Chef Stella Parks' Genius Epsom Salt Trick To Rescue Soggy Pie Crust

pie crust on bed of epsom salt
pie crust on bed of epsom salt - Static Media / Getty

Limp, soggy crust is less than ideal when you're eager to dip into a slice of pie. It's an understandable situation to encounter when you are baking treats in advance since flavorful fillings of fruits and creams will eventually seep their way into the crusts you've worked hard to make. Thankfully, CIA-trained pastry chef Stella Parks offers tips on rescuing lifeless-looking desserts.

Though you might associate Epsom salt, aka magnesium sulfate, with soothing baths, the ingredient can be dried in the oven and used as a desiccant in your kitchen. As Park explained to Serious Eats, you can use this dehydrated, dry-as-chalk substance to line the bottom of a pie holder or carrier and place your pretty baked goods on top. This salt isn't harmful to eat, so you can set your apple pies and pastries directly onto the salty surface or use a plate, dish, or cheesecloth to create a barrier between the salt-covered base and your baked treats. Just be sure that whatever storage container you use is completely shut, as you want the dried-out Epsom salt to focus on your treats and not the humidity in the air.

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Confidently Serve The Pie You Made In Advance

Cherry pie with slice cut out
Cherry pie with slice cut out - Ivan Bajic/Getty Images

When setting out to protect your perfect crusts from a soggy fate, look for the unscented food-grade packages of Epsom salt at the store. You'll need enough to fill a parchment-lined baking sheet with the salt. To dry out the salt crystals, plan ahead of time, as it will take at least an hour to produce the kind of substance you need for your pie-saving attempts, and you'll need to stir or shake up the salty pan every 10 to 15 minutes.

Since your homemade desiccant won't expire, you may want to make more than what you think you'll need so you can store your powdery creation for future use. (If you notice moisture creeping in after some time, you can repeat the baking process to repel any sneaky amount of absorbed water content.) Though this culinary hack can help preserve a flaky crust's texture, do expect some softening of the crust to occur, but the salty storage trick is helpful for any cooking project you're hoping to keep on the drier end of the spectrum.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.