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Pie crust shields

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  • Val Nov 9, 2006 02:58 PM
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Every Thanksgiving I fuss n' cuss when applying foil to my pie crusts to keep them from over-browning; damn things always fall off, etc., and I vow to buy pie crust shields. Can anyone recommend a good brand or source? Are they adjustable or do they only come in one size? Thanks, chowhound bakers!

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  1. I don't like them. Not sure what kind I had (I threw them all out), but i am back to tin foil, sprayed with a little pam to keekp from sticking. I would be interested to see if they are any good ones out there, as I, too, really don't like using tin foil.

    1 Reply
    1. re: macca

      Reynolds now makes a tin foil with a non-stick side.

    2. We made our own pie shield out of a few layers of aluminum foil. The nonstick spray is a great idea.

      1. I think Food & Wine just did a blurb about pie shields. It could've been Gourmet. The kind recommended against all the rest, was a quarter round stiff aluminum shield that set on top of the edge ever so slightly. Using four shields, or six, you could get good coverage. They tested for browning and crisping, and ease of use. I am on the hunt for these with no luck. I'll look at the article again to see where they can be bought and post back.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Ginger Wolf

          I have those thinbgs and hate them. They are difficult to apply especially when the pie is hot, they tend to fall off and they are difficult to store withput bending and getting a bit crumpled.

          1. re: Candy

            I agree - and they're not so "stiff" so as to not bend in the cabinet if something gets put on top of them.

            I know I've seen whole pie shields that fit over a certain size pie - haven't seen them, however. Folded foil works just fine.

          2. re: Ginger Wolf

            Sebby & I bought these at ChefWorks in Santa Cruz, CA - it's a set of 4 (or is it 6?) crescents, and they cost next to nothing. From our limited use thus far, they seem to work well. They're fiddly to put/keep on, feel fragile, and they are a pain to clean, however.

            I, too, am intrigued by the silicone crust protectors.

          3. Here are both aluminum 9" and 10" and a silicon shield at Cook's Wares

            http://www.cookswares.com/listbytype....

            1 Reply
            1. re: yayadave

              The aluminum ones look like what I had- and threw away. WOuld not recommend. I wonder about the silicone models?

            2. I'm with the camp that doesn't like the aluminum ones. I had the quarter ones and they didn't fit pie crust edges that were more than the plain flattened ones (like the wavy pattern you do w/ your fingers and thumb that is a little higher or ones where you tuck it under). Actually, it didn't stick on the flat crusts either but even worst w/ others.

              I wonder if the silicon shield would be like the silicon liners for cookies where it holds in more moisture so the crust won't be as flakey. If there's weight to it, like a silicon mat, I wonder if it would crush a crust.

              1. I have one I purchased from some catalog. (Can't remember which one) It only has the name "Mrs. Anderson's" on it. Never had a problem with it falling off, but it didn't quite cover enough of the inside crust to my liking. I just added a layer of foil to the pie shield. Problem solved. This could also be done if the shield was too loose.

                1. Okay, everyone...I think I'll just stick with molding my own shields out of foil and forget about purchasing the shields. I would hate to spend the money and then find out that they still fall off or that I still have to add foil myself...that would really push me over the edge! Thanks for the input.

                  1. I wish there was a miracle cure! I too have last-minute conniptions and inevitably end up burning myself, trying to get my handmade aluminum shields to stay on!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: silverlakelisa

                      I have found the p[purchased pie protectors to be useless ineffective clutter. the trick to making aluminum foil protectors is to use the pie pan as a mold, and make them before you place the crust in the pan. I double or triple fold strips of aluminum and crimp the ends into a ring and set them aside before placing the crust into the pan.

                      I hope this helps and I would love to hear ideas from others..

                      1. re: Kelli2006

                        I was just going to suggest shaping them ahead of time! :-) I do this also with roasting turkey -- I make a shape to fit the breast before it goes in the oven, then pop it right on.

                    2. I like Mrs. Anderson's aluminum shields. One-piece construction. Works great for me. Much more efffective and ecological than throw-away pieces of aluminum foil, which I used to use.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: browniebaker

                        I think you and I are the only ones who like pie crust shields as opposed to foil, browniebaker. I also like Mrs. Anderson's aluminum shields. You can get them in just about any kitchenwares department. They're cheap, around $4-5, lightweight, so they don't squash decorative fluting, and wide enough to cover the edges of the crust, in my experience. Mostly, I just can't stand trying to shape foil into something that fits and will stay on, and trying to get it on my pie in a hot oven.

                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                          I agree, Caitlin. In addition, a lot of recipes call for covering the crimped part of the crust partway through baking, and with Mrs. Anderson pie shields you can simply reach into the oven and place the shield on the crust. It takes me two seconds. There's no need to remove the pie from the oven, and less heat loss from the oven means less temperature fluctuation. With foil, you can't do the same move quite as easily or as quickly (without calling upon your super-powers!).

                          1. re: browniebaker

                            My only complaint about the Mrs Anderson ones is that they don't quite fit my pie pans- the small ones are a hair too small and the large are just a bit too big- I need some right in between! Or some that are as big around as the large ones, but with a wider shield area.

                      2. Of course this reply is well past your time of need but as I have just registered I thought I would respond because it's a constant issue with my wife's pies as well.
                        She, as everyone on this thread, uses foil to cover the edges partly through the cooking cylce. What a pain.
                        I came up with a cheaper solution to buying commercially available "crust sheilds". Simply get a pie pan of the same size and cut off the rim leaving just a portion (1/4") of the inside of the pan. This is pretty much what they sell for 5-bucks and it's free and it works!

                        Allen

                        1. This post is a bit late but as I just registered, I thought I would impart this little tidbit about buring crusts.
                          Instead of taking the time to futz around dealing with foil strips, just take an old pie pan and simply cut the edge off, leaving about a quarter inch from the inside. Then you just invert the ring and there you have it. It's cheap, it recyles and most important...it actually works!

                          Allen Facemire

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: allenface

                            Well Allenface, I knew if I traveled the internet long enough I'd find You! The one with the answer to my burnt pie crusts, so simple, so obvious---- now that you posted it. LOL I've already tried it and it works like a champ. Thank you and keep up the good work. We have all kinds of cooking issues you could work on resolving!

                            1. re: allenface

                              My edges burn so I used an old aluminum pie tie, cut the inside out and left the outer ring. set on the pie and presto. 50 cents if that. Perfect pie shield. I never wanted to shield the whole pie just the edges but keep as much of the tin on as necessary. It worked great. I still use it to this day

                            2. I Haven't used the silicone pie shields, but if you're having trouble with shielding the pie edges with foil, give this a try. I cut a circle out of aluminum foil an inch or two bigger than the pie. Then cut out a circle from that circle leaving about a two inch ring. Use that ring to shield the edges of your pie. It's just the right size and stays on well because it's only one piece. I hope this is helpful!

                              1. Maybe this is a dumb question, but why don't you just put the foil on for the first half of the baking instead of the second? That's what I've always done. There's never a worry about burning myself putting it on (because the pie isn't hot yet), and any sort of moisture buildup underneath the foil is taken care of during the second half of the baking when the crust crisps up more. Also, it's pretty easy to pull off the foil while leaving the pie in the oven.

                                Does my technique produce inferior pie crusts for some reason?