5 secret steps to avoid soggy bottoms!
“Soggy bottoms” has become a very popular term in the baking world over the past couple of years, but it is nothing new, experienced bakers have been battling with the issue for decades! As any Bake Off fan will tell you, a soggy bottom occurs when the base of a pie or tart fails to cook properly and you are left with an uncooked moist pastry.
With a few simple steps you can be sure to achieve a crisp, even pastry base every time – no matter what your filling!
- Make your pastry in a cool, clean environment
Dry your baking surface before rolling your pastry, and be careful to keep your hands, tools, and surfaces cool at all times.
Top tip: Chill your pastry in the fridge for at least an hour prior to working with it; this helps it to dry out and makes it easier to handle quickly.
- Allow all fillings to cool
Allow all your fillings, sweet or savoury to cool completely before adding to your pastry. Hot and even warm fillings will create steam and moisture that will have nowhere to go but into the pastry.
Top tip: Remove any excess moisture from your filling by draining as the moisture will only soak into your pastry.
- The oven
Placing your pastry lower down in the oven will provide adequate time for your pastry base to cook without over-browning the top.
Top tip: To avoid over-browning create a lid for your pastry case from aluminium foil and place on top so your base cooks thoroughly.
- Blind baking
In many cases the secret to a crisp pie base is to precook the pastry before adding the filling, known as blind baking. Baking in this way at a high temperature allows your pastry to set before adding your filling.
Top tip: If you are adding a particularly wet filling try sealing your pastry base after blind baking with a barrier such as egg white, melted chocolate or jam.
- Provide plenty of ventilation when cooling.
Allowing your pastry to cool in its bakeware with nowhere for the heat to escape can lead to a soggy bottom. Allow your pastry to cool on a wire cooling rack.
If you have any top tips to prevent a soggy bottom we’d love to hear about it on our Twitter and Facebook.