How to Blind Bake Pie Crust

How to blind bake pie crust on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I’m sharing a new recipe for lemon meringue pie this week (pictured below!). But before we get there, let me teach you how to blind bake pie crust. Blind baking is an integral step in many pie recipes and a basic technique to have in your back pocket. Which is why I’m filling this post under my Baking Basics section.

Blind baking, or pre-baking, does not mean that you’re baking with a blindfold on. Rather, it’s baking pie crust without a filling. Your eyes are open the whole time. 😉

Blind baking sounds pretty intimidating, especially if you’re already nervous about making pie. I’m here to tell you (and show you!) that blind baking pie crust is simple, but there’s a few tips to help guarantee success.

Lemon meringue pie on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Why Blind Bake?

Why would you bake pie crust without a filling? There are a few instances, actually. When you’re making quiche, no-bake pie, custard pie, pumpkin pie, cream pie, pudding pie, or simply want an extra crisp pie crust.

FULL BLIND BAKE / PARTIAL BLIND BAKE

If your pie recipe calls for a baked pie shell, you want to fully bake it. And I teach you how in this blog post. But some recipes require a partially baked pie crust and those recipes will typically include “pre-baking” or “partially baking” the crust in the instructions. I teach you how to do that too. 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.

  1. Fully blind bake a pie crust if you’re making no-bake pie. We obviously don’t want to eat unbaked pie dough.
  2. Partially blind bake a pie crust if your pie filling requires a shorter bake time than the pie crust. And if you want an extra crisp pie crust for your apple pie— you can partially blind bake the crust before adding the filling.

How to Blind Bake Pie Crust

While the process 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!

How to blind bake pie crust on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to Dock Pie Crust

Since it’s covered with weights, the bottom of the pie crust doesn’t really cook. That’s an easy fix. 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. I always worry that the bottom of the crust will puff up, so I use a fork to prick holes in it. This allows steam to escape and prevents lots of puff. Pricking holes in pie crust is also called “docking” the pie crust.

Some bakers simply dock the pie crust instead of using pie weights. I never have luck this way! The sides of my pie crust still shrink down. So I always use pie weights, remove them after the edges turn brown, dock the crust with a fork, then return it to the oven so the bottom cooks. The remaining oven time depends on whether you want a partially blind baked pie crust or a fully blind baked pie crust. In some cases, you can pour the filling right in after you remove the pie weights, like we do with pumpkin pie.

How to blind bake pie crust on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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 shape around the pie dish. And you can too!

THESE 2 TRICKS SOLVED EVERYTHING

  1. Make sure you chill your pie shell before blind baking.
  2. Make sure you have a thick crust on the sides using my “dough strip” technique.

Chilling the pie shell before blind baking doesn’t need much explanation, so let me show you how I create thick edges. You can watch me do this in the video below too!

DOUGH STRIP TECHNIQUE

Roll out your pie dough and fill your pie dish. Grab some extra pie dough, cut into strips, and meld the strips around the edges.

How to blind bake pie crust on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to blind bake pie crust on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to blind bake pie crust on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Use your fingers to work the extra strips of dough into the edges.

How to blind bake pie crust on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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. In fact, let me SHOW YOU how manageable. Watch me roll out the pie dough, fill the pie dish, use my dough strip technique, and complete the whole blind baking process in this video.

Now go blind bake like a boss!!

Print

How to Blind Bake Pie Crust

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 pie
  • Category: Pie
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

How to blind bake pie crust.


Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Make the pie dough: Prepare my pie crust recipe through step 5.
  2. Watch the video above to see how I work through each of the following steps.
  3. Roll out the chilled pie dough: On a floured work surface, roll out one of the disks of chilled dough (keep the other one in the refrigerator). Turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9-inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is completely smooth.
  4. 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 disk 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 both crusts together. What you’re basically doing here is adding another layer of crust to just the edges. Flute the edges. They should be nice and thick now! Wrap any leftover pie crust back up to use for next time. Freeze it for up to 3 months.
  5. Refrigerate or freeze: Chill the 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.
  6. While the crust is chilling, preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
  7. 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. Make sure the weights are evenly distributed around the pie dish.
  8. Bake: Bake until the edges of the crust are starting to brown, about 15-16 minutes. Remove pie from the oven and carefully lift the parchment paper (with the weights) out of the pie. Prick holes all around the bottom crust with a fork. Return the pie crust to the oven.
  9. If you’re making a no-bake pie like banana cream pie and need a fully baked pie crust, bake until the bottom crust is golden brown, about 14-15 minutes longer. For a partially baked pie crust (like if you’re baking the pie crust once it is filled like a quiche) bake until the bottom crust is just beginning to brown, about 7-8 minutes.
  10. If you’re making a no-bake pie, let the baked crust cool completely before adding the filling. 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.

Notes

  1. 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 5 above.
  2. Special Tools: Glass Pie Dish | Pie Weights | Pastry Blender | Rolling Pin | Pizza Cutter
  3. Chill the Crust! The pie crust will shrink if you don’t chill it before blind baking. Chilling in the refrigerator (step 5) is the most important step!

155 Comments

  1. If using a store bought pie crust, how long should I pre-bake the crust?

    1. Hi Emily, Same amount of time unless a specific recipe states otherwise.

  2. It would be much easier if you miss out the cutting of extra strips of pastry and trying to stick them on – when you roll out the pastry just roll it out larger and don’t trim it to the edge of the dish…

  3. What happened. I was almost at end of cooking time. Pulled out crust to remove weights. I used 2 bahs of beans on top of parchment paper it was a deep dish. When I lifted parchment up the bottom of my crust stuck to paper. I like lemon meringue so I’m ok with only partial bottom crust. However I’d of been doomed if this wasn’t just my edible practice. Was it too much weight?

    1. Hi Mandy! It could have been too much weight. But if you try blind baking pie crust again, use your hands to help detach the parchment from the bottom pie crust when lifting it off.

  4. Hi! Thanks for sharing this! What would be the difference in temperature and baking time if I use a metal pie dish? Thanks again 🙂

    1. Hi William, both remain the same.

  5. Perfect crust recipe!! I am so glad I’ve met you Sally while searching for a lemon meringue pie. The most delicious meringue pie ever ! Love from Istanbul

  6. Flaky Pastry was really delicious!! Generally my pastry shrinks and disappears but this was crispy and thin – lovely. Will try some other recipes. Going to try the mini quiche next Thankyou

  7. Best detailed instructions for prepping pie crust this way! Followed exactly and the blind baked crust was perfect for your coconut cream pie. Thank you so much for your instructions which are really helpful for new bakers like me.

  8. I make raspberry pie a few time per year. I use frozen raspberries and tapioca for a thickener. I blind bake my crust because the filling is very wet. I also put on a top crust. This pie is delicious and family favorite.
    I am wondering if you have any tips for a pie with a top crust when using your blind baking method. Thank you.

  9. Can I put a pre-frozen pie into a ceramic pie dish to blind bake? I need to bake one tomorrow so I hope you get an alert on this question! Thank you! We have a lemon tree so I am super excited to make a lemon meringue pie!

    1. Do you mean just the dough for the crust that has been frozen? If so yes, I do it all the time! Just thaw the dough overnight in the refrigerator before using in your pie recipe.

  10. Bettye Benten says:

    After I blind bake my pie crust, can I leave it in the fridge overnight and make the coconut filling the following day?

    1. Absolutely. After cooling, cover it and refrigerate overnight.

  11. Thank you for this! I feel like I’ll skip so much frustration and failures having read this before my first attempt. Great instructions. Can’t wait to give it a go!

  12. Thank you so much for this recipe and instructional. I have made it multiple times now. It is such an amazing feeling to have this gorgeous flaky crust (rivaling something a grandma could make!) come out of my oven.

  13. Hi Sally, thanks so much for your detailed instructions! I’ve made your lemon meringue and chicken pot pies. Both have been fantastic. For fully blind baking a pie crust, should you put the pie weights back in for the second bake?

    1. Hi Julia, You should leave the weights out for the second half.

  14. Mary Ann Hebrink says:

    How long do you bake the pie crust after baking it for 15 minutes, removing the weights and then poking holes in it?

    1. It will depend on what type of pie you are making. See recipe step 9.

  15. Hi Sally 🙂

    If I’m blind baking in preparation for a custard filling, at what point do you think I should be protecting the crust with aluminum foil?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Sarah, once you begin to see those edges start to brown, cover it with a pie crust shield/wrap aluminum foil around.

  16. How long do you need to refrigerate the dough before you blind bake it?

    1. Refrigerate the pie dough for at least 2 hours and up to 5 days before blind baking.

  17. I see your instructions to bake or freeze crust within 5 days. If my disk has been in the frig for 14 days, how will this crust come out?

  18. You are truly the very best tutor for baking out there. I am old – and have been baking and cooking since I was a young girl – and I have learned more just recently finding you about baking than I have ever learned.

    Thank you, Sally. I am your newest subscriber. Remind people how important it is to go to YouTube and give a thumb’s up – they may not realizing subscribing and thumbs upping helps you with costs and searchability strength.

    Best of luck – you are remarkable and my family appreciates you, too!

  19. If I want to make a cherry pie, should I fully blind bake or only partially? I don’t want my crust to burn and I don’t like too crispy but don’t want a soggy crust either

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Olympia, For this Cherry Pie recipe there is no need to blind bake the crust!

      1. Thank you! Will definitely be using that recipe!! Can’t wait!

  20. Hi Sally. I love your recipes. Which oven rack is best for the blind baking and cooking of the lemon meringue pie. Thanks so much.

    1. Center is best!

  21. I did not take the weights out midway and my bottom crust is not completely baked. Is there any way to fix this as I was going to fill with a pre cooked blueberry filling?

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Dawn, it may be too late now, but if you forget to remove the pie weights next time, you can simply remove them and then place the pie crust back in the oven and cook until the bottom is lightly browned. Use a pie crust shield to protect the edges.

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