How to blind bake pie crust: pre-baking yields perfect results

What does it mean to blind bake a pie crust?

Well, hearkening back to Merrie Olde England, where the term originated, blind baking a pie crust is simply pre-baking the crust, without filling, then adding the filling once the crust is baked.

The pie can then be placed back in the oven for the filling to bake; or the baked crust can be filled with cooked filling, the whole left to cool and set.

Why is it necessary to blind bake pie crust? Can’t you just pour whatever filling you’re using into the crust, and bake everything all at once?

Not always, and here’s why. Some pies are filled with delicate fillings, ones that need a quick simmer on the stovetop at most. Baking this type of pie for the hour or so required to fully bake the crust would over-bake the filling.

How to blind bake a pie crust via @kingarthurflour

Think Chocolate Cream Pie.

Blind baking a crust isn’t quite as simple as it sounds. You don’t just make the crust, pat it into the pie pan, and stick it in the oven. Because you know what happens?

How to blind bake a pie crust via @kingarthurflour

A slumped mess.

(And why, pray tell, is there syrupy residue in the bottom of this crust? Well… to make a long story short, don’t ask!)

OK, that’s the baking fail. Now let’s see how to blind bake a pie crust – successfully.

There are two simple ways to blind bake a pie crust.

How to blind bake a pie crust via @kingarthurflour

1. Bake with weights in the center.

This choice is perfect when you’re making a tall and/or fancy crimped edge.

1.  Place your crust in the pan, and crimp the edge. Line the crust with a parchment round (9″, for a 9″ pie), or paper coffee filter.
2.  Add pie weights, dry rice, dried beans or (as I’ve done here) dry wheat berries, enough to fill the pan 2/3 full. Chill the crust for 30 minutes; this will solidify the fat, which helps prevent shrinkage.
3.  Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 20 minutes.
4.  Remove the pie from the oven, and lift out the paper and weights. Prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork, to prevent bubbles. Return the crust to the oven and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until the crust is golden all over.

How to blind bake a pie crust via @kingarthurflour

Like this.

The fat in this crust is more than half butter, so the crimp didn’t hold up quite as well as that of an all-shortening crust.

What’s up with that? Butter’s melting point is lower than that of vegetable shortening, so a 100% butter crust will neither hold a crimp as well nor stand as tall in the pan as an all-shortening (or partial shortening) crust.

At any rate, you now have a baked crust, ready to fill.

How to blind bake a pie crust via @kingarthurflour

Ah, Banana Cream Pie

The second method used to blind bake pie crust is perfect for pies with a flat edge, one where you don’t need the extra height – and aren’t particularly worried about appearance.

How to blind bake a pie crust via @kingarthurflour

2. Sandwich the crust between two pans, and bake it upside down.

This method is absolutely perfect for those of you who’ve struggled mightily with crusts that slump – particularly all-butter crusts.

1.  Place your crust in the pan. Flatten its edge – decoratively, if you wish, though any decoration will probably disappear.
2.  Spray the outside of another pie pan (preferably a duplicate of your bottom pan) with non-stick spray, and nestle it into the crust. If you’re at all worried about the crust potentially sticking to the second pan, line the crust with a parchment round before setting the second pan on top.
3.  Chill the crust for 30 minutes, to solidify fats and prevent shrinkage.

How to blind bake a pie crust via @kingarthurflour

Place the pan upside down on a baking sheet, so that the empty pan is on the bottom. Bake for 20 minutes in a preheated 375°F oven.

Gravity ensures that as your crust slips “down” the side of the pan, it’s actually moving up!

How to blind bake a pie crust via @kingarthurflour

Remove the crust from the oven. Use a spatula to carefully turn the pan over, so its crust side is up.

Prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork.

How to blind bake a pie crust via @kingarthurflour

Return the crust to the oven, and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes…

How to blind bake a pie crust via @kingarthurflour to blind bake a pie crust via @kingarthurflour

…until it’s golden brown all over.

How to blind bake a pie crust via @kingarthurflour

This method is ideal for pies where the edge of the pie plays second fiddle to its top – hello, Lemon Meringue!

Now, you may find recipes instructing you how to blind bake a pie crust that differ from this, especially in the oven temperature and baking time.

But however you choose to get there, your goal is a crisp, flaky, golden brown crust, ready for your choice of delicious fillings.

How to blind bake a pie crust via @kingarthurflour

Like Classic Coconut Cream.

Want more? Find a wealth of pie tips, techniques, recipes, and inspiration in our Complete Guide to Pie Baking.

What’s your favorite no-bake pie filling, perfect for a blind-baked crust? Please share in comments, below.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

comments

  1. Monica

    I have used the pan inside the pan method with great success. I don’t even invert the pan/crust/pan onto a baking sheet, and have not experienced major side slippage, nor squished edging. That may be due to the fact that I use a butter/shortening combination for the crust. But I’m thinking that the edge squishing problem might be solved for all butter crusts by placing an oven proof custard cup on the baking sheet, and inverting the pan/crust/pan onto that, thus avoiding the entire weight pressing directly on the pie crust edges against the baking sheet. Going to give that a try the next time I make the chocolate cream pie, which is a BIG favorite in my family. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

    Reply
    1. Vivienne

      You simply must try this pastry recipe. You can work it again and again until all used. 4 cups a.p. Flour
      1 cup vegetable shortning
      1 cup margarine or butter
      3/4 cup ginger ale (magic ingredient!)
      Generous pinch salt (optional)
      Cut the fats and salt, (if using), into the flour,then, add the ginger ale. The best recipe ever!!!

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We’re sorry that the crusts aren’t perfect looking, but they sure do taste good when surrounded by family and friends for the holidays! Laurie@KAF

    2. Magy

      Who cares? It’s pie! I’d rather eat an ugly pie made at home with love than than a “perfect” pie from an anonymous bakery.

    3. Laurie

      Omg…..let us be thankful just to have pie on our table! Happy with a pie that has a great filling and a small amount of a good tasting crust. It is homemade….made with love! Thanks for all the great tips, KAF.

    4. MaryML

      I keep working to make my butter crusts come out with a pretty ruffled edge but they often ‘melt’. Pat indicated it was the butter. Why don’t we just go back to shortening crusts? ….because a butter crust (my recipe also calls for 1/4 cup of sugar with 3 1/2 cups of flour) is so delicious! I use it for chicken pot pie (yes, with the sugar) and there are no leftovers. I chill the crust after I put it in the pie plate and then try to get it to set quickly by putting it in a hotter oven for a short time.

    5. Susan Reid

      Mary, the sugar in your recipe is also contributing to the lack of definition in the finished crust. Sugar melts and behaves as a liquid in the oven. Your strategy for high heat for a shorter time makes sense; although we imagine you’re making sure to use a shield; the sugar will also make the crust brown faster. Susan

    6. The Baker's Hotline

      The best of both worlds may be your answer. Consider a half shortening and half butter crust that may meet both your appearance and flavor preferences. Happy Baking! Irene@KAF

    7. rachiti

      Personally, I would rather an all natural butter “imperfect” crust over a bad-for-your-arteries hydrogenated shortening crust any day. Why on earth would I bake from scratch if I’m going to use artificial ingredients like shortening as there’s no way to get a perfect-looking butter crust. Sandy, perhaps appearances are more important to you than taste or health, but for the rest of us…it’s what’s inside that matters.

    8. MB Jackson

      Pointing out the obvious, this was a blind baking tutorial and not a crust crimping tutorial. Surely the bakers are allowed some shortcuts. And let’s be honest: A lot of us home bakers are going to recognize those crusts in our own kitchens, especially in the beginning. Hooray for homemade!

    9. Dee

      I stand by my 4 generation pie crust recipe using 1 /34 c Crisco (shortening) 4 c APF, 1 tbsp. sugar, 2 tsp salt, Mix above with pastry blender. Beat 1 egg, 1 tbsp. vinegar, 1/2 c water. Add this to dry ingred. Mix and form into ball. Don’t overwork. Wrap tightly in saran Freezes well. Be very generous with flour w3hen rolling out. I use it for pies and pot pies. Family and friends always asking for the crust. Give it a try you butter people.I use my dough hook on my kitchenaid.

  2. Annemarie

    I’m a bean girl! I keep a half gallon mason jar in the hoosier cabinet, with a reusable platic lid, labeled pie beans. I’ve used the same beans over and over for going on 15 years!

    Reply
    1. Susan Reid

      Hi Annemarie. Many bakeries do just the same thing; when they get dusty and start to crumble, time to send them to the compost pile and invest in another set 🙂 Susan

    2. Memameme

      I too use beans and when finished I let cool and then store in the freezer for the next pie. Works great and the beans last forever.

    1. Rowen

      Do you pick it with a fork all over? This was the only way I ever saw it done for years..and I actually did one for my coconut pie for Thanksgiving..

    2. The Baker's Hotline

      Bake the crust initially for about 20 minutes using pie weights before you prick or “dock” the crust. After you remove the pie weights or beans, use a fork to poke holes evenly over the crust to prevent it from bubbling up during the next step in the baking process. This will give you a flat bottomed crust with lots of space for a delicious filling! Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  3. Karen

    I think the pies all look great – and if you are not serving to a very picky crowd who cares if the crust isn’t perfect looking as long as it taste great!!

    Reply
    1. Rowen

      If one wants a factory made pie with no taste that looks perfect so be it…but I have yet to meet anyone who raves about those. KA has beautiful examples. I would gladly serve them to my guests.

    2. Tammy

      I read where if j poke the holes then that’s why my botton is soggy from the custard. I’m having problems getting my pie crust not to get soggy. Any suggestions.

    3. The Baker's Hotline

      Tammy, in our experience, poking holes in the bottom of the crust during the pre-bake is an important step. Without it, the steam still wants to escape and will create bubbles and blisters in the weaker parts of the crust. A soggy bottom can often be the result of choosing a pan that doesn’t conduct heat well. Darker-colored metal pie pans tend to become hotter, and transfer heat better, than stoneware, ceramic, or glass pans, and therefore brown crust more quickly. Every baker has his/her own favorite tricks for combating sogginess, and for more tips we hope you’ll feel encouraged to read through some of the other comments here or give our Baker’s Hotline a call at 855-371-BAKE. Mollie@KAF

    1. Susan Reid

      Jan, barely is fine. Just be sure the crust is well-lined before pouring in; could be tricky to get back out without it running everywhere! Susan

    1. Debbie Shook

      I do sweet potato rather than pumpkin and I do a blind bake so I can add a layer of brown sugar before the filling which makes a yummy layer and keeps the crust from getting soggy.

  4. Mary

    I do this when I make pecan pie so the bottom isn’t all sticky and “raw”. I only cook it about 15 minutes so the edges don’t get too dark. Also, brushing the inside with an egg white bath can keep the bottom crust from getting soggy.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Most of our pecan pie recipes call for blind baking the crust beforehand to prevent a soggy bottom, but if you are making a new recipe you may want to experiment! Good luck and happy baking! Kye@KAF

    2. Beverly

      2 questions..

      Eunice,
      How did the Buttermilk pecan pie turn out? Sounds delicious..

      And to the baker’s hotline,
      When blind baking a crust for a pecan pie, is it safe to assume that you do not prick/dock the shell in the final stage of blind baking? I would think doing so would cause the liquid to run through and make the crust stick to the bottom of the pan. However if you don’t, you risk getting large air pockets.

    3. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Beverly,
      You’ll want to use a fork with small tines (or a toothpick) to make dock the dough. Otherwise, the dough may puff up as it bakes and result in an uneven texture. The holes will close up mostly as the crust bakes, so don’t worry about the filling running through to the bottom of the pan. Happy blind baking! Kye@KAF

  5. Kayler

    Would this work with a gluten-free crust? I’m thinking maybe the upside-down trick would result in a baked pie crust with sides.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Gluten-free pie crusts tend to hold their shape better than regular crusts do, so baking upside down probably isn’t needed. However, if you’ve found that you are chilling the dough adequately, using some shortening, and still having trouble with the sides slumping, feel free to give the upside-down technique a try. It won’t hurt! Be sure you only blind bake for about 10-15 minutes so that the crust is set but not fully baked. Happy pie baking! Kye@KAF

  6. Belinda

    Is King Arthur Pastry Flour sold anywhere in Atlanta? I can’t find it in stores. Do I need to order it on the Internet?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We only have one retail store, which is located in Norwich, Vermont. We have a store locator to help you find which grocery stores may carry some of our more common products. We do ship all of products around the country though, so if you need a specialty item sent to you, check out the shop section of our website! Kye@KAF

    2. val

      I am not sure if they have pastry flour but, Ingles and Fresh Market carry King Arthur products. I live in Blue Ridge and was delighted when a neighbor turned me on to King Arthur products. I have seen
      King Arthur at Ingles in Alpharetta,Cumming and Roswell.

    3. Valarie

      You can just mix equal parts bread flour and cake flour to get a nice pastry flour, this is the trick we were taught in Pastry school when we ran out of pastry flour

    1. Susan Reid

      Carol, try just cutting some leaves or other shapes out of the top crust pastry, and placing them on top of the filling to make a beautiful top crust. Then bake until the pie is done. For some pictures of how this looks, check out my blog titled Pie, any way you slice it. Susan

  7. Lisa Garner

    Last time I tried this, the parchment stuck to the bottom of the pie crust and ripped it to pieces when I removed it. What did I do wrong?

    Reply
    1. Susan Reid

      Lisa, two things to keep in mind. Best to chill the crust before baking, and if the parchment doesn’t want to come free, simply put it back in the oven for another 5 minutes, without the beans or weight on top. Susan

  8. cindy

    I just tried the inverted method and the crust seeped out a bit more than I would have liked and so I had to snip it off with scissors. My pie dough is part butter and part shortening. I must use more butter than those who have had success with this method.

    Reply
    1. Susan Reid

      Cindy, one way to check that is to look at the weight of the fat in proportion to the weight of the flour. Sounds like your recipe is in the 50% range, which can be a little touchier to work with. If you’re confident in your dough technique, try cutting back a few tablespoons on the fat next time and see how that changes your results. Susan

  9. Michelle

    I have been struggling with blind baking and slumping for a long time. It seems like this is a problem with all butter crusts. Would it not slump if it had partial shortening? Thanks for the second idea of another pie pan. Also I have had problems when I take the weights out and continue baking. It puffs up even after putting some fork spots on it. Fillings also leak out sometimes. How do I prevent that? Seems to happen more with tart pans.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Using shortening for some of the fat in a pie crust can help prevent the crust from slumping down the sides of the pan; shortening has a higher melting point than butter, which means it will hold up to the heat of the oven better during baking. Try a 50/50 blend with your next crust and see if that helps. As for the crust puffing up during blind baking, try extending the amount of time that the pie weights are on the crust so that it sets before removing them–lots of holes in the bottom are also key. When it comes to leaking, be sure your crust is an even thickness with no cracks. If you do get a crack during rolling out, be sure to patch it completely before blind baking and/or filling. Happy pie baking! Kye@KAF

  10. Melinda

    Making a butterscotch pie and intend to do a meringue on top. Do I fully bake the crust before filling it, or just the initial 20 minutes. I was told to bake meringue for 25 minutes, so i’m wondering if that would over-bake the crust?

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Hi Melinda,
      You’ll want to fully bake your crust before adding the filling for custard or pudding pies. The meringue will cover most of the crust, so it shouldn’t over bake. ~ MJ

    2. Charmaine Krob

      I have invested in a small hand held propane blow torch and it does wonders for meringue, creme Brule and other desserts that need to be browned. Try one, they are really a great investment!

  11. Sl

    I saw KA recipe for Pumpkin Pie, and even though I don’t eat it I have been baking one for years. It was my fathers favorite, and now my daughters and son-in-law’s favorite. I use fresh pumpkin puree, the cream caused a lactose problem, so next year that has to change. Otherwise a great filling, aromatic, baked well too. The crust to me was soggy, I usually pre bake, but the recipe said not too. This was a keeper. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Eleanora Eden

      The lactose problem can be resolved by substituting silken tofu. I’ve been doing it for many years just to make my pumpkin pie more nutritious. Delish!

  12. Lois

    When my Mom blind baked pie shells, she just pricked the whole surface, bottom and sides with a fork. Turned out fine and I have taught my girls to do it the same way!

    Reply
  13. Kit

    I use pennies as pie weights. They were easy to collect and they heat up and so help cook the crust underneath. As for a filling, here’s my prize-winning lemon meringue pie filling. It is very lemony and firm enough to slice easily::
    5 T cornstarch
    5 T flour
    ½ t salt
    1 ½ c sugar
    1 ½ c boiling water
    1 T butter
    grated rind 3 lemons
    2/3 c lemon juice
    5 egg yolks, lightly beaten
    1. Mix cornstarch, flour and sugar in the top of a double boiler.
    2. Add boiling water. Cook and stir over direct heat until mixture boils.
    3. Set over hot water, cover and cook 20 minutes.
    4. Add butter, rind, juice and egg yolks. Cook and stir until thick.
    5. Use hot as it will help cook the meringue from underneath.

    Reply
  14. Candy

    Great suggestion about chilling the pie dough and one I had never heard of. Just one question. This blog suggests baking the pie crust first for 20 minutes (with pie weights) then removing from oven, pricking the pie crust, and then baking some more. I went to your banana cream recipe and it said to prick the crust BEFORE you bake it for the first 20 minutes. Is one way better than the other?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Candy, the poking of the crust is just an added precaution initially, since the beans and parchment or pie weights should hold the crust down from creating large bubbles. Sometimes people don’t put enough beans in to weight the crust down, and the this can allow the crust to puff up. Poking after the paper/beans are removed will help because the crust isn’t fully baked and may continue to puff. Barb@KAF

  15. Maxine

    This isn’t a crust question but an apple question. I had lived in Virginia for a couple of 35 years and the apples I am familiar with make a delicious, juicy apple pie. Now that I’m in the south the varieties of apples I used to use are not available. Thanksgiving’s apple pie was firm and juiceless. Can anyone recommend a good pie apple that is available in the Savannah/Charleston areas? Thanks!

    Reply
  16. Angela

    I wish I had seen this on Wednesday! I will use these tips for my Christmas pies. My grandmother made the most wonderful pies and she tried to teach me how to make pie crust, but I could never get it right. She passed away this fall and I decided that I would start making pie crust, in her memory, this Thanksgiving. I made it using butter and shortening and 1/2 water and 1/2 vodka. They were delicious but the pre-baked shell looked pretty bedraggled, but it was filled with Coconut Pecan German chocolate pie, so no one cared!

    Reply
  17. Nancy

    A homemade pie crust is NOT supposed to look like a perfectly formed “cookie-cutter” crust of a pie manufactured by a baking company. If you think that, you are missing the point of a homemade pie crust! You can get creative with your crust and even decorative, but these crusts look perfectly fine to me.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      If you are going to be baking with glass, try turning down the temperature by 25 degrees to offset the difference between the way glass conducts heat (as compared to metal). Blind bake for the same amount of time but be sure to feel your crust to see if it has set, and shoot for a slightly golden brown color. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  18. Beth

    I’ve made pie with all shortening for years. Then, shortening was determined bad for your health. So, I went to an all butter crust. It works but is a bigger challenge. The key for me has been to keep the butter very cold throughout the process. I cut the butter in small pieces, refrigerate. Mix the crust pat together into a disc, refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Roll the crust out, put in the pie tin, refrigerate another 30 minutes. Then, bake in a high pre-heated oven.

    I have friends that use vegetable oil for the fat. I would appreciate your comments on using vegetable oil for pie crust. According to the article, vegetable oil would have a higher temperature tolerance.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      An oil crust will be tender and crumbly, while the solid fat crust will be tender and flaky. Happy Baking! Irene@KAF

  19. Ozella Bradley

    I blind bake the crust for pumpkin pie. Cook my filling on the stove at low to med temp stirring as it thickens. Have crust baked hot out of the oven and after cooking the filling until it thickens nicely pour it into hot crust and place in 375 oven for ten minutes. Pie is done. It is tender and delicious. Crust is perfect. Canned pumpkin is already cooked anyway.

    Reply
    1. Kathi T

      I am going to try this. I hate how traditional pumpkin pies never have a well cooked bottom

  20. Vickie

    I made my crust with lard. Since I used a glass dish, I baked it at 350 degrees. I went with the bean and coffee liner method. It worked perfectly!

    Also, I personally like the rough edges on a pie! It makes them look rustic and authentic. Not pre processed.

    Reply
  21. Kathi T

    I used the bean technique, described above, today.

    It is ok but needs one important correction.

    Check your pie shell at 8-10 minutes on the second browning bake. I checked mine at 12 minutes and it was already over-baked… way too brown and so brittle, it cracked removing from oven. I pitched it and did a re-do with a shorter second bake… perfect. Wish I could post photos

    FWIW, i don’t use hydrogenated fats at all. I usually make pie crust dough with 100% sweet butter. The edges don’t come out picture perfect..soft and slumpy… but the flavor is incomparable. It’s super hard to do a hand-woven lattice with butter dough because it is a brittle dough.

    I’ve tried using 100% coconut oil (the solid, not liquid). That fat makes a delicious crust that bakes beautifully but that pastry is even more temperamental and brittle to work than a crust made with 100% butter.

    My mom always uses lard… I’ve done that as well but I am not a fan of the heavy taste or its texture.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We’re sorry to hear your first crust was a bit over-baked. It’s true that if you roll your crust thinner than what’s pictured here, it will take less time to brown thoroughly. There’s always a chance that your oven may be running hot, the pan you’ve chosen will heat up quickly, or your baked goods may be thinner than what was used to determine the time in the original recipe. To beat the odds and achieve the perfect amount of doneness, check early and check often. It’s like voting! Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  22. Florida

    Are there any tricks to BLIND-BAKING a TOP CRUST? I have a husband-approved recipe for chicken “pot pie”, cooked in a skillet on the stove-top. Without a crust, it’s really a chicken and vegetable stew. We like a top crust. While the filling is simmering, I roll out the dough, dock, score into wedges, and bake on a pizza pan until golden. By the time it’s golden, it’s quite crisp (like crackers – which I like). I serve the crust wedges on top of the filling. However, DH prefers his crust not quite so brittle. I’m thinking of rolling two smaller pieces – one regular, one double-thick. ANY OTHER IDEAS?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We love taking the opportunity to bake in a skillet–especially cast iron–whenever possible!

      Instead of blind-baking the top crust, we recommend cooking the chicken stew for less time on the stove top and then finishing the whole thing in the oven at once. This way you can roll out the crust, put it over the skillet, dock it, and bake for about 15-18 minutes or until it’s golden brown. You’ll have to experiment a bit to figure out just how long you should cook the filling beforehand to get perfectly cooked veggies and meat in the end… it’ll be a delicious result! Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  23. Patricia

    I learned a little trick recently while making strawberry pies that you might find useful. If you melt baking chocolate and brush it on the bottom of the baked pie crust , refrigerate and then fill, it prevents the crust from getting soggy. I tried it with a dozen tarts first. I made 1/2 with and 1/2 without. It does make a difference. Who doesn’t love strawberries and chocolate?

    Reply
  24. Bob Crosby

    I looked thru all the comments and could not find the best solution! I’m a septuagenarian who has shopped at King Arthur Flour for 50 or more years. I once bought a single crust pie pan which I learned out today is no longer offered. It consisted of 2 pieces – a regular bottom and a top pan with holes to ensure even baking. I loved it, but unfortunately I lost it. I urged Linda who answers KAF customer inquiries to bring it back into the catalogue. Nothing was easier, less messy- looking. A real delight to use.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Bob, I miss that pie pan set, too! Chicago Metallic made it. And like you, I used to have one, but lost it in the course of a couple of moves. I’m not sure CM makes it anymore, as when I Google it, all the sources say “no longer available.” These days, I simply nest two solid pie pans, turned over so they’re bottoms up — seems to work just fine for blind-baking, though you do flatten any high crimp in the process… PJH

  25. PJ

    But…What if you wanted a double crust? Could you blind bake the bottom and then try to adhere the top? Any trick of the trade that would make this work, because I made a meat pie last night that had a lovely top crust and mush on the bottom.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      I think you could blind bake the bottom, add the filling, then lay the unbaked top crust on (probably you couldn’t seal it) and bake on the middle rack of your oven. I suspect the filling would insulate the bottom crust enough that it wouldn’t over-bake. Give it a try — good luck! PJH

  26. Michael S

    OK here’s the best adjunct to baking with pumpkin ever…been doing this for years, always blows my friends away when they taste it. After you’ve baked the pumpkin, after you’ve assembled the scooped out pumpkin, before you puree it…SMOKE the chunks. I have a traeger, typically I’ll smoke for 2 hrs minimum, up to 3. THEN puree it. Use as you would for pie, cheesecake, anything. The volume is only slightly less than un-smoked puree (I’ve done the comparison), so it doesn’t lose that much moisture…but some…so for pie you have to lower the oven temp a bit and go a little longer otherwise it will crack sooner. But other than that…it’s fantastic in every way.

    Reply
  27. Carol Dorsey

    :

    I have a question concerning a soggy pie crust for pumpkin or apple pie.

    How do I keep the pie crust from getting soggy when baking a pumpkin pie? The baking time for the pie didn’t seem to bake the bottom crust too well.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Carol, since it’s a single-crust pie, you can always pre-bake the crust (either fully or partway) before adding the filling. This will help, as will baking the pie on the bottom shelf of your oven; or setting it on a hot baking stone or into a hot cast-iron pan (pan that’s been preheating in the oven). Just be sure to use a metal pan (not stoneware or glass) for either of these two approaches. PJH

    2. Lolly

      Oops. I’ve been putting my stoneware pan on my hot baking stone on the bottom shelf of my oven. So far so good. Wat am I risking?

    3. The Baker's Hotline

      We’re glad to hear the technique has been working for you, Lolly, but the risk is breakage. Glass and ceramic/stoneware pans don’t tolerate extreme changes in temperature well and are more susceptible to breakage when exposed to extreme heat like that of a preheated cast iron pan or baking stone. Mollie@KAF

  28. Lisa Sinsheimer

    Does it work to make and blind bake a crust the night before filling it? If so, should it be refrigerated/wrapped?
    Thanks,
    Lisa

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Sure, Lisa, no problem. You might want to wrap the completely cooled crust in plastic wrap, but no refrigeration is necessary. Good luck with your pie — PJH

  29. Kayem

    After fussing over blind baking for approximately 40 years, I have come to the conclusion that it is unnecessary, and maybe even makes for a soggier crust. I use a glass pie plate, put the shell in the freezer until it’s firm, fill and bake on a preheated heavy baking sheet in the lower part of the oven at 425 for 15 min, then down to whatever temp the recipe specifies. I also use all butter and egg yolk as the fat. A perfectly browned crisp bottom crust every time! I changed my ways after overbaking (aka burning) a crust for a lemon custard pie, but deciding to use it anyway. Disgustingly soggy! It may be that blind baking dries the crust to the point that it can absorb more liquid than does an unbaked crust. Someday I’ll try a side-by-side trial.

    Reply
  30. Judy Palmer

    Thank you so much for all the ideas and recipes KAF and bakers! I was once intimidated by piecrust baking, and now make quiches for a local pub through practice, practice, practice, but now i want to master blind bake for my own knowledge. Bless u !

    Reply
  31. Wendy Sheila

    I needed pie weights, but actually didn’t have any of the recommended substitutions: beans, rice, or corn. My husband, though, had a good idea: we have small landscaping rocks in our front yard. They are about 1″ x 2″ for the most part. I took nine of them, carefully wrapped them in foil, and used those as a substitute. They worked just fine, and I have retained them to use again in the future. I made sure none of the outdoor surfaces were exposed, and also used the parchment round under them to further provide a barrier. Creativity!

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  32. Lwood

    All of those ‘weights’ work well … but thinking outside the box, have you ever tried white sugar? The benefits are many, but mostly it’s that you can use the sugar more than once without throwing it out, AND after a few times you’ve created a ‘caramelized sugar’, that can be used in almost any recipe. No, it’s not like Brown Sugar. Thanks to Stella Parks @ Serious Eats for teaching this to me, and her Pie Crust recipe’s not bad either!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We just came across the Food52 article about this as well and may need to do some experimenting ourselves. What a tasty idea! Mollie@KAF

  33. Arden Allen

    If you put the pie shells on the outside of the pan and bake upside down and then transfer to the inside before filling you get a lovely flat surface on the inside for filling.
    Works best when you have another pie plate to cover it with after baking to flip it to the inside.

    Reply

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