If you grew up in the 80s, you probably played with Shrinky Dinks. That’s great and all, but the last thing you want is for your pie crust to play a round. If your pie crust keeps shrinking on you, you need to find out how to stop it – and fast!
To stop pie crust shrinkage, chilling the dough before rolling and rolling it correctly is essential. From there, you’ll need to use the correct size pan (preferably metal or ceramic). Press the dough gently into the pan, chill once more, and bake at the right temperature for the specified time.
Hello! My name’s Michelle. I’ve been baking in my home for the past ten years and love every second of it. I have dealt with my fair share of shrinking pie crusts, and I think I’ve cracked the code on fending off shrinkage.
Want to stop your pie crust from shrinking? Read on!
- 7 Ways to Keep Pie Crust From Shrinking
- Bye-bye, Shrunken Pie!
7 Ways to Keep Pie Crust From Shrinking
A shrunken pie crust is no fun.
But you don’t have to settle for itty-bitty pie crusts that are entirely too small.
Here are my top seven tips for saying bye-bye to shrinking.
1. Chill Before Rolling
It’s simple – tell your pie dough to chill out before baking it.
OK, that’s not exactly how it’s done. It’s still simple, though, trust me.
All you need to do is allow your pie dough to chill in the refrigerator for about 25 minutes before rolling it out to make your scrumptious pie.
Why is this important?
Well, cold fat will encourage a delightfully flaky crust. The 25-minute chill time will also allow the gluten network to relax, ensuring it’s easy to roll and less prone to shrinkage.
Tip: Don’t try to speed the process by putting the dough in the freezer! While you can certainly freeze other items, such as cookie dough, trying to freeze pie dough will end in a brittle, hard, and overall unappetizing item. Ew.
2. Roll it Out Correctly
Some people might not think there is a “correct” way to roll pie dough. After all, it’s not like kneading dough for pizza – which requires specific techniques, right?
Believe it or not, rolling pie dough is basically an art form. If you do it incorrectly, your pie won’t look right – aka, you’ll end up with “significant shrinkage,” as Elaine from Seinfeld would say.
When rolling pie dough, it’s essential to do so evenly and gently, ensuring not to stretch it. Start with your rolling pin in the center, moving outward. Rotate the dough occasionally to ensure the proper thickness at every angle.
3. Use Pie Weights
I know what you might be thinking – “Um, Michelle, you want my pie to work out in the gym before I bake it?”
Of course not, silly!
Pie weights are great for two reasons: they will stop shrinkage in its tracks and prevent unsightly bubbles from forming. The result? A perfect pre-baked crust that’s just begging to be filled and eaten.
4. Use the Right Size Pie Pan
Whether you’re using a pie pan or a suitable substitute, it’s imperative to make sure the pan is the right size.
Using a pan that’s way too big for your crust will easily result in shrinkage.
Tip: I also recommend using metal or ceramic pie pans – not glass pans. Glass pans are more slippery, and your pie crust may slip and slide its way all the way to shrink town.
5. Press the Pie Dough Into the Pan
When your pie dough is ready to go, you’ll want to press it so it is firmly set into the pan.
Yet, you need to be very careful not to stretch or tear the pie dough accidentally. That can lead to a slew of issues, including shrinkage!
Tip: I also like to add a few holes to the bottom of my pie dough using a fork. This helps release some steam, ensuring the crust is evenly puffed up. A little goes a long way. Don’t overdo it!
6. Chill – Again
I know it might seem like we’re beating a dead horse here, but I promise you, all this chillin’ is worth it.
Stick your pie crust (covered inside the pan) back into the refrigerator for another 25 minutes.
Again, this will chill the fat and relax the gluten – the ideal recipe for reducing shrinkage.
7. Avoid Overbaking
Honestly, I don’t care if you’re baking a cake, smoking pizza in a smoker, or whipping up a batch of cookies.
Do. Not. Over. Bake!
Overbaking will result in some of the worst desserts you’ve ever tasted – including pies.
Not only that but overbaking poses an additional misfortune for your pie – shrinkage.
Always follow along with your recipe when it comes to baking times.
Tip: Avoid baking at too-high temps, too. While every pie crust differs, most will bake better (and won’t shrink) at 350F.
Shrunken pie crusts? Not anymore! With these handy tips, you should never worry about your pie crusts ending in a shrunken nightmare ever again. If you want to learn more about this topic, though, I have included these FAQs – asked by readers just like you!
Why does my pie crust keep shrinking?
Your pie crust can be shrunk for a number of reasons. Typically, it has to do with the gluten network being too tight. Other times, it’s an issue of overbaking. Pie crust can be finicky, but my tips for avoiding shrunken pie crusts can seriously help.
Why did my pie crust shrink when pre-baked it?
If your pre-baked pie crust shrunk, it’s probably because it was overworked or the oven temperature was too high or low. One great way to reduce shrinkage for pre-baked crusts is to use pie weights. They’re cheap and effective – so don’t blind bake without them!
Do you grease a pie pan before putting the crust in?
You shouldn’t need to grease a pie pan before putting the crust in – I personally don’t. That’s because pie crusts tend to have a good amount of fat that prevents sticking.
However, store-bought crusts can benefit from a little spray of cooking oil or a pinch of butter. (Butter is my recommended choice as it adds more flavor to the crust. yum!)
Bye-bye, Shrunken Pie!
Although a shrunken pie crust is somewhat common, it doesn’t mean you have to suffer with it. If you follow my tips for success – chilling before rolling, rolly correctly, etc. – you should have a picture-perfect pie crust you’re happy to share on social media!
Do you struggle with shrunken pie crusts?About Michelle