Recently we were cooking a Vegan Apple Pie which required us to blind bake the pie shell and we realized that while we had a vague idea of what needed to be done we were lacking some of the details that would make our pie crust simply scrummy! This is what worked for us:
We found out that there are a couple of reasons why you would want to blind bake a pie crust, first you don’t want that lovely pastry shell getting soggy from a wet filling, or maybe you are making a pie that doesn’t require the filling to be baked at all but you still want a crispy shell, or maybe your filling needs to be cooked for such a short time or at such a low temperature that the crust would not be finished by the time the filling was done. So what’s the pie preparer to do? Fear not – we realized you can use simple everyday items to get the job done in no time.
You can use baking beans to get the job done – but using what is at hand, be it rice, lentils or dried beans will work too. So with that in mind here are 8 simple steps to getting a perfect pie crust:
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place your freshly prepared pastry in the pie dish according to the recipe’s instructions. To achieve a snug fit, gently drop the pie dish onto the kitchen bench a few times to help the pastry settle into the edges.
- Dock your pie crust. Docking a pie crust is when you use a fork to put little holes all over the pie crust, this allows the steam that forms underneath your pie crust when it cooks to escape and prevents bubbles.
- Chill the pastry base for half an hour in the freezer to firm it. This firming assists in stopping the pastry from shrinking during baking.
- Cover the pie crust with baking paper. Leave enough overhang that you can easily remove the covering without burning yourself on the pie pan.
- Add pie weights. Weights are needed at the beginning of baking to keep the pie crust from puffing up. Place dried beans, dry rice, dry lentils or pie weights on top of the baking paper .
- Place the pie crust in the oven and bake for the time recommended in your recipe. If your recipe does not specify a time use this as a guide: For a crust that must be entirely baked before the filling is added, bake 20 minutes with the weights in place. For a crust in which the filling will be baked, bake the pie crust for 15 minutes with the weights in place.
- Remove the weights and uncover. All types of blind baked crusts should be uncovered at this point.
- Bake until browned. A crust that needs to be fully baked before the filling is added should be placed back in the oven uncovered for an additional 15 minutes. A crust that will be baked more with the filling in place does not require more baking at this time before the filling is added.
There you have it 8 simple steps to a perfect blind baked pie crust. At this stage you will add your pie filling and either continue to cook or devour straight away. Why not give it a try with our Must try Apple Pie!