Making a Pie Dolly

Here’s a piece of kitchen gear you won’t find at the corner specialty shop: a pie dolly. It’s used for making “raised” pies in the British style, “raising” being the act of drawing pie dough up and around a wooden form to make the shell. It’s then filled, topped with a dough round, crimped and baked.

Since virtually no one makes pies this way in this day and age, if you want a pie dolly you have to make one. Fortunately it’s a snap. You’ll want a piece of untreated wood for this. I find a pre-made turned table leg — which you can find at any “big box” hardware store — worked just about perfectly. I had some of this left over from when I made my chimney cake spit a couple of years ago.

You just grab the nearest hand saw and cut off about five inches of it, then sand the ends and edges a bit until they’re smooth.

The main thing is you want a comfortable fit for your hand, where you can plant your thumbs on the top and still reach the bottom with your pinky. This hold is what will give you the leverage you need to gently pull the dough up the sides. My dolly turned out roughly the size of a peanut butter jar.

On which note, why not just use a peanut butter jar? Some people do that, actually. The trouble is that a very smooth plastic or glass surface is going to have more sticking potential. Wood, with all its little micro-pores, has less surface area for dough to adhere to. Glass or plastic will work in a pinch, but you’ll find yourself using quite a bit more flour. Also you may end up needing to chill the dough while it’s still on the form until it’s rigid enough to remove. All in all I’ll take wood.

2 thoughts on “Making a Pie Dolly”

  1. What wood did you use for this dolly?

    Here in the UK, beech is used for wooden spoons, chopping boards and the like [kitchen treen], so a beech furniture leg of the right size would be fine for the pie dolly. Sycamore has also been used for treen.
    A lot of hardwoods are known for their toxicity [furniture trade], so are probably best avoided.

    1. Hey Nigel! This was made from untreated maple, which as far as I know is the same wood that many rolling pins are made from. But I may need an education!

      Many thanks for your thoroughness here!

      Joe

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