Food

We Tried 6 Methods for Blind Baking a Pie Crust and Found a Clear Winner

Blind baking is essential to pie baking as a result of it ensures that the completed pie crust is crisp, golden, and holds as much as delicate, creamy fillings. The phrases blind baking and par-baking are sometimes used interchangeably, however some baking professionals really feel there’s a distinct distinction. For the needs of this showdown, we’re defining blind baking as fully baking a pie crust, and par baking as partially baking it. Blind-baked crusts get full of fillings that don’t have to be baked; par-baked crusts are used for fillings that have to be cooked within the oven.

In anticipation of the entire cool, creamy pies we plan to bake this spring and summer season, we put six in style strategies for bind baking pie crusts to the take a look at. As it seems, the kind of pie weight you employ issues a little lower than the baking temperature and the fabric you employ to line the pie dough. Here’s what we discovered throughout this bake-off, together with the surprisingly pleasant winner.

While from-(*6*) is each straightforward and enjoyable to make, for the sake of ease and consistency, every of those strategies was examined with store-bought pie crusts. Each sheet of dough was rolled out into a steel pie pan, crimped, and chilled for not less than an hour earlier than being lined and baked in response to the instructions. After baking and cooling, every crust was full of a simple chocolate cream filling. The rankings had been based mostly on ease, baking success (evenly browned crust with minimal shrinkage), how properly they held as much as filling, and how they fared after chilling in a single day.

Note: We even have a Tools Showdown for the most effective pie weights. If you’re seeking to purchase a pie weight-specific software for the job, head on over there to read more.

Blind-Baking Method: Parchment Paper and Dried Beans

About this technique: Using dried beans in place of pie weights is so ubiquitous that you possibly can nearly contemplate this technique the management for our experiment. After rolling out and chilling the dough, you line the crust with parchment and pour within the beans. You then bake the crust at 425°F for quarter-hour till the perimeters are browned, then rigorously take away the parchment and the new beans. The crust then goes again within the oven for 5 minutes or till dry. After cooling, the dried beans may be reused once more and once more as pie weights.

Results: This technique may be the usual, however we are able to’t say that it’s the most effective. Beans range broadly in measurement and form, which determines how properly they fill the parchment liner and overwhelm the crust. Depending on how the beans match into the pie pan, you will get uneven browning and/or dents within the crust. This gained’t wreck your pie, however it doesn’t look fairly both. But the most important downside with this technique? Removing the new beans of their parchment sling inevitably ends in a number of cussing, particularly because you’re doing this difficult maneuver with oven mitts on. The blind-baked crust wasn’t unusable, however it was erratically baked — the perimeters had been fairly brown, whereas the underside was fairly pale even after the second bake.

Blind-Baking Method: Parchment Paper and Uncooked Rice

About this technique: Another riff on the usual, this technique swaps the beans for rice. For this take a look at, we baked the crust precisely as we did the dried bean technique above: Chill the dough, line the shell with parchment paper, and fill with raw rice, then bake the pie crust at 425°F for quarter-hour. Remove the parchment and rice, then bake for 5 extra minutes. Bonus: After cooling, you’ll be able to cook dinner and eat the rice.


Results: The rice does a barely higher job of evenly filling the crust and weighing down the parchment than the beans, however it’s really more durable to get out of the new crust. In addition to the cursing, you’ll additionally even have the pleasure of brushing the spilled rice off of the screaming-hot oven door and sweeping it up off the ground. The completed crust did bake a little extra evenly than the bean model, however not by a lot.

Blind-Baking Method: Double Pie Pans

Results: Despite a little bit of sizzling pan sizzling potato, the crust baked surprisingly properly. The edges browned first, however the backside was crisp by the point sides had been golden. The large difficulty right here was that the crust nonetheless shrinks a bit, which supplies you a pie shell that doesn’t sit flat. When we spooned within the filling, the crust broke instantly. This technique may be a better option for par-baking, the place the filling is added to the partially baked crust.

Blind-Baking Method: Parchment Paper and Pie Weights

About this technique: While pie weights are sometimes bemoaned as a single-tasker within the kitchen, they will final a lifetime with common cleansing. There are a few styles of weights, however we selected the traditional ceramic balls that recently won our pie weight showdown. Just just like the bean and rice strategies, you chill the pie shell, line it with parchment, fill with the weights, and bake the crust for quarter-hour earlier than eradicating the weights and ending the bake. We adopted the directions from American’s Test Kitchen, which prompt a barely decrease temperature of 375°F, as in comparison with the 425°F temperature for the bean and rice assessments.

Results: Pie weights are a specialty software you don’t see in each kitchen (which is why you see so many people attempting exchange them with pantry staples), however there’s really one thing distinctive about them. The ceramic spheres evenly fill the house and distribute warmth very evenly, which ought to give a uniform bake. Still, even this crust browned a bit erratically — the perimeters browned earlier than the underside — however it did crisp up fantastically, because of the decrease oven temp.

Blind-Baking Method: Parchment Paper and Sugar

Results: This technique gave us a extra evenly baked backside crust than the rice or beans technique, because of the higher weight distribution from the sugar. The toasted sugar and the truth that you don’t need to battle with it halfway by way of the bake helped push this technique as much as second place.

Blind-Baking Method: Aluminum Foil and Sugar


Results: As a lot as we love sugar as a pie weight, this technique proves to be even higher. Not solely is there no have to deal with the pie after it goes into the oven, however this technique additionally gave us the most effective browning of any technique we tried, which helped the crust keep crisp once we added the chocolate cream filling. In her instructions, Stella explains that it’s the mix of the heat-conductive foil; the even weight and high-quality texture of the sugar, which may sneak into each nook and cranny; and the low-and-slow bake that make this technique magic. As with the parchment-and-sugar technique, you additionally get toasted sugar, which is good for turning into lemon curd or custard filling, creating a unending cycle of blind baking, pie-filling, and, after all, pie-eating — all of which we are able to get behind.

Meghan Splawn

Food Editor, Skills

Meghan is the Food Editor for Kitchn’s Skills content material. She’s a grasp of on a regular basis baking, household cooking, and harnessing good gentle. Meghan approaches meals with an eye fixed in direction of budgeting — each time and cash — and having enjoyable. Meghan has a baking and pastry diploma, and spent the primary 10 years of her profession as a part of Alton Brown’s culinary crew. She co-hosts a weekly podcast about meals and household referred to as Didn’t I Just Feed You.



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