Fall is baking season in my household, specifically for pies. Nothing says autumn like the aroma of a fresh apple pie baking in the oven. This year, I’ve been on the hunt for all the best tips and tricks for making my pies come out delicious. My goal is to perfect my pie recipe enough to show up with a winning dessert on Thanksgiving. Most recently, I stumbled upon “blind baking” — a super simple baking technique that’s taken my pies from good to mmmm.
What is blind baking?
In short, blind baking is the pie-making hack that will make soggy, mushy pie crusts a thing of the distant past. In my days as a young baker, I always opted for pre-made pie crusts in fear that I could never perfect a perfect, firm, flaky pastry crust on my own. I have since graduated to making my own pie crusts, but I’ll admit, getting the right texture has proven to be tricky on more than one occasion. I’ve applied all sorts of hacks for the perfect crust — using cold butter, adding shortening, you name it. But it wasn’t until I discovered the simple art of blind baking that I truly perfected my pie crust.
Blind baking just means baking your pie crust before filling it. Apparently “blind” refers to the amount of time you bake your crust, meaning that you’re going into this without set instructions for how long to keep your crust in the oven. You can either opt to fully bake your crust or partially bake it just before spooning your gooey apple or whatever filling into the crust to make your pie. It sounds pretty simple, and that’s because it is. That’s perhaps what I love the most about this baking trick!
There are a few steps you should take when blind baking your pie crust to make it come out perfect. You’ll need some parchment paper and pie weights (Buy on Amazon, $5.99). Pie weights help weigh the dough down so that air pockets don’t form at the bottom of your pie causing it to puff up. They also prevent the sides of the pie crust from sinking down. If you don’t have any pie weights, try using some dried beans or dry rice instead. Dried beans worked for me the first time I tried this hack, though admittedly, I purchased pie weights and they worked better.
How to ‘Blind Bake’ a Pie Crust
- Once your dough is lined in your pie pan, press a piece of parchment paper on top of it, then place your pie weights on top of the paper, covering the entire surface area of the pie with paper.
- Place your pie crust in the oven and bake at what ever temp your recipe calls for until the edges start to turn golden brown.
- Taking the corners of your parchment paper, lift the pie weights off of the crust and set the weights aside.
- Place the crust back into the oven until the bottom appears dry and golden, about five minutes.
- Remove your crust from the oven, and you’re ready for filling! You can cut your normal baking time down by about five minutes.
That’s it! Blind baking is a great way to prepare the perfect crusts for fruit-filled pies, pumpkin pies, custard pies, or pudding pies. We hope this super simple kitchen trick helps you take your favorite baking recipes to the next level!