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Dessert "How To" Tips

How to measure butter or margarine in sticks.

Cut off the amount needed, following guideline marks on the wrapper, using a sharp knife

How to measure dry ingredients.

For dry ingredients, gently fill the measuring cup to heaping, using a large spoon. Do not shake the cup or pack down the ingredients. While holding the cup over the canister or storage container to catch the excess of the ingredient, level the cup off, using something with a straight edge, such as a knife, metal spatula or handle of a wooden spoon.

How to grease & flour pan.

A correctly prepared cake pan keeps the cake from sticking. For cake mixes, generously grease the bottom only of pans (or lightly spray bottom with cooking spray). Use about 1 tablespoon shortening per round cake pan. When making most scratch cakes, grease the side and bottom of the pans and dust each with about 1 tablespoon flour, tapping out excess (check your recipe).

How to Freeze or Refrigerate Pies

Keep pies that contain eggs, such as pumpkin and cream pies, in the fridge.

Otherwise, you can keep a fruit pie at room temperature for 2 days; after that, store it loosely covered in the fridge up to 2 days longer. In warm climates, always store fruit pies in the fridge.

You can freeze either unbaked or baked pie crust. An unbaked crust will keep for 2 months in the freezer, a baked crust for 4 months.

Don't thaw unbaked crusts; bake them right after taking them out of the freezer. To thaw a baked pie crust, unwrap and let stand at room temperature, or heat in the oven at 350F for about 6 minutes.

Tuck away a fruit pie by freezing for later! For best results, the pie should be baked first. Then put it, uncovered, in the freezer. When it's completely frozen, wrap the pie tightly or put it in a plastic freezer bag and pop it back in the freezer. Frozen baked fruit pies will keep up to 4 months.

To serve a frozen 2-crust pie, unwrap it and thaw at room temperature for 1 hour. Then heat the pie in the oven at 375F on the lowest rack for 35 to 40 minutes or until warm.

If, however, you want to freeze pies unbaked, wrap and freeze the pie the same as a baked one. Do not cut slits in the top crust yet. Unbaked fruit pies will keep in the freezer up to 3 months. When you are ready to bake, unwrap and carefully cut slits in the still-frozen top crust. Do not thaw. Bake at 425F for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375F and bake 30 to 45 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown and juice begins to bubble through the slits.

Custard and cream pies do not freeze successfully.

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