Blind baked pie crust

Blind Baking Pie Crust

Blind baking pie crust is when you bake a crust without any filling in it. Blind baking is often used for cold, custard pies, like Chocolate Cream Pie or Key Lime Pie. With these pies, the filling is not cooked in the oven, so the crust needs to be fully cooked separately.

Par baking is a form of blind baking. Par baking is when you partially bake a pie crust using blind baking (without filling). Par baking is often used when people want a crisp crust under a pie with a warm filing, like pumpkin. You only partially bake the crust in that scenario because, once you add the filling, you’ll continue to cook the crust in the oven for another 35 to 40 minutes.

The trouble with blind baking is that the crust has a tendency to sink down into the pie plate when there’s no filling inside to hold it up. To prevent the crust from sinking, people often line the crust with parchment and then use pie weights (which can be expensive), rice or beans to serve as a “pseudo filling” while blind baking. I don’t own pie weights and rarely have enough dried beans on hand when I need them. Once when I used rice, it was a disaster! As I attempted to lift out the parchment, half the rice fell into the partially-uncooked crust and I spent about 20 minutes picking out individual kernels!

So I decided there had to be an easier way. Enter disposable aluminum pie plates. They cost less than a dollar a piece at most grocery stores. And guess what? They’re oven proof and fit perfectly inside an unbaked pie crust! Simply flatten out the lip of the aluminum pie plate (just takes a minute) and then set it into your unbaked crust. Then weigh it down with an oven-proof ramekin so the crust doesn’t bubble up while baking. All of a sudden, blind baking is a piece of cake! Or should I say pie?

Blind Baking Pie Crust

Ingredients

  • 1 pie crust, homemade or store bought, rolled out into an approximately 12-inch circle
  • 1 disposable aluminum pie plate
  • 1 baking sheet lined with parchment paper

Instructions

  1. Gently place your pie crust in your pie plate. Press the bottom and sides of the dough against the plate, being carefully not to stretch the crust. (If you stretch it, it will shrink back when baking.) Tuck the edge of the crust under itself and rest it on the lip of the pie plate. You should have a nice, thick even edge all the way around the pie plate.
  2. Using the knuckle of your right hand and two fingers of your left, press the dough between your fingers and knuckle to form a fluted edge. Gently pull the fluted edge back up on the lip of the pie plate if it sunk down. Place the crust and pie plate in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Set the chilled pie plate and crust on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Take your aluminum disposable pie plate and flatten out the lip around the edge. Fit the disposable pie plate inside the pie crust, pressing down gently on the bottom and sides to ensure a secure fit. Set an oven-proof ramekin in the center to weigh it down.
  4. Bake crust on the baking sheet at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Then take the baking sheet with crust out of the oven and remove the disposable pie plate. Using tines of a fork, prick holes all over the bottom of the crust (to prevent air bubbles while baking for remaining time). Reduce heat to 350 degrees, return baking sheet with crust to oven and bake until golden on edges and bottom, about 20-25 minutes more. Cool crust and use as desired.

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Welcome!

Hi! I’m Marie. Mama, wife, homebody. I’m a self-taught chef and cookbook author. 

I love sharing fast, fresh, family-friendly recipes that will, hopefully, make your life a little easier.

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2 Responses

  1. Hi Marie – Many thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes and some tips to make it easier for us to bake especially handling pie crusts. My only concerned was using the foil plate for par baking. I heard that foil is toxic and not to be used on food especially when it is heated. Please advise thank you. Also, would you be interested in doing gluten free baking in the near future?
    Raquel

    1. Hello Raquel! Thank you for your comment! I try to be fairly up-to-speed on safe and non-toxic materials but I haven’t done a lot of reading on foil so appreciate the head’s up! I hear about it often but clearly need to look into it a little more deeply 🙂 Anyway, if you’d rather not use foil you can definitely use parchment paper filled with beans or pie weights. Our you could look for an 8-inch pie plate made of another material and use the other technique I suggest. Hope that helps and thanks again for your insightful note! Hugs, marie

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