Here’s my fool-proof method and best tips for how to blind bake (or par-bake) pie crust. No shrinking guaranteed and no fancy tools required!
Use this page to learn how to blind bake a pie crust, whether that’s fully blind-baking before adding a no-bake filling, or partially baking (par-baking) the crust before returning to the oven with a filling. Many pie recipes require par-baking pie crust and this tutorial provides step-by-step instructions, as well as a helpful video tutorial and plenty of success tips.
Par-baking (which can also be called blind baking) is an integral step in many pie recipes and a basic baking technique to have in your back pocket. Classic recipes such as coconut cream pie, pumpkin pie, and lemon meringue pie require some sort of blind baking.
Par-baking pie crust sounds pretty intimidating, especially if you’re already nervous about making pie from scratch. I’m here to tell you (and show you!) that blind baking pie crust is simple, and I have a few tips to help guarantee success.
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When the holidays roll around, so do pies. And when you set out to bake a pie from scratch, it’s helpful to know a few terms so you can pull freshly baked goods out of the oven as intended. For example, crusts can be tricky to master, as certain doughs lend to different kinds of fillings. But, whether you’re making a custard pie or trying to replicate the apple pie your grandmother always made, a deliciously crisp crust is the foundation for your dessert.
Some recipes call for crusts to be placed into the oven before any fillings are added, as Goodman Fielder Food Service explains, but how long it should be pre-cooked depends on what exactly you’re trying to make. Knowing the difference between blind-baking and par-baking can help you set a wonderfully textured pie onto the dessert table instead of a soggy mess or, worse yet, an overcooked pie crust that can’t even be sliced with a knife.
Blind-baking pie crust
Pies that contain softer, moister fillings call for sturdier crusts. This is where blind-baking comes in. Blind-baking means that you bake the pie crust before filling it with any ingredients. Goodman Fielder Food Service explains that this technique is used when the pie is made up of an unbaked filling, like cheesecake or coconut cream. The dough of the pie crust is often weighted down so it keeps its shape in the oven. The pan the dough is set into should be lined, and some bakers will poke small holes into the bottom of the dough to prevent it from bubbling up in the oven (though MasterClass explains that this step isn’t always needed).
If you’re in a hurry and don’t bake the crust first, your pumpkin or meringue pies may come out of the oven soggy. The blind-baking step helps guarantee that the crust is cooked and crisp to bite into. As Eater notes, this method means a baker bakes the pie crust completely before filling it with custard, ice cream, or fruit. However, blind-baking isn’t meant for all pie recipes.
Par-baking pie crust
Par-baking is similar to blind-baking, but the amount of time the pie crust is left in the oven is reduced. Par-baking usually means the pie is only partially baked because the actual filling that will be set into the crust will also need to be cooked (via Eater). Dishes that do well par-baked include classic pecan pies and savory recipes like our zucchini pie. Pumpkin pies and lemon meringue also benefit when the crust is cooked in advance.
Though pre-baking pie crust can seem like extra work, the additional time spent on it can make sure your goods are perfectly cooked and — if not eaten at once — easily kept and stored to enjoy later on. Par-baking sounds intimidating, admits Sally’s Baking Recipes, but weighing down the dough and “docking” it (poking the dough with holes) can yield crusts that frame not only impressive-looking but also impressive-tasting desserts.
Blind baking is the art of baking a pie crust before the filling is added. Think of it as partially or completely baking the crust first, then adding your filling afterward. Whether you are making your favorite fruit-based tart or experimenting with a new chiffon pie, this guide can help you use blind baking to create a crisp, flaky crust for any recipe.
How Do You Blind Bake a Pie Crust?
The key to blind baking a pie crust is to first place the pie pastry into the pie tin, and then line the pastry with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Next, use pie weights to weigh down the lining, which will prevent the dough from puffing up and keep the sides from slouching. This helps promote a flaky crust and crisp sides for the base of your pie filling.
After lining the pastry, partially bake until the pastry is set. Then, remove the parchment or foil and pie weights and continue to let the crust bake on its own. For partially-baked, you’ll want the bottom to appear flaky and pale, while a fully-cooked crust will turn a light golden hue. Along with ideal crusts for your favorite pie, blind baking can add another layer of experimentation and creativity when making pie crusts with a KitchenAid® stand mixerfood processor
What is the Point of Blind Baking?
Blind baking a pie crust, or pre-baking, helps ensure a crispy crust with a molded shape. Baking your crust first helps prevent liquid from leaking through the bottom and keeps the pastry dough from puffing up due to melting pockets of butter. A pastry blender can be used to cut butter into your dough for a flaky texture.
Blind baking is ideal for creating a variety of pies, including:
Depending on your recipe, taking the time to blind bake can help you craft the ideal crust texture before adding your favorite pie filling.
What Can You Use to Blind Bake With?
Aluminum or tempered-glass pie plates lined with foil are optimal for blind baking your crusts for a crisp texture and base. While ceramic plates may seem like an ideal option, these types of plates are slower heat conductors that can produce a softer crust that’s less flaky. When blind baking, make sure to start with a cold pie dough for the most flaky outcome.
What are Pie Weights?
Pie weights are small ceramic or metal balls used to weigh down pie crusts to help prevent the bottom from puffing up and the sides from slouching down. When instructed to blind bake, start with the pie weights and remove them when the crust is set or golden brown. After removing, continue to bake the crust until the ideal texture is achieved, according to the recipe.
What Happens if You Blind Bake Without Pie Weights?
Blind baking without pie weights can yield bubbled dough and soggy crust. If you don’t have pie weights, dried beans or rice can serve as effective substitutes to avoid a puffed-up base and to help create a crisp, flaky texture.
Can You Reuse Rice after Blind Baking?
While rice should not be cooked or eaten after blind baking, it can be continually used as an alternative to pie weights. If you are using rice to weigh down your pie crust while blind baking, make sure to label and store it with your other baking supplies for your next creation.
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Whether you are crafting up your favorite dessert or adding a creative twist to a classic apple pie, KitchenAid® stand mixers, accessories and food processors can help you make the most of your recipes. Discover the possibilities for your next creation.
Recipes that Involve Blind Baking
Whether you are crafting a pie with cold filling that does not need to be baked, a fruity dessert or a tart-based creation, blind baking can help you get the ideal texture and contour for your crust base.
Peanut Butter Pie
Start by blind baking your pie crust for a smooth bottom and crispy sides to hold the thick, creamy peanut butter filling.
Pumpkin Pie Tart
Blind bake to enjoy a crisp crust with flaky sides to serve as the base for your silky smooth pumpkin pie filling.
Apple Cranberry Tart
Achieve the ideal crumbly crust for a satisfying crunch in this apple cranberry tart.
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This tutorial will show you how to blind bake a pie crust for any filled pie recipe! Learn how to pre-bake your pie dough for cream or custard pies!
Table of Contents
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 delicate and baking it without using the proper blind baking process will cause breakage, bubbling, or shrinking.
Why this method works
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 shell using this method you will not have any shrinkage or breaking of your pie crust. Blind baking a pie crust ensures a crispy crust that won’t shrink or bubble during baking!
Blind Baking Tips
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 weights should be used!
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. You can also hold down your crust with common pantry ingredients if you don’t have weights.
Things you can use to blind bake in place of pie weights:
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.
How long does it take to blind bake a crust?
It takes about 20-35 minutes to fully pre 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.
If you’re using a store bought crust, be sure to blind bake it using the directions on the package because the time might be more or less.
How t blind bake pie crust without weights?
If you don’t have weights you can use rice, beans, flour, lentils or anything similar.
How to blind bake pie crust in muffin tins?
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.
How to store blind baked pie crust
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.
- 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.
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.
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
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).
Recipes that use Blind Baked Crust
If you have been wondering how to blind-bake a pie crust, you are in the right place! This pie crust is the perfect solution to any pie that you need a baked pie crust for (I’m looking at you, cream pies)! It’s perfectly flaky and delicious!
You can use this delicious pie crust for so many different pies. And since the holidays are just around the corner, this is a great recipe to have on hand! Try using this with this delicious Banana Cream Pie, this Perfect Coconut Cream Pie, or this delicious Key Lime Pie!
What is Blind-Baking?
Whether you’re using a premade or homemade pie crust, blind baking is going to ensure it doesn’t end up soggy. It’s a simple step that will take your homemade pies to the next level. By now, you’ve probably seen the term blind baking (also known as par-baking) scattered throughout pie recipes. This technique is used for baking a pie crust either partially or completely before any filling is added. As simple as it may seem, it’s a crucial step in making sure your pie crust is everything it should be; golden, flaky, and delicious as opposed to soggy and/or undercooked.
Don’t let blind baking intimidate you. It’s actually really easy! First, determine whether the kind of pie you’re making requires a partial or full-blind bake. (I’ll tell you the difference below!) From there, all you need is some parchment paper, a pie dish, and either beans or pie weights to start the process!
Do I Need a Full or Partial Bake?
- Full Blind Bake: You’ll want to completely bake your pie crust if you’re using a filling that isn’t cooked or needs time to chill and set. This includes most cream-based pies such as coconut cream, banana cream, key lime, etc. A full-blind bake requires a longer cooking time.
- Partial Bake: A partial bake is suitable for pies with a filling that is cooked in the crust. This includes things like fruit pies (apple, berry, cherry, peach, etc.) and quiches. A partial blind bake requires a shorter cooking time.
Pie Crust Ingredients
This list of ingredients is so short, and I bet that you already have everything on hand that you need to start baking your pie crust! Check out the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact measurements.
- Pie Crust: You can buy a pre-made crust from the store or make your own using my grandma’s recipe!
- Parchment Paper: You will use this so that the pie weights (or beans) don’t stick to the uncooked crust)
- Pie Weights: These are to hold the pie crust down while it bakes. You can use uncooked, dried beans if you don’t have any pie weights!
Now that you’re familiar with the process, here are step-by-step instructions on how to get that perfectly golden, flaky pie crust!
- Preheat: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and place the rack in the lower third of the oven.
- Prep Crust: Using either a premade or homemade pie crust, roll out the pie dough and transfer it to a pie dish. You can then crimp the edge as desired. Prick (dock) the bottom of the crust a handful of times with a fork. Chill the crust in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from Freezer: After your crust has chilled, remove it from the freezer. Then, line the center with parchment paper, making sure the parchment goes up the sides.
- Add Pie Weights: Fill the parchment with ceramic pie weights. You may also use uncooked beans if you don’t have pie weights.
- Bake: Bake for 15 minutes, until the edges of the crust, begin to brown. Carefully remove the crust from the oven and lift the parchment and pie weights out of the crust. Transfer the hot weights to a plate to cool. *Note: Stop here if you are only partially baking your crust.
- Cook Until Golden Brown: Place the crust back in the oven and bake for 5-8 minutes, until the bottom of the pie crust is golden brown and cooked through.
- Cool and add Filling: Remove the pie crust from the oven and let cool completely before adding the filling of your choice.
Using Pie Weights
If you want your pie crust to retain its shape, I highly recommend using some sort of pie weight. I used traditional pie weights, but you can use other substitutes such as uncooked beans, uncooked rice, or a pie plate in the center. You just want it to be heavy enough that it will keep the sides of your pie from shrinking down and the bottom from puffing up. Regardless of what you use, just make sure the weight is evenly distributed.
Extra Tips and Tricks
Here are a few extra tips to keep in mind as you par-bake your favorite pie crust recipe!
- Chill the Dough: Chill the crust before baking to allow the fat in the dough to harden. This will help the crust maintain its shape as it bakes.
- What Does it Mean to “Dock” Your Pie? Docking is a simple technique where you prick the bottom of your pie crust with a fork before you bake it. The little holes allow steam to escape so that the bottom of the crust doesn’t puff up. Some people swear by this alone to help their pie crusts retain their shape during the baking process, but I like to use it in tandem with pie weights to keep any puffing or shrinking from happening. A combination of docking and pie weights is the best way to get that picture-perfect pie crust
- Use Parchment Paper: I recommend using parchment paper instead of aluminum foil. Foil tends to stick to the dough of the crust, which means you can risk pulling it up and creating a hole in the bottom when it’s time to remove the weights. Using parchment paper will help keep this from happening.
- Let Your Crust Cool Completely: Let the crust cool completely before adding your filling. This will allow it to release any steam or heat that might be trapped by a filling, which can end up resulting in a soggy crust.
How Long Will My Par-Baked Pie Crust Last?
Baked and unfilled pie crusts can be stored at room temperature for 5-7 days, though they are best filled and used within the first 2-3 days. They may start to get a little soft if they sit for too long.
- Preheat the oven to 425℉ and place the rack in the lower third of the oven.
- Roll out the pie crust and transfer to a pie dish, crimping the edge as desired. Prick the bottom of the crust a handful of times with a fork. Chill the crust in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
- Once the crust is chilled, remove from the freezer and line the center with parchment paper making sure the parchment goes up the sides.
- Fill the parchment with ceramic pie weights. You may also use uncooked beans if you don’t have pie weights.
- Bake for 15 minutes, until the edges of the crust begin to brown. Carefully remove the crust from the oven and lift the parchment and pie weights out of the crust. Transfer the hot weights to a plate to cool.
- Place the crust back in the oven and bake for 5-8 minutes, until the bottom is golden brown and cooked through.
- Remove the pie crust from the oven and let cool completely before adding the filling of your choice.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.
Here’s my fool-proof method for how to blind bake pie crust. No shrinking and no fancy tools needed!
- Roll pie crust out on a lightly floured surface, transfer it to a pie dish, and crimp edges as desired.
- Place prepared pie crust in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. You can also freeze the pie crust up to 1 month, just make sure it is tightly double-wrapped with plastic wrap.
- Grease a sheet of aluminum foil with non-stick cooking spray and press it into the frozen pie crust, covering the crimped edges (use more than one sheet of foil if necessary).
- Fill the foil-lined crust all the way to the top with either pie weights or dried beans or rice.
- Use the edges of the foil to lift the weights out of the pie. Transfer to a large bowl to cool, then store weights or beans/rice.
If you need a partially blind baked crust (usually for pies with a more runny filling)
- Dock the bottom of the pie crust with a fork to prevent it from puffing up, and bake the crust for 5-10 minutes more until the bottom of the crust is set and appears dry. (If the bottom of the crust puffs up, just simply push it back down with the back of a spoon.)
- A completely baked pie crust can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
How to Dock Pie Crust
Once the crust is brown around the edges, carefully remove the parchment paper + weights, then let the crust cook a little longer on its own. The amount of time the “weight-free” pie crust bakes depends on if you need a partially baked crust or a fully baked crust.
Before returning to the oven without the weights, you need to prick the bottom crust with a fork to prevent it from puffing up. Pricking holes in pie crust is also called “docking” the pie crust.
Some bakers skip the pie weights and just dock the pie crust from the beginning, but I’ve never had luck this way. The sides of my pie crust still shrink down. So I always use pie weights, remove them after the edges begin to turn brown, dock the crust with a fork, then return it to the oven so the bottom cooks.
More pie baking resources
If your pie recipe calls for a baked pie shell, such as banana cream pie, you need to fully bake it. But some recipes require a partially baked pie crust and those recipes will typically include “pre-baking,” “partially baking,” or “par-baking” the crust in the instructions. I’ll show you both methods below.
Whether you’re fully blind baking or partially blind baking pie crust, the process is exactly the same; it’s the bake time that differs. Fully baked pie crusts bake for longer than partially baked pie crusts.
- Fully blind bake a pie crust if you’re making no-bake pie like coconut cream pie.
- Partially bake a pie crust if your crust needs longer in the oven than the pie filling, such as brownie pie or quiche. And if you want an extra-crisp pie crust for your apple pie, you can partially blind bake the crust before adding the filling.
While the idea of baking pie crust is quite simple, there’s more to it than just throwing pie dough in a pie dish and baking.
Here’s our problem: As the pie dough bakes, the fat melts. This causes the pie crust to shrink down the sides of the pie dish. And as the fat melts, it creates steam. Steam is both good and bad. It creates DELICIOUS layers and flakes, but also causes the pie dough to puff up when there’s no heavy filling weighing it down.
Here’s our answer: Weigh down the pie crust with something so it doesn’t puff up in the center or shrink down the sides. Carefully line the pie dough with parchment paper first, then add some weight. You can purchase special pie weights or you can use dry beans. I’ve also seen the use of granulated sugar and even pennies. I just stick to pie weights. Note: 2 packs of these pie weights is definitely needed!
You’ll bake the pie crust with pie weights until the edges set, or lightly brown, which is about 15 minutes.
Because it’s covered with weights, the bottom of the pie crust doesn’t cook. You have to return it to the oven after the edges have set. But first, dock it with a fork:
Can I Add an Egg Wash?
Many pie recipes call for brushing the crust with an egg wash, and typically the recipes will tell you when to do that. If you aren’t sure when, and you need to par-bake the crust, you can brush the crust’s edges with an egg wash after par-baking with pie weights, and before returning to the oven to bake without the weights. This is what we do for my chai pumpkin meringue pie recipe. An egg wash is 1 egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon of milk or water. Use a pastry brush.
How to Prevent Pie Crust From Shrinking
Pie weights prevent the bottom crust from puffing up and help prevent the sides from shrinking down, but up until recently, I still had trouble with the sides losing shape. It was so frustrating. I played around with some techniques and now my pie crusts never shrink. I have a nice thick crust with a beautifully fluted or crimped shape around the pie dish. And you can too!
2 TRICKS THAT HELP:
- Make sure you chill your pie shell before par-baking.
- Make sure you have a thick crust on the sides using my “dough strip” technique.
Chilling the pie shell before par-baking doesn’t need much explanation, so let me show you how I create thick edges.
DOUGH STRIP TECHNIQUE
Roll out your pie crust dough and fill your pie dish. Grab some extra pie dough, cut into strips, and meld the strips around the edges.
Use your fingers to work the extra strips of dough into the edges.
Now it’s all 1 uniform crust with extra thick and sturdy edges. My dough strip technique uses about 1 and 1/2 pie crusts. No big deal since my pie crust recipe makes 2 crusts. You’ll have 1/2 pie crust leftover for the next time you need dough scraps.
That was a lot of information thrown at you, but I promise it’s manageable! And if you need it, I also have a list of my top 10 pie baking tools.
Use this tutorial to learn how to blind bake a pie crust, whether that’s fully blind-baking before adding a no-bake filling, or partially baking (par-baking) the crust before returning to the oven with a filling.
- pie dough such as homemade pie crust (recipe makes 2 crusts)
- pie weights (you need 2 packs)
- all-purpose flour, as needed for rolling out dough
Prevent your screen from going dark
- Make the pie dough: Prepare and chill your pie dough for at least 2 hours. If using the linked recipe, prepare pie crust through step 5.
- Dough strip technique: This step is optional, but will help prevent the sides from shrinking down as well as promise a thick and sturdy crust. Remove the 2nd pie dough disc from the refrigerator. Roll out the same way you rolled out the first one. Using a pizza cutter, slice rounded 1- or 2-inch strips, and arrange around the edges. Use your fingers to meld the dough together. What you’re basically doing here is adding another layer of crust to just the edges. Flute the edges or crimp with a fork. They should be nice and thick now. Wrap up any leftover pie dough to use for next time. Freeze it for up to 3 months.
- Refrigerate: Chill the shaped, unbaked pie crust in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 5 days. Or freeze for up to 3 months. Cover the pie crust with plastic wrap if chilling for longer than 30 minutes or if you’re freezing it. If you freeze it, let it thaw for a couple hours in the refrigerator before continuing.
- While the crust is chilling, preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Fill with weights: Line the chilled pie crust with parchment paper. (Crunch up the parchment paper first so that you can easily shape it into the crust.) Fill with pie weights or dried beans. I like to push the weights up against the sides of the pie crust to help ensure the sides don’t shrink down.
- If you’re making a no-bake pie, let the baked crust cool completely before adding the filling unless your pie recipe states otherwise. For pies that will go back in the oven, like quiche or pumpkin pie, the crust can still be warm when you add the filling. (Again, unless your recipe states otherwise.)
- Make Ahead Instructions: You can make pie dough and freeze it for up to 3 months. See my pie crust recipe for details. If you want to shape the pie dough ahead of time, see step 4 above.
- Egg Wash: Many pie recipes call for brushing the crust with an egg wash and, typically, your pie recipe will tell you when to do that. If you aren’t sure when, and you need to par-bake the crust, you can brush the crust’s edges with an egg wash after par-baking with pie weights (step 7), and before returning to the oven to bake without the weights (step 8). An egg wash is 1 egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon of milk or water. Use a pastry brush.
- How Can I Apply a Top Crust to Par-Baked Bottom Crust? Blind-baking is usually required for custard-type pies, where there generally isn’t a top crust. Adding a top crust, such as lattice pie crust or other beautiful pie crust designs is possible, though. I’ve always found Erin McDowell’s tutorial for this helpful. A lot of it is tucking the top dough edges under the par-baked bottom crust edge, and then crimp together.
Keywords: blind bake pie crust
How Can I Apply a Top Crust to Par-Baked Bottom Crust?
Blind-baking is usually required for custard-type pies, where there generally isn’t a top crust. Adding a top crust, such as lattice pie crust or other beautiful pie crust designs is possible though. I’ve always found Erin McDowell’s tutorial for this helpful. A lot of it is tucking the top dough edges under the par-baked bottom crust edge, and then crimp together.
Pie recipes that need a blind baked crust
The remaining oven time depends on whether you want a partially blind baked pie crust or a fully blind baked pie crust. For a partially baked pie crust, bake until the bottom just begins to brown, usually about 7–8 more minutes. To fully bake a pie crust, bake until the bottom and edges are browned and cooked through, about 15 more minutes.
Partially baked means your crust is just barely brown and the pie will return to the oven with a filling:
Fully baked means your pie dough is 100% cooked and ready for a no-bake filling:
Like banana cream pie:
More tips for blind baking a pie crust
- You’ll probably only need a single pie crust, but my recipe makes 2 pie crusts. Store the second pie crust in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months or more.
- You can use store-bought crust instead of homemade pie crust if you prefer. While homemade pie crust will have superior flavor, store-bought crust may hold its shape better during blind baking.
- Dried rice and beans can be used over and over again as pie weights. Let them cool completely, then store in an airtight container. I’ve used the same rice for years!
- If you want a golden shiny crust, brush the edges with an egg wash made of 1 whisked egg + 1 Tbsp water before baking.
- If the bottom of the crust puffs up after its second baking, simply push it back down with the back of a spoon.
- A completely baked pie crust can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
How to blind bake pie crust
- Prepare pie dough. Use your favorite pie crust recipe!
- Freeze. Freezing the pie crust helps it hold its shape during baking.
- Add baking weights. Weights hold the sides of the pie crust up as it bakes, preventing shrinking and slumping.
- Bake. Baking the crust for long enough ensures it’s completely set in its shape.
Prepare pie crust
You can use whatever pie crust recipe you prefer, but I highly recommend you check out my go-to flaky pie crust recipe (with photos and tips!) and my favorite buttermilk pie crust variation. You can also quickly make pie crust in a food processor!
Roll pie crust out on a lightly floured surface, transfer it to a pie dish or pie plate, and crimp edges as desired.
Freeze pie crust for 30 minutes
Once your pie crust is ready to go, place it in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Freezing the crust prevents the butter from melting too quickly in the oven, which helps the crust keep its shape.
You can also freeze the pie crust in the pie dish for up to 1 month, just make sure it is tightly double-wrapped with plastic wrap. (This is a great make-ahead option!)
Fill with Pie Weights
If you don’t fill the crust with pie weights, there’s nothing to hold the shape of the pie crust as it bakes, and it will shrink or turn out misshapen. Don’t skip the pie weights! You can buy pie weights made specifically for this purpose, but you can also easily use dried rice or beans (my preference, they’re both cheap and easy to find!)
Grease a sheet of aluminum foil with butter or non-stick cooking spray and press it into the frozen pie crust so that it’s flush with the crust and covers the crimped edges. Use more than one sheet of foil if needed to cover all of the crust. (A note about using parchment paper: it causes wrinkles and folds in order to fit the pie pan, and still doesn’t fit flush with the crust. Foil, however, will mold to it it completely and is the best bet for success.)
Next, fill the foil-lined crust all the way to the top with your pie weights. Filling the weights to the top of the crust, ensures the crust doesn’t have anywhere to go during baking. If you only fill the crust partially, it may shrink or slip down to that point.
Bake pie crust, fully or partially
Place prepared crust on a baking sheet pan and bake at 425°F for about 20-25 minutes. The edges of the crust should appear completely baked and have just started to turn golden brown.
(Many tutorials I’ve read only say to bake the crust for 10-15 minutes, but in my experience that’s not nearly long enough. If you bake it for too short of a time, the sides of the crust may not be set and the crust could still shrink or slump down when you take out the weights.)
After this first bake, use the edges of the foil to lift the weights out of the pie. If you only need a partially baked crust, you can add your filling mixture and bake the pie according to the recipe instructions. If you need a fully baked crust for a no-bake filling, dock the bottom of the pie crust with a fork to prevent it from puffing up and bake the crust for 5-10 minutes more until the bottom of the crust is set and dry.
What does “blind bake” mean?
Blind baking (or par-baking) means that you bake the pie crust on it’s own, without a filling. This is for pies with a single bottom crust only (no top crust). You can full blind bake the pie crust, meaning the crust is completely baked, for a pie with a no-bake filling. Examples of pies that use a completely baked crust are any kind of cream pie and French silk pie.
You can also partial blind bake the pie crust for pies with a runny filling, in order to prevent a soggy bottom. The crust is baked partially, then once the filling is added it’s returned to the oven to finish baking. Pies that may use this method are custard pies, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, lemon meringue pie and quiche.
Why would you bake pie crust without a filling? There are a few instances, actually. You need a par-baked or fully baked crust if you’re making quiche, no-bake pie, custard pie, cream pie, pudding pie, or simply want an extra-crisp pie crust. If you’re making a pie that doesn’t require a baked filling, you still need a baked crust. Or if you’re baking a pie with a liquid-y filling that sets quickly in the oven, like pumpkin pie, your crust may need a baking headstart.
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