“Blind Baking” is a term for baking a pie crust with no filling. This pre-baked crust is used for any pie that is not cooked in the oven with its filling: pies with cream or custard fillings, ice-cream pies, lemon meringue pie, strawberry pie.
When you bake a pie crust without a filling, it tends to have bubbles form in the bottom part of the crust, or the sides sink and fall into the center of the crust. To keep this from happening, you need to bake the crust in two steps: first with something weighing down the bottom of the crust, and then without the weights to finish cooking the crust. Here is a quick How To… on blind baking a perfect crust.
Start with any crust recipe. Here is one that I like for an All Butter Pie Crust. Place in your pie plate and flute the edges. When you flute your edges, press down slightly on the indentations where the crust touches the top edge of the pan to keep it from sliding down the sides as it bakes.
Place a square of foil in the bottom of your crust. I like to use non-stick foil (non-stick side touching the crust) to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the crust. Extend the foil slightly up the sides of the crust, but do not cover the fluting on the edges. Add about 1-2 cups of DRIED beans to your foil bowl. You can also buy pie weights (either loose or on a chain), but beans are a great cheap alternative.
Bake the weighted crust at 400°F for 10 minutes.
Remove the beans and foil and prick the bottom of the crust with a fork.
Place a pie crust shield on the edges of your crust to keep them from overcooking while you bake the crust again. You can buy a pie crust shield or make your own. Here is an easy HOW TO on making one that is just the right size for your pie plate: Make Your Own Pie Crust Shield.
Bake empty crust for an additional 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Be sure to cool crust completely before filling.
How to Blind Bake a Piecrust
- Prepare pie crust and place in pie plate. Flute edges, if desired.
- Line bottom of pie crust with foil (I like non-stick foil), extending foil slightly up the sides of the crust. Add 1-2 cups dried beans, or use pie weights.
- Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes.
- Remove beans or weights and foil. Prick bottom of crust with a fork. Place a pie crust shield over the edges of the crust and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Cool completely before filling.