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

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!


  1. Erma

    My most requested pie is a peanut butter pie. It has a layer of crumbs made with powdered sugar and peanut butter and then filled with vanilla cream pudding. Topped with whipped cream and a sprinkle of reserved crumbs and it disappears fast.

  2. Erin

    How many days in advance could I pre-bake a pie crust? Like could I bake it Thursday night to be used to make a quiche on Saturday morning? Thanks! Erin 🙂

    1. Susan Reid

      Hi, Erin. I wouldn’t go for more than a day before finishing the quiche, lest the crust taste stale. You could, if you want to save time, roll out and fill the pan, and freeze it until the morning you want to make the quiche. Blind bake the crust right from the freezer while assembling the filling, and you’ll have a better product overall. Susan

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi there, Ruth! We haven’t tried the upside down method using glass pans — we imagine they might be too heavy and squish the dough. Glass also insulates things more than metal so it might not have the same effect. You’re more than welcome to experiment though! Morgan@KAF

  3. Sandy Fuller

    I am making a strawberry pizza in a 12″ pizza pan. I have been guessing at the baking time for the crust the past —-years. Could you take me out of my guessing and give me a temp. Please!

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi there, Sandy! When par-baking a pizza crust, we like to preheat the oven to 450°F and bake the crust for about 8 minutes or until the edges just start to brown. We hope this helps and happy baking! Morgan@KAF

  4. Katie Largent

    I have a question about blind-baking a pie crust. If you use dried beans to fill the crust, do you have to throw away the beans afterwards? What about using rice? I have some small aluminum discs that I used once, and I forget how that turned out, as it’s been 30 years or so.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Katie, we wouldn’t try cooking those beans or rice, but you can certainly keep them around for baking with afterwards! Another neat trick is to blind bake your crust with sugar instead of beans. The sugar gets toasted while the crust bakes, giving it a delightfully caramelized flavor which really shines in subtly-flavored treats like meringues. It’s pretty tasty! Kat@KAF

    2. R Diaz

      I have used the dry beans as pie weights twice and cooked them as stewed beans afterwards with no problem.

  5. Susan

    I make an old family recipe. the dough is bread dough filled with hard boiled eggs,sausage ham and uncooked eggs and mozzarella cheese. The bottom always comes soggy. Any suggestions would help. Thank you.


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