A Tip for No-Shrink Pie Crust + Pie Crust Cookies
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It’s filled with recipes that not only come together quickly, but that also can (and often should) be assembled over the course of several days. Michelle breaks down recipes into parts — think: cake layers, frostings, cookie dough, and pie crust, all of which freeze well.
If you’ve ever wondered what steps you can knock off a potential baking endeavor (pie!) or how you can get a jumpstart on an ambitious project (wedding cake!), you’ll find the answer in this book. Also, rejoice: we can stop sifting! Michelle says it’s (mostly) OK.
I am particularly enjoying the 30-page pie chapter, from which I’ve already learned two tips that have upped my pie game.
A Tip for No-Shrink Pie Crust
Forget the “bake it hot” maxim: Most modern pie recipes instruct you to bake at a high temperature, like 425ºF or 450ºF initially, followed by a lower temperature. Michelle never found this method effective. Her crusts shrank and her decorative designs dissolved. After doing some research, she found a school of older pastry chefs who advocated against this method, favoring baking at a lower temperature, like 350ºF, for the entire pie-baking process. She tried the lower-temperature method and found instant success: no shrinkage, intact designs, crispy, flaky pastry.
A Tip for a Prettier Pie
Pie Crust Cookies! Simply roll out pie dough trimmings, cut, chill, and bake. Decorate your cooked pie as you wish.
Following Michelle’s tips, my favorite Thanksgiving pie — Ronnie Hollingsworth Most Excellent squash pie — has never looked so good.
Would you agree?
How to Make Pie Crust Cookies
- Roll out pie dough trimmings. Stamp out shapes. I just ordered a set of these stamped leaf cookie cutters, the evidence of whose work I’ve seen around the web and in Michelle’s book — the textured impression created by the stamp is so pretty. (UPDATE: I LOVE THEM. SEE PHOTO BELOW. WILL UPDATE FURTHER ONCE I MAKE ANOTHER PIE.) I found the cutters pictured below at a local shop, Different Drummer’s Kitchen in Albany.
- Transfer cutouts to parchment-lined baking sheet. Chill 1 hour.
- Bake at 350ºF for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly golden. (How ’bout those turkeys? 🤣I suggest sticking to leaves.)
- Decorate baked pie as you wish.
- Or decorate individual slices:
Michelle Lopez’s: Weeknight Baking
3 Pie Making Resources
5 Favorite Thanksgiving Pies
- Roasted Butternut Squash Pie
- Bourbon Pecan Pie (No Corn Syrup)
- Salted Maple Pie
- French Apple Tart
- Apple-Frangipane Galette
- pie dough trimmings
- On a floured work surface, roll out pie dough trimmings to 1/4-inch thickness. Use a floured cookie cutter to stamp out shapes. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze 1 hour.
- Heat oven to 350ºF.
- Transfer baking sheet to oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool completely before arranging on top of your finished pie.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 to 25 minutes
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: pie, crust, cookies, Thanksgiving