My mom makes legendary pies. So did my grandmothers. Me? Not so much. I’m okay at it now, but it took a long time and tons of practice—once, I volunteered for a charity bake sale and we made 200 pies in one day (ouch). The only easy part is the eating. In the Chatelaine Kitchen, we have made a lot of pies and have learned a few truths: Food processors make excellent pastry in less than 3 minutes. Always bake pie on a baking sheet to save the oven from spillovers. Everyone’s pie turns out differently (at Chatelaine, I can tell who made a pie by the crimp). And if a pie looks terrible, just cover it with whipped cream. It’ll be delicious.
Glossary: Paté brisée
Also known as short crust, it’s a classic pie pastry. It’s a simple mix of flour, fat (butter, lard or shortening) and water, with optional add-ins of sugar and salt. Get our recipe here.
Novice: Fork crimp
Works best for pumpkin or crumble-topped pies since no top crust is required. Trim overhanging pastry, then press tines of a fork evenly around the edge.
Intermediate: Pastry cut-outs
Ideal for apple pie. Roll out a top crust and use cookie cutters to create steam vents. Cut out more shapes from pastry scraps. Use egg wash to attach shapes evenly around the edge.
Shows off the rich colours of berry, cherry or peach pies. Roll out pastry and cut into strips. Weave into a lattice, then brush with egg wash or cream.
Best rolling pins
Straight: Our favourite! Long enough for big pizza dough but precise enough for delicate pastry.
Tapered: Great for rolling pastry into circles like pies and galettes.
Handles: This classic is a great starter pin because it keeps warm hands away from cold pastry.
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