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pie crust after blind baking

Par-baking (also known as blind baking) is an integral step in many pie recipes and a basic technique to have in your back pocket.

Par-baking pie crust 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 in a glass pie dish

Why Par-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.


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 like coconut cream 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 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.

How to Par-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!

pie dough in a glass pie dish with pie weights on top

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.

blind baked pie crust in a glass pie dish

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!


  1. Make sure you chill your pie shell before par-baking.
  2. 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. You can watch me do this in the video below too!


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.

pie dough in a pie dish before baking

pie dough in a pie dish before baking

pie dough in a pie dish before baking

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

pie dough in a pie dish before baking

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!

fluted pie dough in a glass pie dish before baking

That was a lot of information thrown at you, but I promise it’s manageable.

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pie crust after blind baking

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


How to blind bake pie crust.



  1. Make the pie dough: Prepare and chill your pie dough. If using the linked recipe, prepare 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: 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 375°F (190°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 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.


  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.

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Hi Sally,
    You give such great pie pastry advice, I am grateful. However, I don’t see any advice—anywhere (this is after an extensive Google search) about how to store the baked pie. I hate going to all the effort + crossing my fingers (will it be runny?) to find that my wonderfully flaky crust has sogged out overnight. Should the pie be left uncovered / open to air on the counter (this is what I tend to do) , wrapped in plastic-wrap? Your best advice please. I have your cherry pie with lattice and sliced almonds sitting on the counter right now.

    1. Hi Susan, You can prepare the pie in full 1 day in advance – after pie cools, we recommend covering it tightly and keep at room temperature. After one day it’s best to keep it covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can check out the recipe notes at the end of each specific recipe – most of them have “make ahead instructions.” I hope this helps!

  2. Made it according to her instructions and it was so easy and came out perfectly. Thank you.

  3. I’ll pass on a trick that a pastry chef showed me. Line the pie dish with one of those very large coffee filters, that are made to fit into commercial coffee urns prior to filling with weights. The filters are extremely flexible, strong, and NOTHING sticks to them. I’ve never had one tear on me in a couple of decades. Get the biggest ones you can find and if they’re too large, fold in half and cut off two or three inches.

  4. I have NEVER baked a pie! Quite an achievement for someone who’s 71 years old! I’m a really good cook…just not a baker! But somehow I got hookshnagled into agreeing to bake an apple pie for 1 of my neighbors? I’m going to use a crumble on top…my question is….do I blind bake the crust?? Halfway? Full? THANK YOU!!!

  5. The parchment paper stuck to my pie crust and removed a substantial portion of the crust upon removal. Why would this have possibly happened? I used your pie crust recipe.

    1. Hi Krissi! 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.

  6. Sally I have to make a dozen pumpkin pies. I want to par bake the crusts ahead. How should I store them after I bake, and what would be your guess for how long? Thanks

    1. Hi Mitz, you can let your par bake crusts cool, then cover them and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. We do par-bake the crust for our particular pumpkin pie recipe for 10 minutes.

  7. Thank you so much Sally, I have been able to use so many of your recipes and I have been able to substitute some to be diabetic friendly.

  8. I am trying to switch from shortening to butter pie crusts. I am struggling — even when the pie crust is chilled, it seems as if the butter in the crusts leaks out into my fillings. This of course makes my crust tough and my fillings just yucky. Help!

    1. Hi! The butter may not be cut into the flour/dry ingredients enough– try working it in a bit more. Aim for chunks of butter about the size of peas.

  9. Sally-
    Can you par-bake, fill and add a top crust? How do you get the raw pie dough to stick to the partially cooked crust?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Stephanie, yes you absolutely can but it can be a little tricky. 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, then crimp together.

  10. Hi,
    I’ve been baking pies for years, but have never perfected Any!
    Tonight, I par baked three crusts for cream pies, I will be making tomorrow. Now I’m realizing that they should have cooked longer!
    Is it too late to pop them back in the oven? If not, what temperature and how long?
    I’m so tired of soggy crust

    1. Hi Catherine, it’s worth a shot — try sticking them back in at the same temperature and bake until they are done to your liking or as indicated by the recipe. Hope it works!

  11. Hello Sally,
    Can non stick foil be used in place of parchment? Also, should you chill the pie weights too? First time doing this, thanks for the help. Christie

    1. Hi Christie! We’ve always used parchment but let us know if you try non stick foil. No need to chill the pie weights. Happy baking!

      1. I use foil instead of parchment, like my mom used to. I don’t use non stick and it still works just fine.

  12. I’m thinking about using this recipe for pecan pie but I’m concerned that if I dock the bottom crust after it’s baked for a while, the filling may leak under the crust. Any thoughts on how to avoid that?

  13. I have a question, I’m baking the crust today and my pie filling tomorrow. Where should I keep the pie crust overnight?

  14. Hi! I am worried that if I chill the pie dough in a my pie dish, that when I place the cold dish in the oven, it will crack! Is that not an issue?

      1. Thank you asking this question. This has been a great fear of mine with glass. I am going to build up my crust and give it a try. Hoping for the best!

  15. Do butter pie crusts brown faster than Crisco pie crusts? It seems mine did, naybe I need to adjust my oven temperature?

  16. I am making a pie for a friend and I want to transfer my pie from a glass dish into a disposable one. I was thinking I could line the bottom side of the pie crust with parchment paper to make removing it out of the dish easier. My question is whether or not this is necessary or if I will get the same result if I just bake the pie in the disposable aluminum container from the very start?

    1. Hi Brittany, pies can be very difficult to remove in one clean, full piece without any breakage or spillage. For best results, we recommend making the pie in the disposable dish that you plan on gifting. Hope this helps!

  17. Hi Sally! I was really excited to find these instructions for how to keep the walls of my quiche from sinking when par baking the crust. I watched the video and followed the instructions and was really excited to see the results. Unfortunately after a few minutes in the oven, the walls mostly fell off the crust and went to the bottom of the oven. 🙁 It was disappointing and I’m not sure what I did wrong. I used 1/2 of another crust and built up the walls and fluted the edges. I cooled the dough for 30 minutes. The only thing that I think could have happened was how I incorporated the additional dough into the walls. Maybe I need to have it thicker near the edge of the pie rim or I need to get a different pie dish that has walls to support the weight of the dough. ? I used the same glass pie dish that was shown in the video and the only walls of the crust that survived were around the handles, which makes me wonder if I pie dish with walls might work better. Have you ever experienced this issue? Thank you for the great idea and wonderful recipes. Hopefully it will work better next time.

    1. Hi Rebekah, thank you so much for trying this tutorial. When you say the walls of the crust, do you mean the rim/edge of the crust around the rim of the pie dish? It could be possible that the rim was too heavy and thick, which made it fall off as it browned/cooked. I think what needs to be thicker (to hold the weight of the heavy rim) is dough that goes up the sides of the pie dish. If I’m not understanding, my apologies!

  18. Thank you for your wonderful instructions. This old dog learned a couple new tricks. I always hated that my crust shrank as it blind baked. I tried your method tonight & had a crunchy delicious crust around the edges. Thank you!

  19. Hi Sally, I’m wondering if you’ve ever had a problem with the pie weights getting moldy? I bought the ones you recommended (Mrs Anderson) and used them just once before Thanksgiving. They seemed a little greasy after I removed them from the parchment paper so I rinsed them well in water and let them dry on a towel for a few days. I just went to use them again to blind bake a quiche crust and they have these little black spots all over them!! I read reviews on line and now understand that I should heat dry them in oven before storing them… and I guess I’ll have to toss these and get a new set. Would love to know if you’ve ever experienced this?
    Thanks and Merry Christmas!

  20. Hey! I could do with some advice, I’ve just attempted to make your maple pecan pie. The first pie I’ve ever attempted, I used your all butter pastry and made it 4 days in advance. I rolled it out, put it back in the fridge for 20 mins prior to blind baking. I blind baked for 15 minutes, removed pie weights and put back in oven for 5 minutes to allow the bottom to start to cook. I filled the pie and baked it for 50 minutes in total. However the bottom appears uncooked/soggy, there seems to be a lot of liquid in the bottom of the pie dish. What did I do wrong? Any advice would be greatly appreciated so I can learn for next time! Ps. The pie looks great and smells even better!!

    1. Hi Megan, Thank you for trying this recipe. Did you happen to make any ingredient substitutions or use a different type of pan? It sounds like your pie simply wasn’t baked long enough. All ovens and pans are different and yours may simply take longer. If you try it again, try using a glass pie pan so you are able to see if the bottom is finished baking. If it needs longer you can loosely cover the top to prevent it from over browning while the bottom finishes baking.

  21. Hi Sally! I really appreciate this careful advice and the video. I’ve tried blind baking a couple of times and I’ve had one consistent problem: the bottom dough sticks to the parchment as I remove it. I’ve only just realized here that I should be chilling the dough in the pie tin before putting it in the oven; I also see that you suggest baking for 15 minutes + another 7-8 minutes for the base to brown (for a partially par-baked crust). Can you offer thoughts on what might have been causing my issue? Is it the chill beforehand that’s key, or the slightly longer baking? Any other tips to prevent the parchment sticking would be really welcome.

    1. Hi Kim! Parchment sticking is a common issue, we usually just try to be as gentle as possible and carefully use our fingers to release the dough from the parchment as we pull if up (if we notice it sticking).

  22. My pie crust edges still sunk in some spots though the crimping looked very nice and it tasted wonderful. Should I have the edges overhang the pie dish to avoid shrinking? I chilled it ahead of time and used the scraps technique. My pie dish has two handles and at those areas you can’t have the dough overhang because it’s too wide.

    1. Hi Kayla, We are glad you enjoyed the taste of the pie crust! You may simply need to use more pie weights so that they fill the crust all the way around and/or chill for a bit longer. These are both easy fixes for next time!

  23. I use foil to prebake a crust. I carefully lay it across the bottom and press . Then press the foil up on the sides. So far it has worked for me.

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