Elise Russ of Clementine in San Antonio reveals her go-to tips.

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Elise Russ knows pie. And she wants you to know pie—specifically pie crust—better, too.

As the pastry chef and co-owner of Clementine in San Antonio, Texas, which focuses on reimagined Southern cuisine, Russ has a trove of pie-making tips and tricks. Below, three of her top techniques for making the perfect pie crust.

1. Use orange juice instead of water.

"This adds more flavor, doesn't over sweeten, caramelizes, and browns the crust," says Russ. Swap orange juice for the amount of water a pie dough recipe calls for in a 1:1 ratio.

2. Only roll the dough once.

"The more you roll the tougher it becomes," advises Russ. Resist the temptation. We know it's tough, but we promise it will yield a better crust in the end.

WATCH: 3 Ways to Shape a Pie Crust

3. Prep your pie wisely for Thanksgiving and the holidays.

"Make the pie dough, put it in the dish the day before and refrigerate overnight. That way when you wake up in the morning, you can mix the filling and get the pie in right away, so the oven is free for the turkey!" suggests Russ. Have a lot to get ready before Thanksgiving or a big party you're hosting? "If you have a lot of people coming over and are prepping in the days ahead, put the dough in the pan and freeze until you need it. You can let it come to room temperature while making the filling and then bake."

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