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More on pies
What the pros know
From Ashley English's "A Year of Pies."
• "Make it cold, bake it hot."
• "Keep your hands cool, especially when adding rolled dough to the pie pan then decoratively forming the edges." If you wash your hands while making pie, give them a cold rinse.
• "Don't lose your cool and your pie will reward you with abundant flakiness."
• To avoid watery fillings giving you a soggy bottom crust: "(Try) blind baking the crust first, to crisp it up a bit."
Cheryl Day, co-owner of Back in the Day Bakery in Savannah, Ga.
• Organize: "Have the proper tools and ingredients at the proper temperature."
• Chill: "If you find the butter starts to get a little soft, put your bowl in the refrigerator and let it chill a little bit. The crust needs to be cold when it hits the oven so you get that nice puffy, flaky texture."
Paula Haney, Hoosier Mama Pie Shop
• Don't overmix: "If you're using a mixer (or) food processor, (the crust) should still be crumbly when you dump it out on the table and knead it together."
• Get your hands in it: "If it's sticking to your hands and you really can't get it off, then you need to add a little flour. If you get done with your dough and you squeeze it together and it won't hold together, it's going to need a bit more water."