There’s an important step in pie-making that can often be skipped by the novice pie-maker. It’s not often mentioned in recipes, but how you cool your pie can be as important as how you bake it.
It is important that you keep your pie raised on a cooling rack or a trivet that is not solid, but has a design with openings. The pie needs to have air circulating below it. This step keeps your crust from getting soggy.
For non-cream pies such as apple or pecan, you should allow the pie to cool on the rack until it is at room temperature (or almost). I know it’s tempting to cut it sooner, but waiting does two things. One, it improves the taste. You don’t fully experience flavors when the pie is too hot. Second, the filling will have time to set up completely so you aren’t left with a runny pie when it’s sliced.
For cream pies, allow the pie to cool on a rack for one hour. Then, place the pie, still on the rack, in the refrigerator and allow it to cool for at least 2 hours. I like to make my cream pies the night before serving so I know they will set up completely. It will ensure a nice, clean slice of lemon meringue or coconut cream pie. Another way to prevent a soggy crust on a cream pie is to brush your crust with beaten egg before pre-baking it.
After all your hard work to make a delicious pie, make sure you cool it properly so you can fully enjoy the fruits of your efforts!