Remember those little individually wrapped hand pies you'd get from the store as a kid -- sugary-sweet but a little tart and filled to the brim with fruity goo like lemon, cherry, and berry, and covered in that candy-like sugar-glazed crust? Though the crust was just a basic shortening crust, when it was hit with that sugar-frosted top, the results were magic. If only there were a way to get a little of that candy-top joy on the full-size adult version of the fruit pie. Spoiler alert -- there is. And it couldn't be simpler.
Featured in a TikTok video shared by America's Test Kitchen, this handy pie-glazing trick literally takes seconds to complete and comes just before popping your pie into the oven to bake. All you need is a little bit of water, some granulated sugar, and a basting brush or rubber spatula.
What makes this easy 2-ingredient technique work so well? It's that the water causes the sprinkled sugar to cling to the surface of your crust. Then, as the pie bakes, the sugar caramelizes, resulting in a flaky, shiny crust kind of like that of a glazed donut.
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How To Achieve A Crackle Top On Your Fruit Pie
Homemade fruit pies are already delectable and easy to make and they're especially fun to bake during berry season when you can handpick your filling on a warm and sunny day. Topped with creamy cool whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, it's the perfect end to a late summer day. But no matter how many times you've enjoyed this golden-crusted dessert, if you haven't experienced it with a joyously sugary crackle top, you're missing out. Luckily, this simple technique lets you taste it for yourself.
As the short TikTok video shows, this tip works best with tart fruit pies (think blackberry, rhubarb, or cherry pie), but feel free to experiment. Start by using a basting brush or spatula to spread about two tablespoons of water across the top of your pie crust, making sure it's thoroughly covered. Then, evenly sprinkle sugar over the top of your pie -- about three tablespoons -- allowing it to absorb into the water. (Superfine baking sugar works best here as it melts down easily).
This extra sugary layer will not only add that beautiful glossy sheen and boost of extra sweetness to your crust but it will also help balance any residual tartness that may be lingering in your fruit. It's a simple method that yields expert results that will transport you back to childhood. Now, isn't that just as easy as pie?
Read the original article on Tasting Table.