the filling can soak in.

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