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High Time for Pie Time

Featured in our 2017 Thanksgiving and 2017 Christmas Guides

Those holiday pies and tarts aren’t going to bake themselves! But with a few minor investments in your arsenal (most of these items are under $10), you’ll be baking better than ever before, with crusts that are evenly thick, tender and never tough, and beautifully browned.

  • Product

    Silicone Rolling Pin Rings

    Have trouble rolling your pie dough to an even thickness? These simple silicone bands are an easy, low-tech aid. Just slip them on either end of your rolling pin (they stretch, so they work with either French-style dowel pins or American-style ball-bearing pins with handles), and they’ll prevent you from rolling the dough too thin in any spots. Even if you don’t struggle with rolling dough evenly, the bands make it a snap to measure the thickness of your dough without fussing with a ruler. The color-coded set includes bands for 3/8-inch, 1/4-inch, 1/8-inch and 1/6-inch thicknesses.

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  • Product

    Oxo Bench Scraper

    The fact that pro bakers call their bench scrapers “bench knives” should be a clue that they’re as important as, well, a chef’s knife is to a chef. This broad, straight-sided metal tool with a plastic handle isn’t sharp like a knife but can still make clean cuts through soft dough. And it has a million uses in baking: gently prying sticky dough from the work surface, dividing dough into portions, gathering dough together when folding and turning, scraping a work surface clean, and much more. One particularly handy feature of this Oxo model is the ruler markings etched into the blade, making it easy to measure your dough.

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  • Product

    Pastry Cloth and Rolling Pin Cover

    If there’s one little thing you can do to improve your relationship with pie dough, it’s this: Get a pastry cloth and rolling pin cover. We’ve tried all the tricks to make rolling out pie dough easier, and none can beat the simplicity, economy, and effectiveness of this old-fashioned duo. The fabric absorbs excess flour and prevents dough from sticking. This version from Ateco is printed with circles to help measure dough rounds anywhere from 6 to 16 inches in diameter.

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  • Product

    Glass Pie Plate

    Bakers seem to fall into two camps: those who prefer glass pie plates and those who prefer metal. Contributing Editor Abby Dodge is squarely on Team Glass, recommending a 9-inch glass pie plate like this classic Pyrex model: “It does a good job of evenly browning the crust and, because you can see through the glass plate, you can see how brown the bottom of the crust is becoming during baking.”

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  • Product

    Pie Crust Shield

    Though you can make your own pie crust shield from foil, we think it’s worth having an actual metal (or silicone) one on hand if you bake many pies. Why? You often don’t know you need it until your crust is rapidly on its way to over-browned. What you need is protection you can throw on quickly, not something that needs to be painstakingly cut and molded over a hot pie plate.

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  • Product

    T-Fal Ingenio Rolling Pin

    Getting pie crust right can be challenging for any baker, but T-Fal’s Ingenio rolling pin makes it that much easier. The nonstick surface prevents dough from sticking, meaning less flour for your work surface (and hence, less mess). Built-in legs keep the pin from rolling away when you’re done with it.

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  • Product

    Wooden Tart Tamper

    Usually made of wood with rounded ends of different sizes, this tool comes in handy when fitting dough into and up the sides of a tart pan. It’s also useful for pressing cookie-crumb crusts into a pan and when making tarts in mini-muffin tins; for the latter, simply press the tart tamper into a ball of dough in the tin, and the dough practically shapes itself. But it’s got other uses, too. Try it for crushing spices, cookies, or nuts, or to muddle a cocktail.

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