How to Blind Bake a Pie Crust

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This tutorial will show you how to blind bake a pie crust for any filled pie recipe!

Pre-bake your pie crust to make a pie with an unbaked filling like a cream pie.

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overhead of pie crust

Have you ever heard the term “blind bake” before? Blind baking, or baking blind (or pre-baking) is the process of baking a pie crust without filling. This method is used when you’re going to be filling a pie crust with an unbaked filling, like a cream pie or lemon meringue.

Blind baking isn’t just as easy as popping a pie crust in the oven. Pie crust is a delicate thing and baking it without using the proper blind baking process will cause breakage, bubbling, or shrinking.

I’ve tried blind baking with so many methods over the course of my life but this easy method is the one that always works without fail. If you blind bake a pie crust using this method you will not have any shrinkage or breaking of your pie crust.

So, how do you blind bake a pie crust?

There are just a few simple rules for pre-baking a crust:

1. Keep the pie crust COLD before blind baking.

You want your pie crust to be absolutely cold before baking, especially if you’re using my all butter pie crust. Butter has a lower melting point than shortening so it will shrink more than a shortening crust. Keeping the pie crust cold will eliminate shrinking or melting.

Chill the pie crust for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator or freeze for at least 30 minutes. You can also bake my pie crust recipe (or any one, for that matter) straight from the freezer.

pie crust filled with rice for blind baking

2. Use some sort of pie weights to weigh down the pastry.

Pie weights are what a lot of bakers and chefs use to blind bake pie crusts, but you can definitely blind bake a pie crust without weights. I, in fact, don’t even own pie weights. They’re an added expense and then I need to store them. Why use pie weights when you can use something you already have in your pantry?

Things you can use to blind bake in place of pie weights:

  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Lentils

Note that you won’t be able to cook with these things after you’ve used them for pre-baking your pie crust, but they’re easier to use in a pinch.

Regardless of what kind of weight you use, parchment paper is a MUST to shield your crust from whatever you’re filling it with.

3. Double baking ensures a crispy crust that’s fully baked.

I double bake my pie crust when I’m blind baking. I bake it first with the weights to start baking the edges, and then I remove the weights to bake it again to ensure that the bottom is crispy and completely cooked through.

Be sure to mark the bottom of the crust with the tines of a fork to prevent bubbling of the pastry before you pop it back in for the second bake.

Poking holes in pie crust with fork

How long does it take to blind bake a crust?

It takes about 20-35 minutes to fully blind bake a pie crust. Once it cools, it’s ready to fill with any cream filling or pie filling!

**Baking time depends on the recipe you use for pie crust. My all butter crust takes about 25-30 minutes but different pie crusts will take different amounts of time. WATCH it to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Then blind bake the crust more, until it's golden brown.

Blind baking a pie crust ensures a crispy crust that won’t shrink or bubble during baking!

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How to Blind Bake a Pie Crust

Blind baking a pie crust is important for when you’re making a pie with an unbaked filling, like a cream pie. This method will make your pie crust perfectly pre-baked.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Chill time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Yield 1 9-inch pie crust
Serving Size 1 pie crust

Ingredients

  • 1 All butter pie crust (or a frozen or refrigerated crust)
  • Rice, lentils, pie weights, or beans (for baking)

Instructions

  • Prepare crust as directed in recipe. Place in pie plate and crimp as desired.
  • CHILL the pie crust for AT LEAST 4 hours or freeze for 30 minutes to one hour before baking.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Place parchment paper in the bottom of the pie crust, making sure to make the parchment flush with the crust. Fill the pie with pie weights, rice, lentils, or beans. (Note: the rice, lentils, and beans will not be usable for cooking after blind baking in this manner.)
  • Place pie on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the edges of the crust are starting to brown. (If you're making lemon meringue pie or some other pie that will be filled and baked again, stop at this point and continue with the recipe you're using. This is a "partially baked" pie crust.)
  • Remove the crust from the oven. Carefully remove the parchment and pie weights. Using a fork, poke holes all over the bottom of the crust.
  • Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until crust is browned and cooked through. Cool before filling as desired.
  • Note: this recipe is written for my all butter pie crust. Remember that not all crusts will bake the same. Make sure to keep an eye on the crust after the first round of baking – if it looks fully baked then it might already be done. If you're using a Pillsbury crust or other frozen store-bought crust, I suggest following the package directions (it will take a lot less time).

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

For bake time – this recipe was made using my all butter pie crust. If you use a different pie crust recipe (or a refrigerated crust) be sure to check with that recipe on bake time. You can use this method for blind baking but not all crust recipes bake at the same amount of time.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1pie crust | Calories: 776kcal | Carbohydrates: 82g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Sodium: 695mg | Potassium: 164mg | Fiber: 4g | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 4.4mg

Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword pie

Be sure to check out my tutorial on how to make the best pie crust and also check out my list of pies (and no bake pies too, for all your cream pie desires).

Blind bake a crust today to make one of these delicious pies:

Coconut Banana Cream Pie has a delicious homemade filling!

Banana Cream Pie on a white plate with a spatula

Apple Pie Filling is the perfect filling for a pre-baked crust.

Apple Pie filling in a glass jar
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7 CommentsLeave a comment or review

  1. If I prick the pie crust all over, do I actually need weights/rice/beans before I bake it?
    I’ve used frozen pie crusts to make French Silk pie and have never weighted them before with no bad results.
    Thanks in advance!

    1. It should work okay. Just make sure it’s COLD when you bake it so the sides don’t collapse (if you’re using my all butter crust it’s a little less stable then the packaged kind).

  2. The all butter crust was very tasty. I followed the instructions, but when I removed the parchment paper and weights, the bottom center of the crust attached itself to the paper. Luckily, I had had extra dough so I could patch it. Continued baking and all was well.

  3. This recipe is awesome and so accurate not even to mention the apple pie filling too I tried those recipe for the first time and they gave me great and wonderful results

  4. Thank you for the information about blind crusts. I had never heard the expression before…just baked pie shell for a baked crust.