Ten tips to bake the perfect pie | Celebrity MCSA

Pies, pies and more pies. We certainly saw a great variety on MasterChef SA this week, when Chef Marthinus Ferreira challenged the celebrities to bake their own pies in the pressure test.

He had us drooling at the table laden with pies both sweet and savoury, and the celebrities wowed us with a few delicious inventions of their own.

Patricia and Sade impressed the judges the most with their respective mixed berry tart and double crusted chicken pie; but it was the former who won a whopping R25 000 for her charity, Food and Trees for Africa.

Lunga was not so fortunate, and his pecan pie problems sent him home. Chris also faced a dilemma or two, and he had viewers in stitches as he tried to talk his way out of the disaster:

If you’ve been inspired by the latest episode to bake your own pie, then take heed of these ten tips to bake the perfect pie:

1. Keep your ingredients cold, otherwise they will be too soft for the shell to hold its shape during baking.
2. Get your dough into your pie plate without tearing it.
3. Some pie recipes require blind baking (which means baking the pastry before it is filled). Several of the contestants blind baked their pies, and if you need to as well, then line the pastry shell with greased parchment and fill it with dried beans. This will keep the dough from rising.
4. If you are blind baking let the crust cool for ten minutes before adding the filling – unless the recipe states otherwise.
5. Use a preheated sheet pan and bake your pie on the lowest oven rack to prevent soggy bottom crusts.
6. Protect your piecrust by folding strips of foil around the edges of the crust to keep it from burning, like Lunga’s did, during the long baking time – although sadly his whole pie burned!
7. Fix a broken piecrust by moistening broken pieces with a bit of water and molding it back together – kind of like Alex did!
8. Cut slits in the tops of fruit pies to stop the fruit from bursting out the sides.
9. To give your pie a golden-brown glow brush it with milk or egg whites before putting it in the oven – just avoid the crimped edges of the crust, as they will burn.
10. If you’re not feeling confident about starting from scratch, rather use a premade crust as the judges thought Lunga should have done:

Originally published on MasterChef South Africa.

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