What is Blind Baking?

Blind baking is the art of baking a pie crust before the filling is added. Think of it as partially or completely baking the crust first, then adding your filling afterward. Whether you are making your favorite fruit-based tart or experimenting with a new chiffon pie, this guide can help you use blind baking to create a crisp, flaky crust for any recipe.

How Do You Blind Bake a Pie Crust?

The key to blind baking a pie crust is to first place the pie pastry into the pie tin, and then line the pastry with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Next, use pie weights to weigh down the lining, which will prevent the dough from puffing up and keep the sides from slouching. This helps promote a flaky crust and crisp sides for the base of your pie filling.

After lining the pastry, partially bake until the pastry is set. Then, remove the parchment or foil and pie weights and continue to let the crust bake on its own. For partially-baked, you’ll want the bottom to appear flaky and pale, while a fully-cooked crust will turn a light golden hue. Along with ideal crusts for your favorite pie, blind baking can add another layer of experimentation and creativity when making pie crusts with a KitchenAid® stand mixer or food processor.

What is the Point of Blind Baking?

Blind baking a pie crust, or pre-baking, helps ensure a crispy crust with a molded shape. Baking your crust first helps prevent liquid from leaking through the bottom and keeps the pastry dough from puffing up due to melting pockets of butter. A pastry blender can be used to cut butter into your dough for a flaky texture.

Blind baking is ideal for creating a variety of pies, including:

Depending on your recipe, taking the time to blind bake can help you craft the ideal crust texture before adding your favorite pie filling.

What Can You Use to Blind Bake With?

Aluminum or tempered-glass pie plates lined with foil are optimal for blind baking your crusts for a crisp texture and base. While ceramic plates may seem like an ideal option, these types of plates are slower heat conductors that can produce a softer crust that’s less flaky. When blind baking, make sure to start with a cold pie dough for the most flaky outcome.

What are Pie Weights?

Pie weights are small ceramic or metal balls used to weigh down pie crusts to help prevent the bottom from puffing up and the sides from slouching down. When instructed to blind bake, start with the pie weights and remove them when the crust is set or golden brown. After removing, continue to bake the crust until the ideal texture is achieved, according to the recipe.

What Happens if You Blind Bake Without Pie Weights?

Blind baking without pie weights can yield bubbled dough and soggy crust. If you don’t have pie weights, dried beans or rice can serve as effective substitutes to avoid a puffed-up base and to help create a crisp, flaky texture.

Can You Reuse Rice after Blind Baking?

While rice should not be cooked or eaten after blind baking, it can be continually used as an alternative to pie weights. If you are using rice to weigh down your pie crust while blind baking, make sure to label and store it with your other baking supplies for your next creation.

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Recipes that Involve Blind Baking

Whether you are crafting a pie with cold filling that does not need to be baked, a fruity dessert or a tart-based creation, blind baking can help you get the ideal texture and contour for your crust base.

A slice of peanut butter pie.

1. Peanut Butter Pie

Start by blind baking your pie crust for a smooth bottom and crispy sides to hold the thick, creamy peanut butter filling.

A pumpkin pie.

2. Pumpkin Pie Tart

Blind bake to enjoy a crisp crust with flaky sides to serve as the base for your silky smooth pumpkin pie filling.

An apple cranberry tart.

3. Apple Cranberry Tart

Achieve the ideal crumbly crust for a satisfying crunch in this apple cranberry tart.

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