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Blind Baking Crust for Apple Pie

Another thread caused jfood to ask the question since we currently have some expert apple pie makers looking.

Jfood is a beginner in apple pies, having quite hit the dozen mark yet and mrs jfood suggested that he blind bake the bottom crust first. So jfood, the lemming, followed his favorite teacher's advice and baked the crust for a few minutes. The results he felt were very good after the pie was filled and baked. It seemed to give a deeper flavor to the bottom crust similar to the difference between a blonde roux and a brown roux. He needed to be extra careful not to over baje.

Jfood is wondering if anyone else ever blind baked the bottom crust of an apple pie and what there opinions are.

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  1. always bake blind. Apple, pie, Meat pie, Chicken Pie, any pie.

    Nothing worse than your pie developing Soggy Bottom Syndrome.

    1 Reply
    1. re: purple goddess

      When I took my pie class at Zingerman's, we blind baked the pumpkin, but did not blind bake the apple. A reason being that it only had apples, sugar, and some dots of butter for filling, no cornstarch or other things that could make the bottom crust soggy.

      If you were happy with blind baked, JFood, I'd say go with that.

    2. I never blind bake apple pie crust. The crust comes out fine regularly baked. I don't feel the need to have a deep brown bottom pie crust. But I basically agree with the post above that says if you like it go with it. It's just not something that enhances my recipe.

      5 Replies
      1. re: TrishUntrapped

        I ALWAYS use pyrex pie plates. That in itself helps to prevent a soggy bottom crust. That is IF you aren't using a store bought crust.

        1. re: Plano Rose

          Beat me to it -- the glass really does seem to allow more IR to bake the bottom crust. Unlike a black steel pan you can see if it "done" and not "overdone". For blind baking a regular metal pie tin is fine, but for apple (and similar fruit pies) heat proof glass is the way to go. I have a couple of Pyrex and some knock-off or European boro-silicate glass pie plates, color does seem to be factor, as the pretty greenish pie plates do not work as well as the clear or pinkish ones.

          1. re: renov8r

            Pyrex may create a more well done bottom crust and forestall soggy bottom, but since it only affects the bottom of the bottom crust, the side facing all the apples and juices is still porous. In a day, that moisture is going to seep in. I do one of two things that keep my apple pie crust crispy indefinitely. Egg white wash or, better yet, a very thin coat of chocolate (white is more flavor neutral, dark spreads easier). I melt chocolate with a bit of butter, then spread it while hot onto bottom crust. Creates a moisture BARRIER. crust bakes up crispy and stays that way, no blind baking necessary.

            1. re: sbp

              Chocolate? Wow, way too much work for me.

              I use pyrex, I never blind bake, and my crusts don't end up soggy.

              1. re: dolores

                Really not so bad, since I just throw a chunk in a bowl, toss in half a stick of butter and plop it in the microwave on medium power. Not like fretting over a double boiler. No need to care about tempering the chocolate.

      2. As others have said, if it works for you, go for it. I don't blind bake for apple pie. But then, I caramelize the apples before placing them in the crust so they've already released most of their juices.

        Something else that might work for you is to bake the pie on a pizza stone. I often do that if I'm at all concerned that the crust won't crisp as well as I'd like. You do have to keep an eye on it (a pyrex pie plate helps) to make sure it's not browning too much, but that's easy enough to do.

        4 Replies
        1. re: JoanN

          I blogged about my favorite new apple pie today. I also explained how I blind baked the crust. Tremendously great pie!

          http://porterhouse.typepad.com/porter...

          -Becca
          www.porterhouse.typepad.com

          1. re: Becca Porter

            Your pie looks very good, Becca. But it's a one crust pie.

            I still haven't read how to attach a raw top crust to a pre-baked bottom crust.

            1. re: dolores

              I don't know about others, but those I do not pre-bake. However, I do still brush the bottom of the crust with egg yolk.

              1. re: dolores

                Thanks to Trish Untrapped's suggestion, I bought a book of Farm Journal's pies, and they talk in there about some people who used to make the top crust separate so they could add in other stuff at the end. Apparently some people used to add sugar AFTER the apples had cooked, OR add in a cup of cream and then cook for the last 15 min, placing the top crust on top of all that.

                Rose Levy Berenbaum & Dorie Greenspan are both big fans of freezing unbaked pies in order to promote more cooking of the crusts.

          2. jfood, does your apple pie have a crumb topping or a second piecrust on top? How do you deal with putting the top crust (in dough state) on the blind baked bottom, or do you proceed as usual with no specail steps?

            I have never been very good at baking, especially pies. Am considering making a galette for New Year's, thinking it might be easier. Going to see which fruits look good for the filling when at the grocery tomorrow. Would like to do apricot...fingers crossed! Anyone else have suggestions?

            5 Replies
            1. re: poptart

              jfood gave up with the second crust for the crumb topping which he loves. so no data on that one

              wrt the galette, the pears and apples have been outstanding this past few weeks and jfood is beginning to see the end of pear season, so you may want to consider these two fruits if the apricots are not great.

              1. re: jfood

                I was thinking the same about apples and pears, though I do love apricots and saw some last time I was at the store. Will do as often is required and just let the grocery store offerings dictate!

                Never tried making a crumb topped apple pie, and may perhaps try that for my next real pie. Thanks.

                1. re: poptart

                  if you want to take the crust out of the equation try this crisp from Ina Garten. Oustanding

                  http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                  1. re: jfood

                    I just made her crisp in November. It was the first recipe of hers that I had tried and it was very good.

                    1. re: NE_Elaine

                      The crisp recipe sounds wonderful. ...looking forward to trying it, it would the first I'll try of her recipes also.
                      Tonight I made the galette pastry and put in the fridge. Found some nice apricots at the market today and plan to either make an apple or apricot galette for New Years. Thanks to all for the inspiration!

            2. If anyone would tell me exactly how (I've followed directions EXACTLY, before) on how to successfully bake a blind crust, I could expand my repertoire of baking. As it stands, I've followed the advice of any expert out there, at least twice a year, for the last 30 years, and not had one even NEAR success.

              AnnieG

              6 Replies
              1. re: violabratsche

                What, specifically, has been your problem? Bubbling? Overbrowning the edges? Undercooking in general?

                1. re: violabratsche

                  A one crust? Prick with a fork all over, lay on a piece of aluminum foil, pour in a jar of ceramic balls, and bake.

                  I never ever blind bake a two crust, so I can't help you there. I see people talking about it, but how would you then attach the top unbaked crust to a blind baked bottom crust?

                  1. re: dolores

                    I don't have ceramic balls, I use dried beans, works the same, but cheaper.

                    I did a two crust pie at Thanksgiving, baked the bottom and then attached a top crust -- actually a lattice. Not quite as neat an edge, since the bottom crust was cooked, but workable. I have a big problem with soggy bottom crusts, and blind baked everything at Thanksgiving, and was very pleased with the results.

                    For the person considering a galette, yep, it is the easiest thing ever. And it never lasts long enough to get soggy...

                    1. re: Anne H

                      Tried them all...
                      no success, oh, and the pastry on the edges baked and under the weights did not...that was a commonality......

                      AnnieG

                      1. re: violabratsche

                        Parchment paper is preferable to aluminum foil for blind baking; it doesn't change the texture of the finished crust. Part way through blind baking you need to remove the weights, then prick the crust, and then cover the exposed edges with a pie crust shield.

                        1. re: JoanN

                          Really??? I don't, and have never had a problem.

                          It might be the oven in the situation you're describing.