Danny and I were trading off household jobs one recent Saturday morning and I pointed out that he should do the dishes. I was planning to blind bake a pie crust and needed to get the dough in the fridge to chill.
“You’re going to WHAT now?” He asked, clearly dubious of the credibility of my task.
“Yeah. You know, prebake a single pie crust, to hold a cream filling.” I explained. And because there was pie in his future, he conceded to doing the breakfast washing up.
It’s no wonder he had no idea what I was talking about. I seldom make cream pies, so strong is my fondness for the fruit-based variety. But I had an idea for a pie that I wanted to make for Sunday dinner and so a-blind-baking I went, while Danny kept an interested eye on my work.
Strawberry season is nearly upon us and that means fresh strawberry pie needs to be on your weekend brunch menu, as well as mine. To do so, we need to know how to blind bake a pie crust. Read on for the tutorial! Don’t worry, it’s a cinch.
How to blind bake a pie crust
Begin with chilled pie dough. I use a Rich Pie Crust, which has a bit of egg in it and holds up very well during the prebake. You can use any pie dough recipe for this method, but I can’t guarantee your results, as I can with my pie crust.
My favourite pie plate is tempered-glass because it disperses the heat well and allows for even browning. Also, it’s handy for checking if the bottom is browning. One peek under the bottom and you’ll know whether or not to leave it in the oven for a few more minutes or not.
I roll the dough to about 1/4- inch thick. I also set the pie pan on top of the dough and make sure I have at least an inch of overhang on all sides.
The dough goes in the pan (the marble slab has helped it to stay cold) and I trim the edges. I tuck the edges of the dough over (some turn the dough under, which looks prettier) and press it down. I do a quick crimp; nothing too fancy.
Next, the pie crust goes into the freezer for a minimum of one hour. You can wrap it well with plastic wrap when it is frozen and store it for up to two months, if needed. Chilling the dough like this prevent shrinkage when the dough is baked.
“Shrinkage” is the dreaded culinary condition when the edges of the pie slump inwards and slide down the sides of the pan. In the words of my former pastry instructor, shrinkage = failure.
Preheat to oven to 425F. Putting cold dough into a very hot oven also helps the dough to keep its shape.
I line my pie shell with tin foil and fill it with dried beans. I have a jar of ‘pie beans’ that I reuse over and over. You can use pie weights, if you like; most baking supply stores have them.
Lining the pie crust with parchment paper also works, as does a cheese cloth filled with beans.
Bake pie shell for 15 minutes, then remove the tin foil and the beans. Prick the bottom of the partially cooked pie with a fork and return it to the oven. Bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the crust is lightly golden.
Cool completely before filling.
|Blind baked pie crust|| |
- 1 disc (1/2 recipe) of Rich Pie Crust
- all purpose flour, for rolling
- tin foil or cheese cloth
- dried beans, any variety
- Sprinkle a little flour on the rolling surface and roll disc of pie dough to about 1/4 - inch thick.
- Transfer the dough to the pie pan. Trim and crimp the edges.
- Freeze the pie crust for a minimum of one hour.
- Preheat to oven to 425F.
- Line the pie shell with tin foil and fill it with dried beans.
- Bake pie shell for 15 minutes.
- Remove the tin foil and the beans. Prick the bottom of the partially cooked pie with a fork and return it to the oven.
- Bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the crust is lightly golden.
- Cool completely before filling.
So now you know! Go forth and bake pies.
Banana cream, fresh strawberry, lemon meringue? What is your favourite pie that calls for a prebaked pie shell?