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Jul 12, 2011 08:13 AM

Blind Baking Pie Crusts?

I'm wondering what people think about blind baking pie crusts before adding filling. I always blind bake tart shells, but I notice that a lot of pie recipes skip this step and just call for filling the uncooked shell and baking for an hour or so. When I've done this I've found the bottom of the crust to be undercooked, so I always like to blind bake, but I'm wondering why no recipes suggest doing so. Thoughts?

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  1. I always blind bake pie shells even if the recipe does not specifically say to do it. Makes for a much better result. I think the only reason for not adding that step to the recipe is to make it look easier -- one less thing to do. Or, the recipe writer isn't really much of a pie baker. Or, the recipe writer really likes that bit of soggy crust that is right next to the filling.

    11 Replies
    1. re: jmnewel

      How long do you recommend and at what temperature? Thanks. Thinking of making my first cherry pie if I can find some fresh.

      1. re: Ora

        Ora most of the time I do mine (pate brisee) at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes with weights, then for about another 10 minutes after removing them but there are so many different ways of doing it.

        1. re: lilgi

          Forgot to mention I freeze the crust first to set it before placing it in the oven.

        2. re: Ora

          I, too, freeze the pricked crust for at least 15 or 20 minutes before baking. Butter a circle on one side of a square of foil large enough to cover the inside of the pie shell and up the sides. Invert onto shell so that the buttered side is down. With your knuckles (fingernails may cause tears in the foil) smooth the foil to sit flush with the pie shell. Leae the pointed ends standing straight up not covering the edge of the shell. Fill with pie weights or dried beans (which can be kept in a jar and reused for this purpose). I use old pyrex pans so the oven temperature is 375° for about 15 minutes or until the edge is slightly golden. Remove pan from oven and carefully and slowly lift the foil by the corners and remove. Add the filling now and bake the amount of time required by your recipe. If the pie is not to be further baked, remove the foil and weights as previously directed, prick the shell with a fork a few times, and put back into the oven for another 10 minutes or so.

        3. re: jmnewel

          yep, and probably figures that most will know to do this for a better result as well.

          1. re: lilgi

            Hmmm. It's just so weird -- EVERY tart recipe I've ever used calls for blind baking, and not a single pie recipe has.

            1. re: arielleeve

              Probably for the same reason that recipes lots of recipes that include chicken stock don't give you their recipe for it. The way I see it, they're not mentioning blind baking for those that don't know to do it so they're 'absolved' from writing the entire procedure. But once you're familiar with the process you go about doing it your own way. Just my reasoning, I still think they should make mention of it however brief the details. But some of my recipes do include it.

              1. re: lilgi

                Right. Do you generally cut down on cooking time (once the pie is filled) if you have blind baked the shell?

                1. re: arielleeve

                  I've never had to, but I do need the "pie edge guard"? I use a flexible silicone one I've had forever.

                  1. re: lilgi

                    Yea, my metal edge guard purchased on sale at the WS outlet was one of the best things I've ever bought...definitely worth the money...

                    1. re: arielleeve

                      Couldn't live without one myself :)

        4. I never fully blind bake my pie crusts unless I am making a pie (like lemon meringue) where the filling isn't baked. I use pyrex pie pans exclusively, and my bottom crust is nicely browned. Sometimes a recipe will call for a partially baked pie crust, and in that instance I use a pie shield on the edges to keep from over browning.

            1. I blind bake on occasion, but to be honest I lean more toward recipes that don't call for it because it's kind of a pain in the rear. I recently was making a breakfast dish to take to a Meet & Greet at the local opera company. I shied away from several true quiches that called for blind baking and settled on Camille Glenn's Brie & Red Bell Pepper Pie, which doesn't call for blind baking because the egg/cream ratio is different.

              Also, a few years ago, I unknowingly dropped one of my pie weights down the side of the sink with the disposal. Result? Um, new disposal.

              1. Granted, Cooks Illustrated and others have worked up two-crust pie techniques wherein the 3 sectinos are all prepared separately and then assembled, with the top crust not attached to the bottom. I'm not willing to take the tradeoff loss of the traditional appearance of a homemade fruit pie. I preheat a parchment-lined sheet pan at 400, then put the filled, unbaked tart or double-crust pie onto it and lower the heat to 375. I use glass pans so I can clearly see that the bottom crust has browned. I would blind bake only when the filling is not to be baked.