This section is from the book "Mrs. Allen's Cook Book", by Mrs. Ida C. Bailey Allen. See also: The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat.
It is not necessary to oil a pie plate, for there is enough fat in the crust to make this unnecessary. Probably the most satisfactory pie plates are in the new cooking glass and it is an especially attractive ware, if the pie plate is to appear on the table.
The brown earthen plates, which are quite deep, and which fit into silver or nickle holders, are also excellent for thick pies, like custard or lemon.
The crust should be rolled out to a scant one-eighth of an inch, or pasteboard, thickness. In lining the plate, lay the crust on, loosely. Do not make it taut or it will crisp and break during the baking. Cut it off to within one-fourth of an inch of the edge of the plate by means of scissors. If a berry or other juicy pie is being made, bestrew the bottom crust with a few fine dry bread crumbs, or cracker crumbs, or a little flour. This will absorb at once the excessive moisture and prevent the crust from being soaked. Or, the bottom crust may be "painted" with a little unbeaten egg white, which will coagulate as soon as the heat reaches it and make an impervious coating. After the filling is put in, the top crust may be put in position. This should also be rolled to pasteboard thickness, and, like the bottom crust, should extend from one-eighth to one-fourth inch beyond the edge of the plate. The extending edge of the lower crust should be lightly rubbed with cold water before placing on the top crust, which should be cut in the middle according to the time-honored custom, to allow for the emission of steam, as, otherwise, this is liable to make the crust soggy inside.
To achieve an appetizing brown result, brush the pie lightly with milk before putting it in the oven. It may be dotted with butter or other fat, as well, which will make it look a little more flaky, but this is not necessary. If dotted with fat alone, it will look spotty.
If a very juicy pie is to be made, it is sometimes necessary to bind the outer edge of the plate with a thin strip of cloth (or "finger bandage" if expense does not have to be considered). To do this, press together the edges of the pie, as directed. Have the strip of cloth about an inch wide, dip it in water, or milk, and simply bind it around the edge of the plate, making it fairly tight.
In making tart shells, or shells for lemon pie or cooked fruit, put the crust, rolled to pasteboard thickness, on the inverted plate, putting it on so that it fits, but cutting it off on the bottom even with the edge of the plate. Prick it at the flange of the plate with a fork so that the expansion of the air underneath will not cause it to rise irregularly in bubbles, and prick it occasionally on the top (that is the inverted bottom), and also a few times near the edge.