How to Blind Bake Pie Crust

Learn how to blind bake pie crust to avoid the dreaded soggy bottom!

Ever come across recipe directions telling you to bind bake pie crust? If you’ve ever made some of my personal favorite recipes like this Silky Chocolate Pie or Easy Fresh Strawberry Pie, you certainly have seen this phrase before.

So what is blind baking? How do you do it? Let’s get into it!

What is blind baking?

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Blind baking (sometimes called prebaking) means partially or fully baking a pie or tart crust before adding filling. This ensures the crust is fully baked so you don’t end up with a soggy bottom.

Why blind bake a pie crust?

You need to blind bake pie crust when you’re making a pie with an uncooked filling or a filling that’s made on the stovetop (like lemon meringue pie). With a fully baked and cooled crust, you can confidently finish your cream pies, pudding pies and more.

Some recipes, like quiche and baked custard pies, may require a partially blind-baked crust. Giving the crust a head start in the oven ensures that the base of the pie is fully baked without overcooking the filling.

Partially Blind Baked vs. Fully Blind Baked

As you bake more pies, you’ll find that most recipes that call for blind baked crusts call for the crust to be fully prebaked. Some recipes, though, call for the crust to be partially baked before filling.

This partial blind bake is necessary with recipes where the filling cooks much more quickly than the crust. You’ll see this step with some quiche recipes and many custard pies.

Pie Weights vs. Docking

You’ll notice that some recipes may mention docking or pricking the pie crust with a fork instead of using weights. This technique is meant to keep the pie crust from puffing up while baking. To find out if this method works and when you should use it, I chatted with one of our Test Kitchen experts, Peggy Woodward.

Peggy explains that docking is a shortcut for blind baking and one she’d only recommend when you’re making pie with a very thick filling that won’t permeate these pinholes, like French silk pie.

She says that docking can be troublesome: “There’s a good chance that the filling will seep through the holes and cook up between the crust and the pie plate making a soggy crust.”

Instead of docking, Peggy recommends using pie weights or dried beans to weigh down your crust during pie baking. The weights allow the crust to bake evenly without bubbling up.

How to Blind Bake Pie Crust

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Step 1: Make (or buy) your go-to pie pastry

Before you bake, prep your favorite pie crust. This pastry can be store-bought, a classic butter pie crust or a favorite recipe from grandma’s recipe box.

Step 2: Roll out the pie pastry and chill

Next, roll out your chilled pie dough and fit it into your pie pan. Crimp or finish the edges however you see fit. Once finished, return the crust to the fridge to chill for another 30 minutes or more.

Step 3: Add the weights

Next, cover the pie crust with a sheet of parchment (this lining will make it easier to remove the weights later) and fill with weights. You can use ceramic pie weights, a pie chain, dry beans or uncooked rice. These will help prevent the crust from puffing up as it bakes.

Editor’s Tip: If you use beans, rice or another grain to weigh down your pastry, don’t cook these later. I stash dried beans in a Mason jar in my pantry to reuse blind bake after blind bake.

Step 4: Bake

Next, bake your pie crust according to the recipe’s instructions. Most pie recipes will direct you to remove the weights partway through baking. This will allow the bottom crust to brown a bit and crisp up further.

Once golden brown, remove from the oven and let cool.

Blind Baking Pie Crust FAQ

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Can you blind bake premade pie crust?

Yes, you can absolutely blind bake a premade pie crust. To do this, follow the exact same steps as you would with a homemade pie crust.

Do you chill pie crust before blind baking?

For best results, chill your pie crust for 30 minutes (or more) after you’ve rolled it out and fitted it to the pan. This step helps to solidify the fats for a flakier end result. This will also prevent the crust from shrinking or slipping down the sides of the pie plate as it bakes.

How do you prevent pie crust from shrinking?

According to Peggy, the best way to prevent your pie crust from shrinking is by chilling it. First, chill the dough after making it but before rolling it out. Then chill it again after you’ve rolled it out and placed it in the pan. Chilling will help keep everything in place.

Also, make sure you use pie weights to keep your pie crust from shrinking. The weights will keep everything in place as the crust bakes.

Can you blind bake frozen pie crust?

You bet you can blind bake frozen pie crust! Pie pastry can go from freezer to oven—provided the crust is in a metal dish. Ceramic and glass dishes are prone to cracking when moved from cold temps to a very hot oven, so don’t use them in this circumstance.

Time to Bake Pie!
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Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is a former Taste of Home editor and passionate baker. During her tenure, she poured her love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa also dedicated her career here to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.