To blind bake a pie crust, preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll out the pie dough, then press it into the pie plate. Use your fingers to “crimp” the edges of the pie dough.
Line the pie shell with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Cover the sides and bottom of the pie shell. Fill it with pie weights.
Bake the pie for 12 to 15 minutes until the crust starts to brown. Remove the pie crust from the oven and remove the pie weights. Put it back in the oven for 5-7 minutes.
What Is Blind Baking?
Though it sounds intimidating, blind baking is a straightforward process. The phrase “blind bake” means baking a pie crust without adding the filling.
So, is blind baking as simple as sticking an empty pie shell in the oven? Not exactly. You must first weigh the pie shell down to prevent shrinking, slumping, and puffing.
Pie shells contain pockets of steam. When you cook a filled pie, those pockets release. This creates the flaky pie crust layers we all know and love.
If the pie is not filled several things can affect the crust. Blind baking requires weighing the pie down with pie weights before baking it.
Why Blind Bake a Crust?
Some recipes require blind baking a pie crust before filling it. There are a few reasons this could happen, including:
- You’re making a no-bake pie. No-bake pies’ fillings don’t need to be cooked. Therefore, you must cook the crust alone, then add the uncooked filling to finish the pie.
- You’re making a pie where the filling finishes quickly. If the filling needs only a few minutes in the oven, the crust won’t have time to cook fully. In that case, partially blind bake it so it will finish at the same time as the filling.
- You’re making a quiche. Most quiches have fillings with rapid cooking times. Partially pre-cook the crust so it has plenty of time to bake.
Cooking raw pie dough with certain fillings results in soggy pie crusts. Blind baking can help prevent that. It ensures your crust remains crisp, flaky, and brown.
What Are Pie Weights?
Pie weights are weights for weighing down pies. They’re reusable and typically made of metal, though some are ceramic.
Usually, they’re round, small balls. You can find them at any store that sells serious baking supplies. (Like Hobby Lobby or Michael’s.)
You can also find them on Amazon. I like the Ferraycle Stainless Steel Baking Beads myself.
If you don’t have actual pie weights, don’t despair. There are plenty of other things you can use, including dried beans, sugar, and uncooked rice.
Fully Blind Baked vs. Partially Blind Baked
Fully blind baking means fully cooking the pie crust. It’s often used for no-bake pies, such as those with custard or pudding fillings.
This method will requires baking the crust twice, as outlined in the recipe card below.
Partially blind baking means baking the crust for a short period. Partially cook the crust, then let it finish cooking once the filling is added.
This method requires baking the empty crust with the weights inside. However, after removing the weights, the empty pie crust is not returned to the oven.
Instead, add the filling, then bake the entire pie again. This method works for quiches and quick-cooking pies, like pumpkin pie.
Pre-Baking a Store-Bought Pie Crust
Fortunately, many store-bought pie crusts have instructions on blind baking on the package. If yours does, simply follow those instructions.
If your pie crust doesn’t have instructions, don’t worry. The instructions are similar to blind baking homemade crust.
There are only three fundamental differences. First, let the crust defrost before baking it. Then, use a fork to prick holes all over the bottom of the thawed crust.
This last difference is a biggie. Many store-bought pie crusts cook faster than homemade dough. Instead of 12 to 15 minutes, bake the crust for 10 to 12 minutes at 425 degrees.
Tips for Blind Baking Success
- Always work with cool pie dough. Store-bought dough needs to be thawed but still cool. Pop freshly-made homemade dough it in the fridge for about 30 minutes to let it chill.
- Freeze the pie dough after putting it in the pie pan. Wait until you’ve pressed the dough into the pan and crimped the edges. Then, freeze it for 30 minutes to an hour. Baking the crust from frozen will ensure the edges cook fully.
- Completely fill the pie with weights. You don’t want weights only at the bottom or even halfway up the crust. The weights should completely cover and fill the bottom. They should also go all the way up the edges. Otherwise, the pie won’t hold its shape.
- Don’t discard your pie weights. Store-bought pie weights are reusable. Let them cool, then store them in an air-tight container. But don’t discard the “weights” even if you’re using dried beans or rice. These weights rest on the parchment paper and never touch your pie. Therefore, you can reuse them for years.
- Add an egg wash for a lovely, golden crust. Add a whisked egg to a tablespoon of water and mix. Then, brush it over the edges of the crust before baking.
Also, I prefer aluminum foil to parchment paper for lining the dough, but that’s simply a preference.
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