7 Smart Tools to Make Show-Stopping Fruit Pies All Summer Long

Keep ingredients cold.

  • Butter should be kept refrigerated until using; solid vegetable shortening can be stored in the freezer without freezing hard as a rock.
  • Add ice cubes to a measuring cup and fill it with more water than you’ll need; add ice-cold water to the pastry mixture a tablespoon at a time.
  • Great pie starts with a great crust. Learn how to make pie crusts.

Refrigerate the dough after every step.

  • Wrap and chill dough immediately after mixing so that the flour can absorb all the liquid.
  • Chill it after rolling it out and lining the pie pan, to relax the dough and prevent it from shrinking in the oven.
  • For double-crust pies, roll out the top crust and refrigerate it on a flat plate or parchment-lined sheet pan while you prepare the pie filling.

Handle the dough as little as possible.

Try to patch cracks in your dough rather than re-rolling the crust. Over-handling makes the pastry tough.

Use as little flour as possible when rolling out the dough.

The pastry can absorb extra flour, which will also make it tough. After rolling out the dough, brush off loose flour with a pastry brush or gently brush it with the edge of a clean kitchen towel.

Bake plain crusts or filled pies in a hot oven to set the crust’s structure.

Most recipes call for a high initial temperature and then a reduced oven temperature for the rest of the baking time. For quiches, custard pies, and cream pies, it’s a good idea to pre-bake the crust, a.k.a. “blind baking” the crust. Here’s how to blind bake a pie crust.

Vent double-crust pies.

Cut slits in the top crust or use decorative cutters. This allows steam to escape, which is especially important for fruits with high moisture content. You can also create a lattice top for the pie. See how to make a lattice pie crust the easy way.

Use aluminum foil or “pie shields” to protect the crust.

Loosely fold two-inch-wide strips of foil around the edges of the crust to keep it from getting too dark during the long bake time.

Bake pies on the lowest oven rack on a preheated sheet pan.

This helps prevent soggy bottom crusts. A rimmed pan also prevents juicy fruit pies from bubbling over onto your oven floor.

Bake your pies long enough.

Fruit pies, in order to thicken properly, need to be hot enough for the filling to boil. Custard pies require delicate handling: if you over-bake them, they can crack, pull away from the crust, and “weep,” or lose moisture. Custard pies are done when a knife tip inserted an inch from the center comes out clean (the center will firm up as the pie cools).

More: How to Bake Custard Pies

Let pies cool before serving.

The filling needs time to set or else the pie will be runny. Bake your pies well in advance of your holiday meal so that the filling has time to set — a warm pie does not make for easy slicing.

If your family prefers warm pie, cover the pie loosely with foil and warm in a preheated 300 degree F oven for 15-20 minutes before serving. Fruit pies should cool at least four hours before slicing; custard pies should cool for two hours before serving or being refrigerated.

From time-saving slicers to the cutest pie bird.

Photo: Cavan Images / Getty Images

If you thought you’d leave your oven alone for the next few months, I have news: Summer is prime baking time, especially when it comes to juicy fruit pies. Berries and stone fruits are in season from now until September, and when they’re at peak ripeness, they make delicious pies. But to take your homemade dessert from good to pro-level, you’ve got to have the right tools.

Summer pies, specifically, are made better with the proper equipment. (Those who have ever pitted pounds of cherries by hand can attest to this fact). As a leading supporter of the #TeamPie community, I’ve rounded up seven handy tools for better fruit pies. From the sweetest little venting birds to efficient lattice-helpers, these are the tools you’ll reach for year after year.

Lodge 9-Inch Cast Iron Pie Pan

Courtesy of Amazon

Fruit pies are juicy and saucy. While delicious, this often results in a soggy or undercooked crust. The best way around that problem is with a high-performing pan. Leading cookware brand Lodge has created a cast iron pie pan with excellent heat retention. It delivers high temps evenly throughout the entire crust. It comes pre-seasoned, so you can bake directly out of the box (no years-long seasoning period required). I’m also a fan of the ridged edges which help achieve a top-notch crimp. Psst: It’s currently on sale at Amazon for 33% off!

Le Creuset Pie Bird

Courtesy of Le Creuset

A pie bird isn’t just for show, although this one from Le Creuset sure is pretty. At just 3.5 inches high, this ceramic bird is designed to help steam circulate evenly around your pie as it bakes. This results in a juicier filling and flakier crust. It even has an arched bottom to nix the dreaded “soggy bottom” problem. It comes in two colors, simple black or white, but the real allure is beyond aesthetics. Its relatively pronounced shoulders help support the pastry and hold it out of the pie filling.

Molto Dolce Pie Lattice Roller Cutter

It takes patience, a steady hand, and a working knowledge of math to cut a perfect lattice by hand. Thankfully, roller cutters exist. This one is made with handsome, rust-resistant stainless steel and has a smooth wood handle. Unlike basic rollers, this creates a delicate fishnet pattern that’s almost too pretty to eat. And with its own cleaning brush, dough scraper, and storage sachet, it’s highly giftable.

Chef’n Stem Gem Strawberry Huller

Preparing a mountain of strawberries isn’t as simple as slicing off the stems. To do the job right, you’ve got to remove the inner core of the berry, too. (It has a slightly bitter flavor.) Chef’n has made a winner of a tool with its Stem Gem. It’s as simple to use as pushing a button. The easy-grip plastic handle is comfortable to use, and safe for kids. With over 9,100 perfect ratings on Amazon, this is the best-loved strawberry huller on the market. As if it wasn’t already a smart buy, it’s also dishwasher-safe and not a space hog.

OXO Cherry Pitter

Courtesy of Williams Sonoma

Since when is pitting a pie’s worth of cherries fun? Since you got this clever tool from trusted brand OXO, that’s when. It’s made from durable zinc and comes fitted with a strong spring-triggered design, so you don’t have to work too hard. The ergonomic handle also helps combat pitting-fatigue. Although there are models that tackle multiple cherries at one time, you really can’t beat this one for accuracy and clean incisions, which is especially important for desserts that require intact cherries. The best part? Without question, it’s the plastic splatter guard. I also love that this tool isn’t just a one-trick pony; you can use it all year long for pitting olives.

Zyliss Peach Slicer

Courtesy of Walmart

Slicing soft peaches is a messy, sticky job. This smart tool offers a cleaner and more efficient method. Tiny serrations in its curved blades make it perfect for peaches; they cut cleanly through the skin without squishing or smashing the flesh. There’s even a plastic drip guard to capture juices, so they can go into your pie filing, not onto your cutting board. It can be used with any stone fruit, including nectarines and plums, and it’s so easy to clean, you’ll soon be reaching for it for snack time and fruit salad prep, too.

Skordo Posy Sugar

Courtesy of Skordo

A little sprinkle of sugar on the top crust before baking makes homemade pies shine (and sparkle). Although regular ol’ granulated sugar will do the trick, you can’t beat the summery flavors in Maine-based retailer Skordo’s Posy Sugar. Its delicate grind is mixed with lavender, rose, hibiscus, and vanilla for a sweet flavor and pretty hue. It’s sold in four different volumes; speaking from experience, I’d highly recommend splurging on the 12-ounce polybag.

More Fresh Finds from Food & Wine

Foolproof Key Lime Pie

Credit: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Rachael Burrow

Do you know anyone who doesn’t like pie? Exactly—the dessert is universally beloved, so it’s no wonder it’s the star of many a holiday table. Luckily, thanks to no-fuss fillings and shortcuts like pre-made crusts, making a standout pie doesn’t have to be labor-intensive. These easy and delicious pie recipes prove that a quality, crowd-pleasing pie doesn’t have to be cumbersome.

Foolproof Key Lime Pie

Foolproof Key Lime Pie Recipe

Key Lime Pie is a classic for a reason – it’s got an unrivaled flavor that nobody can resist. Whip up this Foolproof Key Lime Pie for an easy dessert your guests are sure to enjoy. In a pinch, you can use regular limes, but when it comes to fresh juice versus bottled, the real thing always triumphs.

Classic Southern Buttermilk Pie

Classic Southern Buttermilk Pie

Credit: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

Classic Southern Buttermilk Pie Recipe

Bake a sweet memory with Classic Southern Buttermilk Pie. One bite of this creamy pie will take you back in time.

Our Easiest Pumpkin Pie Ever

Our Easiest Pumpkin Pie Ever

Credit: Greg Dupree; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Our Easiest Pumpkin Pie Ever Recipe

TIP: For a crisp crust (no more soggy bottom!), use a metal pie pan and pre-bake your crust with pie weights.

Sour Cream Apple Pie

Sour Cream Apple Pie

Credit: Charles Schiller; Styling: Tracey Seaman

Sour Cream Apple Pie Recipe

“Great pie, everyone at the holiday party I took it to was blown away.” -laebrown

Mango Cream Pie

Mango Cream Pie

Mango Cream Pie Recipe

Make a tropical cream pie by adding mango nectar to the cream filling and topping the pie with fresh mango slices, whipped cream and mint.

Gingerbread Pie

mr – Gingerbread Pie Image

Credit: Jen Causey; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Kay Clarke

Gingerbread Pie Recipe

Are you ready for the only holiday pie recipe you’ll ever need for the rest of your life? Because this is it. Packed with gingerbread flavor, this pie isn’t for the faint of heart. Gingerbread always packs a punch, especially in a crunchy crust, and paired with a luscious, creamy filling, the flavor and texture combination create an unforgettable pie. You’d think a pie this delicious was labor intensive, but it’s actually quite simple: The secret comes from using cookie butter as a base for the filling. You can make this pie up to three days in advance, and then just grab it and go when you’re heading out. Sprinkle more gingersnaps on top for an even gingerier experience.

Chocolate Infinity Pie

Chocolate Infinity Pie

Credit: Lara Ferroni

Chocolate Infinity Pie Recipe

This pie has it all. It’s full of chocolate flavor, has a silky-smooth texture, and it’s also gluten-free. Also, to make this pie vegan, be sure to use vegan chocolate chips. With this fantastic pie recipe, everyone gets to indulge.

Raspberry-Rhubarb Pie

Credit: Randy Mayor; Stylist: Cindy Barr

Raspberry-Rhubarb Pie Recipe

Refrigerated pie dough makes preparing this tasty dessert a snap. Cornstarch and tapioca ensure a velvety filling by thickening the fruit juices. Serve this raspberry-rhubarb pie with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Oreo Cookie Pie

Credit: Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall and Kady Wohlfarth; Prop Styling: Kay Clarke

Oreo Cookie Pie Recipe

Oreos on Oreos on Oreos. This Oreo pie recipe is super easy and a must-make for any fan of Milk’s Favorite Cookie.

Lemonade Pie

Credit: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Buffy Hargett

Lemonade Pie Recipe

For a homemade look, freeze crust for five minutes, and then slip it into your favorite pie plate before adding filling.

Peanut Butter Pie

Peanut Butter Pie

Credit: Randy Mayor; Styling: Lydia DeGaris-Pursell

Peanut Butter Pie Recipe

Treat yourself to a light version of peanut butter pie. It tastes like eating a peanut butter and chocolate candy bar, but lightened ingredients like reduced-fat peanut butter, fat-free condensed milk, and light cream cheese keep fat and calories in check without sacrificing any flavor.

Perfectly Easy Blackberry Pie

Perfectly Easy Blackberry Pie

Credit: Lee Harrelson; Styling: Jan Gautro

Perfectly Easy Blackberry Pie Recipe

If you haven’t eaten any blackberry pie yet, is it really summer? This perfectly easy blackberry pie comes together in a little more than an hour and highlights one of summer’s best fruits. This recipe works with either fresh or frozen blackberries (or a mixture of the two), but fresh blackberries have more flavor and won’t take as long to cook. Serve with vanilla ice cream or lemon sorbet.

Lemon Chess Pie

Lemon Chess Pie

Credit: Ralph Anderson; Styling: Rose Nguyen

Lemon Chess Pie Recipe

To keep kosher, you’ll want to wait at least three hours after the main meal before serving this dairy-enriched dessert.

Buckeye Pie

Buckeye Pie Recipe

This pie version of buckeye balls candy has a chocolate wafer crust, a sweet and creamy peanut butter filling, and is covered with a chocolate ganache.

Million Dollar Pie

Million Dollar Pie Recipe

Don’t be fooled by the name, this Million Dollar Pie is actually quite inexpensive to make—but it tastes like a million bucks. Plus, it couldn’t be simpler to toss together and requires no baking. Whip it up for a holiday meal or spur-of-the-moment party.

Mom’s Pecan Pie

mr- mom’s pecan pie reshoot

Credit: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Margaret Dickey; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck

Mom’s Pecan Pie Recipe

This classic dessert is a crowd favorite. Served warm with a scoop or two of ice cream, this favored baking recipe is perfect for any holiday. Add semi-sweet chocolate chips or bits of baking chocolate for a chocolaty take on this pie recipe. Some like it with a slice of cheese on top. This will definitely be a hit at any of your upcoming family gatherings-especially in the colder months.

Apple Upside-Down Pie

Apple Upside-Down Pie

Credit: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Lindsey Ellis Beatty, Katherine Eckert Coyne

Apple Upside-Down Pie Recipe

It tastes as good as its fun presentation. Pecans, apples and brown sugar shine in this upside-down pie.

Easy Key Lime Pie

No Bake Key Lime Pie image

Credit: Meredith Food Studios

Easy Key Lime Pie Recipe

Dessert doesn’t get easier, or more delicious, than a no-bake key lime pie. Requiring just a handful of ingredients, this easy pie is a great recipe for less experienced bakers—especially considering what a crowd-pleaser it is. Perfect for the hot summer months when you’d rather reduce your oven use, the luscious key lime filling sets up to creamy perfection with the help of Cool Whip. Though we provide instructions for a homemade graham cracker crust, you can make this key lime pie recipe all the easier (and skip the oven altogether) by opting for a pre-made, store-bought pie crust instead.

Chocolate Icebox Pie

Chocolate Icebox Pie

Chocolate Icebox Pie Recipe

This ultra-decadent chocolate pie recipe features a rich homemade chocolate pie filling topped with whipped cream and chopped chocolate candy bar pieces.

Peanut Butter-Banana Cream Pie

Peanut Butter-Banana Cream Pie

Credit: Greg Dupree; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

Peanut Butter-Banana Cream Pie Recipe

This delicious pie is so simple it’s foolproof. Be sure to let the crust and custard meld in the refrigerator for 4 to 48 hours before topping with cream.

Make pie baking easy as pie with these must-have products. With a good rolling pin, a few pans and some fun pie making tools, the sky’s the limit with your recipes.

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Taste of Home

Stoneware Pie Plate

After you’ve chosen a pie recipe, the next thing your mind might go to (besides grocery shopping) is what you’re going to bake it in. This Taste of Home pie plate is pretty and practical. It’ll fit just about any classic pie recipe and the markers around the edge guide you to cut perfect slices. Want to expand your pie plate collection? Here are some more of the best pie dishes around.

Pastry Blender

Cutting butter into pie pastry is essential for flaky pie crust. Once you’ve got a good mixing bowl, use the pastry blender to press the blades into the butter until it is integrated into the dough. When you’re done making pie, you can use it to cut butter into your biscuit dough. Show off your skills by making our recipe for classic butter pie pastry.

Silicone Pastry Mat

It sounds silly, but bakers know this is the truth: Rolling out the right size crust for your pie can be the trickiest part of the whole process. A silicone pastry mat can solve all those problems. This mat has printed guides to help you measure the right size round for your pie or tart pan. Soon this will become one of your favorite baking tools.

Pie Crust Cutter

If you struggle to roll your dough out to an exact circle, this handy pie crust cutter is for you. It precisely cuts your crust anywhere between 3 and 14 inches in diameter.

Lisa Kaminski/Taste of Home


A plain, ol’ school ruler is a must in the kitchen. You’ll find yourself reaching for this basic ruler over and over to measure the diameter of your crust, the thickness of cookie dough or double-check the dimensions of a pie pan. Just like a food scale, it’s an invaluable tool and easy to stash right in the drawer with your other gadgets.

Food Processor

Our test kitchen tested for the best food processors out there and landed on this food processor. With so many pie crusts involving cutting butter into the dough, a food processor can speed the process up and even guarantee a better crust consistency.

Decorative Pie Crust Cutter

No matter what pies and tarts you’re whipping up, you’re going to need a few different mixing bowls. You’ll need to mix up your filling, you’ll need to cut butter into the dry ingredients or you might need to whip egg whites for meringue. So invest in the best mixing bowls for your needs—you won’t regret it!

Kitchen Scissors

Once you’ve rolled out your pie dough and gently draped it over your pie pan, you can take a pair of kitchen scissors and trim the edge of your pan so that you have a perfectly-proportioned pie.

Measuring Cups and Measuring Spoons

Precision is everything when it comes to baking pies and tarts. That’s why measuring out your ingredients is super important—we suggest investing in good measuring cups and measuring spoons so that when you’re making pretty tarts you can have consistent baking success.

Apple Peeler

If you’re as apple pie obsessed as we are, you know how much this adorable apple peeler will come in handy. Whether you’re making our hand-held apple pies or a classic Dutch apple pie, peeling apples with this tool will make the whole baking experience a bit more monumental.

Marble Pastry Board

When you’re making pie crust, or any kind of pastry, keeping your pastry cool is critical. Cold butter means flaky layers; melted butter means a mess. Using a marble pastry board, especially one that’s been chilled, will ensure that your pie crust stays cool to form those irresistible flaky layers.

Deep Dish Pie Pan

For some recipes where you just can’t get enough filling, you’ll want a deeper pie dish. This Emile Henry pie pan is just a bit deeper than its classic counterpart and is perfect for accommodating all kinds of fillings, especially fruit fillings. It’s a lovely gift for pie bakers, too.

We admit it—this tool isn’t needed for just any ‘ole pie. But when you’re making cherry pie, this cherry pitter is a game-changer and keeps you from getting covered in cherry stain. Bonus: it also works for olives.

Pastry Brush

To get a shiny glaze on top of your pies and tarts, you’ll need a pastry brush. For the delicate crust and fragile fruits, we recommend a natural fiber brush. It helps give all your bakes a pretty finishing touch.

When you make double-crust pies, over-filling is always an issue. You don’t want the insides to bubble over and mar the gorgeous crust. A pie bird is an old-fashioned device that can remedy this problem. Set this birdie into the top of your pie for a vent that will help release steam and prevent filling from seeping out of your pie. Learn exactly how to use a pie bird.

Pie Weights

Many pies and tarts require you to blind bake the crust prior to filling. But you can’t just pop an empty shell into the oven—you need to put some weight inside to keep the bottom nice and flat. That’s where these reusable ceramic pie weights come in handy. You can use dried beans in a pinch, but the extra heft of these specially designed weights keeps everything in order.

Sometimes the crust of your favorite pie starts to brown faster than the filling can bake. Don’t fret! Prevent your crust from browning (or burning) with a pie shield. This adjustable silicone one fits any round pie pan and is much simpler to use than strips of aluminum foil.

Cast-Iron Skillet

Nope, that cast-iron skillet isn’t just for dinner. This piece of cookware is also a must for rustic cast-iron pies. These deep-dish pies are homey and packed full of delicious flavor.

Pie Server

We all know that the first slice of pie is the trickiest to remove from the pan, but with a flexible pie server, the job gets a lot easier. The flexible silicone of this OXO server bends easily to scoop up every bit of filling and crust.

Bench Scraper

You’ll find dozens of uses for a bench scraper in your kitchen, but this small tool especially comes in handy when making pies. Use this tool to divide your pie crust, move bits of pastry or clean up your work top.

Hand Pie Molds

OK, these little molds aren’t absolutely essential when it comes to pie-making tools, but they are so darn cute! These hand pie molds from Williams-Sonoma create adorable mini pies that go way beyond the basic shape. Just think how adorable these would be lined up for brunch or a dessert table.


When making a graham cracker crust for pies, you really need to compact those crumbs so they form a solid crust. A glass will do in a pinch, but this wooden tamper is the precise tool for the job. Use it to press down on the crumbs to form a solid base. The small side is also great for making mini pie crusts or even tassies.

Personalized Wood Pie Box

You’ve made a beautiful pie, now where do you put it? Try this stunning storage box. Its airy design won’t smother your filling, and the flat, sturdy bottom makes this box an ideal option for traveling. This also makes for a great gift for bakers.

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How to Serve Pie

Make your pie extra decadent by serving it with a dollop of whipped cream. For a boost of flavor, add two tablespoons of sugar (or more to taste) and teaspoon of vanilla extract to every two cups of heavy whipping cream — or make it even merrier with a splash of liqueur. For a delicious sweet-tart topping, use half sour cream (not low-fat) and heavy cream. Check out how to make whipped cream 8 ways.

Check out our collections of Pie Recipes and Pie Crust Recipes.

Adorn Your Pie

Use cutout shapes, crimps, braids, and other fun tricks to make your pie look like a party on a plate. See how to make a fluted pie crust.

Add a festive touch to your pies even after they’re baked. This is also a great way to hide cracks in pumpkin pie.

  • Use extra dough to cut out leaf shapes; mini leaf cutters are available at many kitchen stores.
  • Using the back of a paring knife or a dull butter knife, press veins in the leaves. Brush the dough shapes with egg wash and bake on a lined baking sheet in a 375 degree F oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown (small leaves will require less baking time).
  • Arrange a trio of leaves in the center of the pie (or artfully covering any flaws) and garnish with a few cranberries frosted with superfine sugar.

Try this recipe: Homemade Fresh Pumpkin Pie

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