Here’s my fool-proof method for blind baking (or par-baking) a pie crust. No shrinking and no fancy tools needed!
Over the years I’ve had my fair share of baking fails of all kinds, but nothing is nearly as upsetting as a shrunken, slumped pie crust. All that effort wasted! I’ve read more online blind baking tutorials than I can count and some have been helpful, but I couldn’t find anything that was 100% successful for me. After years of trial and error, I’ve finally figured out on my own how to perfect bake a pie crust shell that will hold its shape. And I’m here to pass that knowledge on!
But before I get into the how-tos, you may be wondering what does it mean to blind bake a pie crust? Blind baking (or par-baking) means that you just bake the pie crust a little on its own before adding the filling, which can prevent a soggy bottom crust. It’s used most often with pumpkin, custard, or other pies with runny fillings. You can also use this method to completely bake your pie crust for pies with fillings that don’t need to be baked, like a cream pie.
Blind baking is quite simple if you just follow these easy steps— prep, freeze, add weights, and bake!
Prepare your pie crust
You can prepare your pie crust however you like. Check out my go-to flaky pie crust recipe (with photos and tips!) and my favorite buttermilk pie crust variation. You can also make pie crust in a food processor! Roll it out on a lightly floured surface, transfer it to a pie dish, and crimp edges as desired.
Freeze for 30 minutes
Place prepared pie crust in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. You can also freeze the pie crust up to 1 month, just make sure it is tightly double-wrapped with plastic wrap.
Fill with pie weights
Grease a sheet of aluminum foil with butter or non-stick cooking spray and press it into the frozen pie crust. Fill the foil-lined crust all the way to the top with either pie weights or dried beans or rice. The weights will keep the pie crust in place while it bakes, so make sure that the foil is flush with the crust and that you have the weights filled to the top.
Place prepared crust on a sheet pan and bake at 425 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes. The edges of the crust should appear completely baked and lightly browned. Many tutorials I’ve read only say to bake the crust for 10-15 minutes, but in my experience that’s not nearly long enough. If you bake it for too short of a time, the sides of the crust may not be set enough and the crust could still shrink or slump when you take out the weights.
Remove Foil and Weights
Use the edges of the foil to lift the weights out of the pie. Transfer to a large bowl to cool, then store weights or beans/rice. At this point you can add your filling and bake the pie according to the recipe instructions. If you are using a no-bake filling, bake the crust at 425 degrees F for 5-10 minutes more until the bottom of the crust is set. If the bottom of the crust puffs up, just simply push it back down with the back of a spoon.
A completely baked pie crust can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
How to Blind Bake a Pie Crust
- Prepare pie crust according to recipe instructions. Freeze for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Line pie crust with greased foil and fill completely to the top with pie weights or dried beans or rice.
- Bake until edges appear completely set and are lightly golden brown, 20-25 minutes.
- Remove foil and weights and proceed with pie recipe, if all you need is a blind/par-baked pie crust. Or return to the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes more until the bottom is set, if you need a completely baked pie crust. If the bottom puffs up, just gently push it down with the back of a spoon.
Have you tried this recipe?