Why You Should Be Baking Your Fruit Pies On a Pizza Stone, According to a Pie Expert
Hint: they help prevent a soggy crust.
Has anyone else been wondering if they should pull the trigger on buying a pizza stone? They’re not that expensive, and they’ll make your pizza's crust so much crisper and airier. I have an internal debate though, because pizza stones are kind of heavy and kind of take up space and how often do I really make pizza? That’s until recently, when I learned another handy use for pizza stones: pies. No, not pizza pies, silly; the sweet, flaky buttery dessert variety of pie.
I was poking around on the Food Network Kitchen app, perusing some dessert recipes, because to me, spring is the season to start baking fruit-filled pies for outdoor dinners and picnics galore. I turned to the classes from one of my favorite pie recipe authors, Erin McDowell, and started noticing that a lot of her fruit pie recipes had one thing in common: a pizza stone. This jumped out to me because I’d never heard of using a pizza stone for baking pies.
McDowell often calls for placing a stone on the bottom rack of your oven as it preheats, and then baking the pie on top of the stone (for example, see her classes on Double Crust Apple Butter Pie and Brown Sugar Chess Pie). According to McDowell, the incredibly hot pizza stone evenly distributes heat into the bottom of the pan, making for a crisp, sturdy crust. This is especially important for fruit pies, which contain a lot of liquid and can develop soggy crusts if the right measures aren’t taken.
If your pie recipe calls for par-baking the crust before adding filling, you can par-bake on top of the stone as well for extra crisp results.
Finally, a pizza stone is also a great way to reheat a fully cooled pie, ensuring the crust is extra-crisp right before serving. The thing about slicing pies neatly is that you must cool them completely. Sometimes, as the pie cools, the crust becomes soggy. No fear: place a pizza stone in your oven, crank it up to 400 degrees F or so, transfer the pie to the pizza stone and cook it until it’s warmed through for fast pie perfection.