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Pyrex dish fails to cook bottom of pie crust

I've read in various places that pyrex is the best material for baking a pie crust, and that baking on the bottom shelf cooks the bottom crust better. However, regardless of what shelf, temperature, length of time I cook my crust for, using a pyrex dish, the bottom invariably fails to cook. Using an aluminium tin however, the bottom cooked fine, and in fact I managed to overcook it.

I am using a gas oven with no fan, and my pie crust is 3 parts flour to 2 parts butter and the required amount of water. IIRC, it was said that the bottom cooks better on a lower shelf because of being closer to the radiant heat source. Is that only true for an electric oven, because I found it cooks worse if anything.

So have I been misled into believing pyrex is the best type of dish in which to bake a pie crust?

Cheers

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  1. I staunchly hang on to my Pyrex pie pans because of how well my crusts turn out (plus I can tell if they're done just by looking!)

    I've never heard of baking a crust on the bottom rack - try the middle rack and leaving it in a little longer (the aluminum baked your crust faster because the material is thinner and transfers heat immediately, rather than slower as in the glass)

    As I mentioned - the beautiful thing is you can see if it's done just by looking (carefully! if it's a filled pie) - then you can put it back in to finish if it's not golden brown on the bottom.

    2 Replies
      1. re: sunshine842

        But I've tried it on the middle and top racks, and have left it in there for more than half an hour, and without using any weights which tend to prevent the bottom cooking properly. No luck though, the bottom never cooks through. The bottom crust isn't that thick either. I usually cook it for 10-15 mins at 200-220C in a pre-heated oven, then turn it down to 180 for the remaining time.

      2. Whenever I have purchased pyrex dishes for baking - pie pans, break/loaf pans or 9x13 dishes - the label has indicated that the oven temperature should be reduced 25 degrees. Glass is a thermal insulator, so it keeps the bottom from heating up and browning as rapidly as the top crust. You might try that.

        1. That is so mysterious to me. I only cook my pies in pyrex, and I have never had this problem. It also sounds like your are using too much butter. My basic recipe calls for 3 cups of flour to one cup of butter or shortening. Based on what you wrote, you're using 3 cups of flour to two cups of butter or shortening. That's a lot of butter.

          1 Reply
          1. re: roxlet

            Sorry I should clarify, I meant 3:2 by weight not volume.

          2. I've used pyrex because it's what I have but when I took a pie class at L'Academie de Cuisine, the instructor swore by ceramic for the reason you've mentioned, If you want to brown your bottom better, you could put the pie pan on a pizza/bread stone to bake. I like that it also catches the drips.

            1. Is this just for blind baking? I use glass, and aluminum, but have never had this problem with my glass dishes.

              2 Replies
              1. re: wyogal

                I usually use metal dishes for cooking pastry/pies in, although I do have a couple of Pyrex pie plates. No matter what I'm cooking in, I always place the pie dish on top of a pre-warmed baking sheet to get good heat transfer through to the pastry.

                1. re: serah

                  I don't have a problem with it, but now that you mention it, I oftentimes uses a baking sheet under it to catch drips, so maybe that's why I don't have a problem using glass dishes.

              2. Pies need to bake in a hot oven (425 degrees F). Also cook on the rack above the bottom, not the very bottom setting.

                3 Replies
                1. re: TrishUntrapped

                  "For certain juicy pies (peach, nectarine-raspberry), bake the pie directly on the floor of the oven for a truly crispy bottom crust."

                  This is a quote from Rose Levy Beranbaum's cookbook, The Pie and Pastry Bible which I pulled from some website.

                  In my oven though, the lower down you go, the colder it seems to be, which makes sense to me because hot air rises. So is this assuming a certain type of oven, and if so what type?

                  1. re: homecooknewb

                    If the bottom of your oven is colder, try lining the bottom rack with unglazed quarry tile (they're about 40 cents from home depot). You can put the pie pan directly on them and for crisper bottom. Plus, if there's ever run over, the tiles catch it.

                    1. re: homecooknewb

                      I find the best pie secret is to prebake your bottom crust, add your filling then bake as recipe call for. I never have a problem with a soggy crust and I always use the centre rack. As for the unglazed quarry tiles, they are the best to bake your pizza, bread, or cookies on.

                  2. Preheat your oven for at least 30 minutes with a thick baking stone in the bottom third of the oven. When you're ready to bake your pie, place the pie plate directly on the baking stone.

                    If you tend to freeze or refrigerate your pie plate with the crust just before you bake it (in order to preserve its flakiness), switch over from a glass pie plate to a metal pie plate. That way you don't risk the glass breaking once you place it directly on the hot baking stone.

                    I learned this technique from reading Shirley Corriher's books, one of the world's foremost knowledgeable cooks and bakers, and it works.

                    1. When ever I make pie, an old friend taught me to avoid a soggy crust no matter what pie plate you used was that while you prepare your filling you pre bake the crust for 15 min. add your filling and ...the best pie you ever had.

                      1. thought came to me randomly....

                        Have you checked your oven temperature lately? Many ovens don't run exactly to temperature...if your oven is off by a few degrees, it could really create havoc with your baked goods.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: sunshine842

                          That was my thought too Sunshine. The only reason I could think of is the oven isn't hot enough. The OP admitted to turning the temp down to bake. That's not good for pie crusts.

                        2. I see this is an old post. But I wanted to reply anyway.
                          First in MHO, you are correct in saying, "pyrex is the best material for baking a pie crust". The secret to baking a pie is that you have to set it on a cookie sheet, stone pizza baking dish or anything you can set the pie on. Believe me, the bottom of your pie crust will bake.

                          Place sheet and pie in center of oven and bake at required temp. The sheet does two thing, browns your bottom crust and catches any over flow.