The One Way To Prevent Sticky Pie Dough

People put a lot of love into homemade pie. From apple to pumpkin and everything in between, the dessert is a staple at family gatherings, especially during the holidays. But without the proper care and technique, pies can come out complete messes. And it's easier than one might think to mess up a pie crust. For example, using the wrong fat or the wrong pan can cause even the best crust-making efforts to crumble.

Still, those aren't the most important things to keep an eye on when making pie crust, according to Elizabeth Nelson, test kitchen manager at Wilton. One of the biggest traps one can fall into when it comes to pie crust, says Nelson, is doing something that will cause it to become too sticky. Fortunately, Nelson has provided Mashed with some helpful tips to keep pie dough from becoming too sticky and messing up your pie-making efforts.

Resist the urge to add too much water

A good pie crust, says Wilton test kitchen manager Elizabeth Nelson, is one that "will hold together easily but will still have visible butter throughout." As Nelson notes, there are some mistakes in the first steps of crust-building that can be prevented to ensure that ideal crust. For one thing, you'll want to make sure your ingredients are cold — and go easy on the added liquid. "As long as the dough is nice and cold without too much water added, it should roll out easily enough without sticking on your floured work surface," she explains.

"Common mistakes include adding too much liquid too quickly or overworking the dough," Nelson says. "Any of these can take pie dough from a perfect flaky crust to sticky and tough." 

Dough with too much water added may already be past the point of no return, as adding flour to it might make it "tougher," Nelson says. However, if the dough is too "crumbly," this can be fixed by adding a tablespoon of water at a time until the right consistency is reached, she explains.