How to Blind Bake Pie Crust

How to blind bake pie crust on

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

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.


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

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

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 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!


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

How to blind bake pie crust on

How to blind bake pie crust on

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

How to blind bake pie crust on

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!!

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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 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 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’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.


  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!


  1. Thank you so much for these tips! I once tried blind baking crust for a pie, but I forgot to put the parchment paper between the crust and the dry beans I was using, so that was a disaster. I can’t wait to try out your lemon meringue pie and (hopefully) blind bake correctly this time

    1. You’re not the only one!!

      1. Hi Sally! I’ve enjoyed listening to you about blind baking pie crusts. I don’t know if this is easier for you or not. When I blind bake a pie crust I roll it out and put it in the pie pan. Then flute the edges. Next I take a dinner fork and poke the sides and the bottom full of holes. Then I take another pie pan, just like the one I used and place it on the pie crust and place a dinner knife in it to weight it down. Then bake it til not quite done and take the knife and pan off the crust. Then finish browning the crust. It works fine every time. Rose

      2. This sounds great! Thank you so much for sharing!!

  2. For those fellow bakers with small kitchens, sugar is amazing! Everything I buy for my kitchen usually has to be multi-use (budget friendly is also a plus!) so I’m glad you linked to Stella Park’s technique, I swear by it (she is my pastry idol!!) The toasted sugar that results from baking is delicious!

    1. I’m eager to try it!

      1. The best part of using Sugar is being able to use it as ‘toasted sugar’!!

        More importantly, Stella’s recipe has you turning down the heat to 350F and cooking for an hour … no worries about it bubbling up, and what else are you doing, sit down and relax, you got this!!

    2. I’m 76 and have been baking pies for 50 and now I learn this!!!
      I found cake pan liners, look like cupcake papers, and they are perfect for lining the crust. Not so rigid, easy to lift out and cheap. Now, If I could only remember where I got them….

  3. What a great informative tutorial! Blind baking is something many of my readers are afraid of, so this tutorial is a great go-to link I’ll forward them to. Thank you!

    1. Thanks Natalie!

  4. Andrea @ Cooking with a Wallflower says:

    Thank you so much for this post, Sally! Now, I need to go buy some pie weights to blindbake my pie crusts.

    1. Thanks Andrea!

  5. Ditto Sally!! I have made and absolutely loved your pumpkin pie but have always had problems with the pie crust shrinking. Frustrating!! I am armed with this technique and nothing can stop me now. Thank you so very much for everything you do!!!

    1. Thank you so much, Wendy! I hope you feel empowered to blind bake your next pie crust 🙂 Happy baking!

  6. Patty Jensen says:

    Sally, this is a life changing video!! I’ve always avoided any pie that needed to be blind baked, as my sides always fell down. Like Humpty Dumpty and the King’s Men, I never had any idea of how to fix my pie crust. You have changed this! I now have the courage to try again. And just in time for Spring and an Easter Lemon Meringue Pie. Thanks!

    1. Patty, I’m so happy you found this helpful!! Let me know how it works when you try it!!

  7. Thanks for the tips, this is very helpful. I have only used rice or beans as “pie weights” but I think it may be worth it to invest in proper pie weights. Thanks again!

    1. Oh I’m so glad you found it helpful! Happy baking 🙂

  8. I learned to add dough strips by dipping my fingers in water to insure the two layers didn’t separate. Works also if you have a tear in your crust when you place it in the pie pan. 

    1. That’s a great tip!

  9. Not a fan of pie crusts. Just like what goes inside but will make one but not often. Thanks for all the tips in case I do make a pie crust.

    1. You are welcome! 🙂

  10. I tried to blind bake using rice as my pie weight one time since I didn’t have dried beans. Might have worked better if I’d thought to use parchment paper with it! 🙂 #piecrustfail

    1. You’re not alone! The first time I used pie weights, I forgot the parchment. Hahaha what a mess.

  11. Does adding extra dough to the edge result in a tougher, but decorative, rim?

    1. Not really! I find it’s still plenty flaky.

  12. Hi Sally! Just wanted to say that I’m loving these videos you’re doing along with your posts! So helpful!! 🙂

    1. I’m so glad they’re helpful. I hope to continue to shoot more!

  13. What a great technique! I look forward to a quiche for Easter brunch using your blind baking idea! Also I always want my mother’s sweet potato pie recipe to be browned on the bottom and the crust always shrinks when I bake it. I can’t wait to perfect an already perfect pie recipe of Mom’s.

  14. linda gitschlag says:

    Hi, Sally. Thank you for the blind bake video. In all the times I made pie I never thought to roll the crust onto the rolling pin! Will have to try the weights.

    1. It’s definitely the easiest way to transfer a large piece of dough! 🙂 Happy baking!

  15. Debbie Shaw says:

    I’m not seeing the recipe for the lemon merinque pie…is it posted somewhere else?

    1. Yes, here you go!

  16. When you poke the little holes in the bottom of the pie crust during the second part of the blind bake, do you ever find that you have problems later with the filling seeping out of the crust a little and sticking to the pie dish? Or is that not usually a problem with the kinds of pies that require blind baking?

    1. Hi Anna! That happens sometimes, but not as often as you’d think. Mostly because the types of pies used with blind baked pie crusts aren’t baked. So there’s not really any sticking.

  17. Sally! I love your new tip about the dough strips!! I have always been frustrated with falling sides during a blind bake. —and the “crinkle the parchment” little tip?…brilliant! Thank you for researching your recipes so well (along with thorough, clear instructions and videos!) that we bakers are confident of a beautiful, tasty, *successful bake! Can’t wait to try this pie and keeping your blind bake techniques in my baking toolbox! ♥️

    1. Hi Kim, I’m so happy that you found this helpful!! I definitely worked on it a long time before it was ready to share 🙂 Let me know when you try it!

  18. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) says:

    omigosh these tips are sooo helpful! Hopefully next time I blind bake a crust it goes better now lol

    1. Tony D Furr says:

      Hi Sally,
      I have used your method before as my Mother also taught me. I’m not big on baking and have made many mistakes for sure. I have found that if I bake the docked pie crust on the outside of the glass pie pan this works great. When it’s reached it’s perfect doneness, I remove it from oven and let it cool enough to handle and flip over pie pan and the residual heat let’s it slide right in. I then add my filling and basically just bake enough to heat filling for fillings that need this or add non-baked filling and it’s ready to eat. Thanks

  19. Are you using the bottom or middle oven rack to bake the crust ?

    1. The middle!

  20. Lauren Sheridan says:

    Hi, Sally! Making a Dutch apple pie for Thanksgiving and I plan to use your awesome pie crust recipe for the bottom crust. For apple pie, do I poke holes in the crust during blind baking or would that cause the liquid from the apple filling to seep through those holes, resulting in a soggy crust and a soupy mess?

    1. Hi Lauren! No, I do not suggest poking holes int he bottom crust if making an apple pie. Usually apple pie doesn’t require blind baking because the pie filling requires a long time in the oven. Does your recipe require blind baking? Perhaps it’s different because it’s a dutch apple pie– I know those typically require you to stove cook the apple pie filling ahead of time.

      1. Lauren Sheridan says:

        Hi, Sally! The recipe is for Dutch apple pie but it does not say to cook the apple pie filling on the stove. The recipe also doesn’t suggest blind baking my crust. To play it safe (since I was baking for a large crowd for Thanksgiving), I just used store-bought crust. Thank you for your help though! I have used your pie crust recipe for chicken pot pie before and our dinner guests raved over it! Definitely a winner!

  21. I bake 10 inch deep dish Apple Crumb Pies for Thanksgiving Dessert and sometimes during the year. My bottom crust sometimes is a little underdone while the edges can get dark. I have a gas oven which is pretty accurate. My recipe calls for a 400 degree oven and I check the doneness of the apples from 30 minutes on. I usually bake them about 45 minutes. Should I try blind-baking the crust and if so, how long with the weights and how long after removing the weights. A little bit dryer bottom would probably improve the pie but i’ve never had any complaints – except my own!

    1. Hi Judy! Yes, I recommend blind baking the pie crust if you notice the pie crust bottoms are a little under-baked. 12-15 minutes should be plenty under pie weights with an extra 5 minutes removing the weights. Then, add the filling and bake the pie.

      1. Hi Sally – Thanks for replying! I got so busy on 11/21 that I didn’t see your reply and used my usual method. I’ll give the blind baking a try next time I bake apple pie!

        Best Regards,

  22. If if I use beans to Blind bake the pie can they be reused later for soup or should I toss them

    1. That’s your call. There’s nothing dangerous about cooking the beans after they’ve been in the oven used for blind baking pie crust.

  23. I made a chocolate pudding pie last week and used this tutorial to blind bake the crust. The video and pictures were super helpful! Overall it came out quite well. I had a couple of issues though. When I tried to blend the extra strip of crust on the edge, the flour on the surface wouldn’t let me do that neatly. It kept splitting up as I went to the next section. How I can fix this? In the video, it seems to blend so easily!
    Also, could I use the whole crust recipe to make one pie crust? I felt the crust was a little thin, and the leftover crust isn’t enough to do anything by itself. How should I adjust the baking time if I do this?

    1. Hi Krithika! You can use the entire pie crust recipe for 1 crust. It will be pretty thick. I suggest at least 20 minutes with pie weights, then another 15 minutes without. Though use your eyes to determine when it’s browned and therefore.. done. 🙂

  24. Heather Smoke says:

    When filling a baked crust with custard, is there some way to prevent the crust from getting soggy after a few days in the fridge? Brushing egg white on the dough, perhaps?

    1. Hi Heather! YES, brushing egg white on the dough works as a “seal” and is awesome for protecting the crust from getting too soggy.

  25. Maybe I’m having a dumb moment but towards the end of the blog entry, before the recipe … you keep mentioning a video we can watch so we can see the steps of this blind baking.

    But I don’t see a video anywhere

    I’ve watched your great pie crust video but I don’t feel that goes into details like you do here about blind baking so I’m just hoping I’ve overlooked it somehow…?

    Please help! I’ve got the taste down but blind baking always leaves me with a shrunk, fallen pie crust even after chilled and with pie weights

    1. Hi Beca, It’s at the bottom of the post right after the sentence “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.” If you still don’t see it let me know if you are viewing this from your phone or computer and what browser!

      1. Hey Sally
        Thanks so much for replying!!
        I am on an iOS device but I do not see a link or video in the blog.

        However I was able to go to YouTube directly and find the video so I’ve resolved that part for myself…. but not sure why I can’t see the link.

        Thanks again for your quick response and all the wonderful recipes you post!!! Your instructions are the best out there!

  26. Can you remove the pie from the glass?

    1. Once it’s cooled, the fully blind-baked crust easily comes out of the pan, yes!

      1. Hi Sally! Loooove your site 🙂 I’m totally new to pie baking so please forgive my ignorance when I ask, may I place a smaller cake pan on top of parchment paper/pie while blind baking instead of other forms of small pie weights? Just trying to see if there are simpler methods as opposed to dealing with the hassle of rounding up hot baked beans or rice after blind baking. I assume removing a hot cake pan would be cleaner/easier and would get the job done just as pie weights would. Please advise, thanks!

      2. Hi Liz! I can’t see why that wouldn’t work as long as it fits. Careful because empty pans can warp.

  27. Good to know. I’ll give it a whirl and see what happens. Thanks, Sally

  28. Thanks for really clear instructions and tutorial.

  29. I like to use parchment and pie weights, however I find that when I lift out the parchment, some of the pastry from the bottom of the shell comes off with the parchment. How do I avoid this?

    1. Hi Mary Lou! Sometimes that happens and the best way to fix this is to slowly lift the parchment off the crust and peel the cooked pie crust off and place it back onto the pie. I still haven’t found a solution that avoids the problem altogether though.

  30. Great instructions! Worked very well and I lvoe your pie crust recipe!

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