Learn how to blind bake a pie crust with this easy step-by-step tutorial. This simple technique is perfect for preventing soggy pie crusts!
What Does “Blind Bake” Mean?
Have you ever spent the time making a pie and waiting hours for it to cool only to cut into it and realize the bottom crust was a soggy mess? It’s one of the worst feelings in the world when it comes to homemade pies.
The solution? Blind baking your pie crust.
If you’re wondering what in the world it means to blind bake a pie crust, don’t worry. Blind baking a crust simply means that you’re either partially or fully baking the pie crust before adding your filling.
With certain pies, it’s fine to add the filling to an unbaked pie crust and bake it. However, if you’re making a custard pie, like a pumpkin or pecan pie, it can really help to blind bake your pie crust first. Or if you’re making a pie that doesn’t require the filling to be baked (like my homemade coconut cream pie), then you want to fully bake your pie crust.
Since Thanksgiving is right around the corner, I thought it would be helpful to put together a simple tutorial showing you how to blind bake a pie crust. And I promise, it’s easy and doesn’t require any special equipment!
How to Blind Bake a Pie Crust
To start, you’ll need a single pie crust. You can either use a store-bought pie crust or use my homemade pie crust recipe. I wrote an entire post with step-by-step pictures showing how I make my homemade version, it’s super simple too!
You’ll roll the pie crust out and fit it into your pie dish. Then, preheat your oven to 400°F. You want the pie crust cold when it goes into the oven, so I prefer to let the pie crust chill in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes while the oven is preheating. This also gives the dough time to relax so that it doesn’t shrink as much.
Once it’s thoroughly chilled, then you can decorate the edges however you like. I prefer to flute the edges and find that it’s much easier to do when the dough is cold.
Next, you want to tear off a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil and gently cover the bottom and sides of the dough. I find that parchment paper is easier to fit over the dough, but I’ve used both and either one works fine!
Then, you’ll need to add some pie weights. The pie weights help to prevent the dough from shrinking in the oven, so it’s important to make sure you fully cover the bottom and sides of your dough with the weights.
Once the pie weights are in the dish, you’ll pop the crust into the oven for about 15-16 minutes.
At this point the edges should start to lightly brown, this is when you know it’s ready to be removed from the oven.
Once you remove it, you’ll lift out the parchment paper (or foil) with the pie weights and set them aside. As you can see in the photo above, the bottom part of the pie crust is still a little wet, this is okay. You’ll place the pie crust back into the oven just like the picture above so that the bottom portion of the crust can bake.
You can prick the bottom of the pie crust with a fork, I prefer to skip this step because I don’t want any of the filling from the pie to seep under the crust once I add it and bake it. The bottom crust will puff up as it bakes, but it will deflate once you take it out of the oven.
You’ll let the crust bake for about 6-8 more minutes at 400°F. I usually let mine bake for about 7 minutes and then take it out of the oven.
At this point, your pie crust is partially baked and ready for a filling that has to be baked in the oven. Super simple, right? Another additional step that you can do is to whisk an egg white with one tablespoon of water and brush it on the bottom and sides of the crust. Then, pop it back into the oven for 2-3 more minutes or until the egg wash is dry and shiny.
The protein from the egg white creates a seal between the crust and the filling and prevents the filling from making the crust too soggy. I’ve recently started doing this extra step and while it’s not 100% necessary, it does add a little extra reassurance to keep your pie crust firmer.
The final step is to go ahead and add your pie filling and bake according to your pie recipe. At this point, I also like to go ahead and just cover the edges of my pie crust with a pie crust shield or some foil.
If you’re making a pie with a filling that doesn’t need to be baked, you’ll want to adjust the baking time for the crust after you remove the pie weights from 6-8 minutes to 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned and baked all of the way through.
How Long to Blind Bake a Pie Crust
The exact timing will depend on whether you need to partially or fully bake the pie crust.
- If partially baking the crust: 21 to 23 minutes total (15 minutes with pie weights, 6 to 8 minutes without)
- If fully baking the crust: 30 to 25 minutes total (15 minutes with pie weights, 15 to 20 minutes without)
Can I Blind Bake a Pie Crust Without Weights?
Yes! You don’t have to use actual pie weights. I keep a bag of dried beans in the pantry and use them any time I’m blind baking a pie crust. Another inexpensive option that works well is dried rice.
- Make sure to let the dough chill in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes after you place it in the pie plate. This will give the dough time to relax and prevent it from shrinking as much too.
- If you don’t have ceramic pie weights, then dried beans or rice work well instead.
- You may want to brush a mixture of egg white and water over the crust before returning it to the oven. This seals the crust and prevents the filling from making it soggy.
Easy Pie Recipes to Try!
Now that you know how to keep pie crust from getting soggy, you can put your skills to work! Here are some of my favorite pie recipes to make:
How to Blind Bake a Pie Crust
- 1 pie crust (homemade or store-bought)
- 1 egg white plus 1 tablespoon water (optional)
- Roll out the pie dough, transfer to a 9-inch pie plate, gently fit it in the dish, and trim any excess dough from the edges.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Place the pie plate in the refrigerator and allow the dough to chill for about 15-20 minutes while the oven is preheating.
- Once the oven is preheated, remove the pie plate from the refrigerator, decorate the edges, and line the dough with parchment paper or foil, making sure to cover the bottom and the sides. Fill with pie weights make sure to press them up against the sides as well.
- Bake with the pie weights at 400°F for 15 minutes or until the edges of the crust start to lightly brown. Remove from the oven, carefully remove the parchment paper (or foil) and the pie weights.
For a partially baked pie crust:
- Return the crust to the oven and bake at 400°F for another 6-8 minutes or until the bottom of the crust looks dry. You can prick the bottom of the crust with a fork, but I prefer to skip this step. The crust will puff up as it bakes, but it will deflate once you remove it from the oven. At this point, you can add the optional egg wash below, then fill with your pie filling, and bake according to the directions for your pie recipe.
For a fully baked pie crust:
- Return to the oven and allow to bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
- Optional: Whisk together 1 egg white and 1 tablespoon of water until well combined. Brush over the bottom and sides of the crust (you won't use all of the mixture) and return to the oven for another 2-3 minutes or until the egg wash is shiny and dry.