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This tutorial will show you how to blind bake a pie crust for any filled pie recipe! Partially bake it (for custard pies) or fully bake pie crust before filling it (cream pies or no-bake fillings) – this recipe teaches you how to do both!
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Why blind bake pie crust?
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 banana cream pie. Partially baking a crust (par-baking) is done for pies where the crust needs a head start to bake through, like lemon meringue pie or custard pie.
Blind baking isn’t just as easy as popping a pie crust in the oven. Pie crust is delicate and baking it without using the proper blind baking process will cause breakage, bubbling, or shrinking. Following these tips will ensure success!
Use Pie Weights
Pie weights are something heavy that you place in your unbaked pie shell before blind baking. It is important to use them because they keep the crust from sliding down or bubbling up. Pie weights are what a lot of bakers and chefs use to blind bake pie crusts, but you can use common ingredients in place of them if you don’t have them:
- Granulated sugar
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.
Fully Blind Baked vs Partially Blind Baked
Fully Blind Baking: This method is used when you want the crust fully cooked before adding a filling. First, bake it with the weights so the edges begin to cook through. 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.)
Partially Blind Baking: This is for when you’re making a pie that needs to bake but not for very long (like Sugar Cream Pie). Baking the pie with the filling wouldn’t be long enough to fully bake your crust, so it’s important to do the first blind baking step (with weights), then you fill it after.
Tip From Dorothy
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.
If you don’t have weights you can use rice, beans, flour, lentils or anything similar.
You’ll need to press the crust into the muffin tin and then place parchment paper or cupcake liners on top, and fill those with weights or an alternative.
Store it in an airtight container for up to 2 days – you can also freeze it but be careful because baked pie crust is fragile.
How to Blind Bake Pie Crust Recipe
- 1 All butter pie crust (or a frozen or refrigerated crust)
- Rice, lentils, pie weights, or beans (for baking)
- 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).
Recipes that use Blind Baked Crust:
- Coconut Banana Cream Pie has a delicious homemade filling!
- Apple Pie Filling is the perfect filling for a pre-baked crust.
- Banana Cream Pie
- French Silk Pie
- Butterfinger Pie
Last Updated on October 24, 2023