Try to patch cracks in your dough rather than re-rolling the crust. Over-handling makes the pastry tough.
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.
Personal-touch time! Use cutout shapes, crimps, braids, and other fun tricks to make your pie look like a party on a plate.
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.
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).
The filling needs time to set or else it 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.