Nothing looks worse than a pasty, undercooked pie crust and yet there are lots of tips and tricks out there that tell you how to keep your pie crust from overbrowning. You don’t want the crust to burn around the edges, of course, but as far as I’m concerned, you want a pie crust to be a deep, rich golden color and to have a crisp, flaky texture that will complement just about any pie filling. Adding a small amount of sugar to a pie crust, as well as using real butter, will both help a crust to brown in the oven. But sometimes baking alone isn’t enough to get a really beautiful pastry-caseÂ finish on a pie.
There are two good ways to enhance browning on a pie crust. One thing you can do is brush a beaten egg onto the crust prior to baking. This will add a shine to the crust and will brown nicely. An even better option, however, is to brush the top of the unbaked crust with milk or cream (I prefer cream if I have it). It will give the crust a wonderful golden brown color without making it shiny – and since there is no shine, there will be no tale-tale dull spots if you miss a bit while you’re brushing it on.