How do you keep the bottom crust of apple pie from getting soggy?

A golden, shiny egg-washed pie crust can blind you. It's practically glowing. You can see the flaky layers ready to crack under your fork. The lattice pattern looks like something out of a magazine. But then the facade comes crashing down. The crust on the bottom is gummy and undercooked. How could this travesty happen? The top looked just like all pies should! Its time to make sure your crust is perfectly cooked on the top and the bottom.

Senior associate food editor Claire Saffitz is a bit of a pie guru. Shes baked more pies than anyone on staff. Last week she baked four pies and a 20-hour apple tart. Just for fun. I mean, come on. Her pies are righteous. Her secret? Leaving them in the oven. Saffitz has cooked pies for over two hours to get that crust perfectly crisp. She says its better to have a really dark crust than a wet, soggy bottom. Dont be afraid of some color. Heres everything you need to know to pull it off:

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Gentl & Hyers
BA's best deep dish apple pie, looking pretty fantastic.

Burn Notice

There are only two ways to burn your pie crust to the point of no return. 1) You leave the pie in the oven for four more hours than youre supposed to. 2) The fruit filling bubbles all over the top of your crust and burns. In that case, its not the crust that burns, its the sugar from the filling. Again, its hard to get your entire crust to a completely irredeemable status, unless youre really trying.

Blueberries and cranberries, all up in the glass pan.

A Glass Pan Is the Best Pan

Pie pans are made from all kinds of materials. Ceramic. Metal. Those weird foil ones that show up to most elementary school classroom celebrations. But when it comes to making sure your crust is perfectly cooked, glass is best. Being able to look right through the pan to see the bottom of your pie is the easiest way to make sure its going to be cooked through. Its like those x-ray goggles you wanted as a kid actually showed up. But for some reason, they only work with pies.

Wes Frazer
Yes, this lemon meringue pie is beautiful, but don't leave it in the oven like you would a fruit pie.

Non-Fruit Pies Need Not Apply

Remember that this really only works for fruit pies. Those jam-like fruit fillings can stand up to prolonged heat, but the rules change if youre baking a custard pie. If the filling contains eggs, which is common in a key lime pie or a banana cream pie, it can definitely overcook, leaving you with an egg-y rubbery mess. Definitely not a good look.

More emphasis on the brown than the golden in this apple pie.

Golden Brown, Texture Like Sun

Yes, that was a Stranglers reference. Golden Brown also happens to be the least scientific way of deciding whether or not something has finished baking. What even is golden brown? Theres no real answer. When we say golden brown, we think of a deeply tanned leather. If you see any white spots in your crust, it needs more time. Just because the top starts to brown, that doesnt mean its finished. Leave it in there until its truly brown.