There is nothing more disappointing than a soggy, undercooked pie crust underneath an otherwise perfect pie. One pie-making skill that will help you avoid soggy crusts and bake better pastry is blind baking.
Soggy crusts are often attributed to a moist filling, but most of the time they are the result of underbaking. This is especially true when it comes to single-crust pies, which don’t spend as much time in the oven as double-crust pies typically do.
What is blind baking?
Blind baking is the process of baking a pie crust before filling it. The crusts can be partially baked or completely baked, depending on the filling you are using. A pumpkin pie recipe, for instance, might call for a partially baked crust before filling it, while a chocolate cream pie might call for a completely baked one.
How to blind bake a pie crust
Start with enough pie dough to make a 9″ pie crust. Roll it out, lay it in your pie pan and crimp the edges, as desired.
Take a piece of parchment paper large enough to cover the entire crust and crinkle it into a ball. This will actually allow the parchment to fit neatly inside the crust when it is unfolded. Parchment paper is nonstick and will not damage the crust when removed.
Fill the parchment-lined crust with pie weights. You can buy metal or ceramic pie weights from a kitchen store. Alternatively, you can use dried beans or uncooked rice as your weights, which are inexpensive options that, like “real” weights, can be used again and again. They also do a good job covering the entire crust evenly. I am using rice here.
In a pre-heated 400 F oven, bake the weight-filled crust for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown around the edges.
At this point, the crust is partially baked and you can remove the parchment and weights. If your recipe calls for a par-baked crust, you can stop the baking here and allow it to cool to room temperature.
If your recipe calls for a completely baked crust, you can turn the oven temperature down to 375 F and continue baking for 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and completely cooked. Allow it to cool to room temperature before filling.
Some pie recipes may call for specific pre-baking instructions, so be sure to read them carefully before you get to work.
Want to give it a try? Start with these pie recipes.
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