The Baking Stone Hack That Will Majorly Upgrade Your Pies

If you've ever baked a fruit pie, you've likely noticed one unfortunate thing. It's all too easy to get that top layer of crust crispy and golden-brown, but, more often than not, the bottom crust ends up with a, as Mary Berry says, soggy bottom. 

But how can you really possibly prevent that bottom crust from getting soggy? After all, doesn't it soak up all those fruit juices? Wouldn't you need to cook it at a super-high temperature to dry out all that fruit juice, at which point you'd be left with a burnt-to-a-crisp top crust?

As it turns out, there's a hack for just this issue. According to pie recipe author, Erin McDowell, who spoke to Food Network, a baking or pizza stone is the perfect thing to crisp up your bottom crust. Just like the stone's high heat bakes a pizza crust to perfection, without it turning tomato sauce-soggy, the stone can help your pie crust crisp up perfectly.

How to use a baking stone for crisp crusts

To use the baking stone hack, pie recipe developer Erin McDowell told Food Network, you need to place the stone on the bottom rack of your oven during preheating, then place the pie on the stone once you're ready to bake. You can also par-bake your crust directly on the stone, if needed. And that's it! 

If you find that your crust grows a little soggy after it's cooled (which is totally possible), all you need to do to re-crisp it is pop that baking stone back into the oven, let it preheat to 400 F, and then slide your pie on top until it's just warmed through again.

But what if you don't own a baking or pizza stone? Chef Thomas Keller told Real Simple that a similar effect can be achieved by using a cast-iron pan that's large enough to fit your pie or a heavy-bottomed baking tray. Don't even own one of those? While you really should consider buying a cast-iron pan for all its underutilized tricks, if you're all out of cast iron and heavy-bottomed baking trays, you can also stack two regular baking trays together for use as a makeshift baking stone.