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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.