How to prebake a pie crust

Blind baked pie shell

When you are baking a fruit pie, the filling usually goes into a pie plate lined with uncooked pie dough and everything bakes together. There are quite a few types of pies out there – including many cream pies – that call for a prebaked pie shell without giving you much instruction on how to get the pie crust baked. Prebaking a pie crust is also known as “blind baking.”

The first thing you’ll need is a piece of pie pastry large enough for a 9-inch pie (recipe here). Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is large enough to fill a 9-inch pie plate. Transfer the dough to the plate and press into place. Crimp or trim the edges of the dough, then chill for about 10 minutes in the refrigerator to allow the dough to relax (this will help prevent the crust from shrinking as you bake it).

Once the dough has rested, use a fork to lightly prick the bottom of the pastry. Take a sheet of aluminum foil or parchment paper and press it into the pie plate, gently pushing it right up against the pastry. Fill the sheet of foil or parchment paper with pie weights, dried beans or even uncooked rice to hold it in place. This weight helps the pie dough hold its shape.

Preheat the oven to 425F. Bake the crust for 20 minutes, then remove it from the oven and take out the pie weights and the aluminum foil liner.

Lower the oven temperature to 375F. Return the pie to the oven to bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely before using.

Prebaking a pie crust

Fully baked crust

I prefer to have a deep golden brown on my crust. The crust can be baked a day in advance, cooled completely and wrapped with saran wrap for use the next day.

Most prebaked crusts are completely baked and cooked before filling, but there are some recipes that will want you to add filling to a partially baked crust and continue baking it. If this is the case with the recipe you’re working with, simply follow this procedure up until the point where you remove the pie weights from the crust. Rather than returning the crust to the oven to finish baking, you can add the pie filling as directed by your recipe.

8 comments

  1. This is such a useful post. How long do you think you can keep the prebaked pie crust? My roommate and I love baking but it makes our apartment unbearably hot during the summer, and this sounds like a potential solution to some of our summer problems.

  2. Yooni – You can keep them for a day or two. Like just about all pastries, they are at the best shortly after they’re made (I often bake them the night before I intend to use them) because they will lose their crispness after sitting around, even when well-wrapped with plastic wrap.

  3. If you fill this crust with a custardy pie (lemon meringue is a good example) when it comes out of the oven sprinkle the cooked crust with some chocolate chips. You might need to return to the oven for a minute or so, then spread them all around the crust to lightly coat it. Cool before filling. When you put your custard in the crust it won’t soak in because the chocolate makes a nice little barrier. And the bonus is that it’s absolutely YUMMY!

  4. Thanks for the instructional article. I love baking pies, and as you said any require a pre-baked crust. I am wondering if I could add chocolate chips (either minature or regular morsals) to the crust before (or after) patting it in the pan? I am making a chocolate cream pie and thought if chocolate chips were studded on the bottom and sides of the crust (before baking) and then the filling put into the chocolate chip crust that it would add to its goodness. Thanks for your feedback.

  5. I tried making a lemon pie and put the prepared lemon filling into the unbaked shell and baked it and it turned out great. After it is baked I put the meringue on top and pop it back in again for another 8-10 minutes. The pastry fluted edges stay in place and brown up real good. My next esperiment will be banana cream pie and coconut cream pie .

  6. Woohoo!! Just what I needed – thank you! :)

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