If you’ve ever struggled to bake a picture-perfect pie, you may be forgetting one key step: blind baking the crust. This important technique is essential for any baker, and—best of all—it’s super easy to do. (Make sure you use these smart pie crust tips, too.)
What Is Blind Baking?
Blind baking means you partially or fully bake the crust before adding any filling (no blindfold required!). This helps ensure your crust is completely baked, so you won’t wind up with a soggy-bottom pie.
Blind baking requires pie weights or something heavy to weigh down the crust as it bakes. While your crust is in the oven, the fat melts and creates steam. That steam helps create a flaky crust, but it also causes air pockets to form. Using weights while blind baking will help prevent the bottom from puffing up and the sides from slumping down.
How to Blind Bake a Crust
Before we get started, you’ll need to know how to make pie crust from scratch. Then follow these steps.
Step 1: Weigh Down Your Pastry
Once you’ve rolled out your dough into your pie plate, line your crust with parchment paper. Next, fill the crust with something heavy. You can use special pie weights, dry beans, clean pennies—anything that is heavy enough to prevent the crust from puffing up. Then it’s time for the oven!
Test Kitchen tip:Using cold dough will help the crust keep its shape.
Step 2: Bake It Partway
When the edges are golden brown, remove the weights and parchment paper. At this stage, some bakers like to dock the crust—or poke holes with the tines of a fork—to further prevent air pockets from forming. Depending on the pie, the filling could later seep into those holes. Try out both methods to see what works for you!
Step 3: Finish the Bake
Once you’ve docked the crust (or not), return it to the oven. The length of time in the oven depends on whether you want a partially baked or fully baked crust. A partially baked crust should be pale and flaky, while a fully baked crust should be golden brown.
What Pies Need a Blind-Baked Crust?
Any pie filling that requires a shorter cook time than its pastry needs a blind-baked crust. The technique is common in pies like:
- custard pie
- fruit pies
- pumpkin pie
- cream pie
- pudding pie
That’s all there is to it! Blind baking a crust is as easy as—well, you know. Now, go enjoy that pie.