A reader has asked: Every time I make an apple pie there’s a big gap between the filling and the top crust. What can I do to prevent this?
A: When you make a pie with raw apples under the top crust, the apples always lose some volume while baking, which is why you get the gap. There are several solutions: Use a lattice top on the pie—you can gently push the lattice down against the filling when the pie comes out of the oven, eliminating the gap. Or use a crumb topping for the pie—the crumbs will descend right along with the filling. Another solution is to cook the apples lightly first to rid them of some of the moisture they lose during baking. This will lessen, but not completely eliminate the space between filling and top crust.