To Slice A Fresh Pie Perfectly, Make 3 Cuts

If baking a pie feels like a mission, serving one can sometimes be even harder. We've all been there, the moment when it's time to dig into a freshly baked bourbon pecan creation or perhaps a key lime tart, and the panic sets in — how the heck is it possible to cut this thing without completely demolishing it? Luckily, you're not alone and a hack exists that won't have you sacrificing that first slice ever again. All you have to do is make the perfect number of cuts.

The key to a perfect first slice comes from making three cuts into your pie right off the bat, rather than cutting just a single piece that never seems to come out quite right. Start as you normally would with two initial slits; once those are in place, add a third cut right next to one side. Essentially you're cutting two slices of pie right off the bat, which helps substantially when serving the first. This three-cut method is much more forgiving because it frees up space in your pie dish, which gives you more room to slide that first piece out and onto a plate without it crumbling.

Ensuring a seamless slicing process

This hack could truly be the simple solution to such a common pie-induced problem. Better yet, you won't need to spend years to perfect the method (just make one more cut in the pie and voila!). It will come in handy not only with sweet fruit pies but works equally as well with savory dishes such as Jamaican beef patty pot pie or pancetta and cilantro quiche.

And, if making three cuts from the start allows for more breathing room in your dish, you may even want to try an extension of this handy trick: precutting your entire pie before serving. This will only grant more space for your knife to wiggle between pieces and your spatula to get underneath your crust, allowing for a seamless removal of that initial slice, and each one thereafter, too.

Simply make those three initial slits and continue onward until the whole pie is divvied up, without removing slices as you go. Depending on the size of your pie dish, or how big or small you want each piece to be, you should aim for six to eight even slices. Another important tip is to clean your tools as you go. Removing excess fruit, cream, or crumbles from your knife after each cut will allow for precise, bakery-worthy pie slices.

Ensure you have the right tools for pie-cutting

Before giving this pie hack a shot, there are a few rules of thumb to follow before digging in. The crucial first step is to make sure your pie has completely cooled once it's been taken out of the oven, at least four hours. We know what you're thinking: How can anyone wait that long? But, when you dig into a pie too quickly, the filling spills out, leaving you with a runny, messy dessert that's impossible to serve.

This is because it wasn't given enough time to rest. Letting your pie cool completely allows the thickening agents like cornstarch and flour to hold your pie together allowing for a smooth, clean slice, almost too pretty to eat. Trust us: The wait is worth it!

Another tip to slice a pie effectively is using the right equipment. Having the correct tools to aid you in this process is key whether you're working with fruit, meat, custard, or cream pies. A combination of tools you may already have in your kitchen will set you up for success. 

A long serrated knife will nicely work through a deep, tough crust and a short paring knife will ensure a clean and defined cut for that perfect triangular slice. If you don't already have one, it might be worth investing in a pie spatula, too, specifically designed for reaching under the crust to scoop out your slice without all the insides tumbling out.