How to Blind Bake Pie Crust

Blind baking your pie crust can feel intimidating but this simple process can help you get the perfect pie every single time. 

Overhead photo of a blind baked pie crust.

So many people profess pie as their all-time favorite dessert, but you’ll find just as many people who are completely befuddled by pie crust. Whether it’s mixing the dough, rolling it out, or blind baking it, I know all too well how intimidating crust can be – and I want to change that.

As we head into the holidays, it seems like the perfect time to not just give you some of my favorite pie and crust recipes – but to give you my tips and tricks for blind-baking, also known as parbaking, your pie crusts. Once you master this process – the world is your oyster (or pie!).

I’ve tried so many different methods for this, different pie weights, and the method I’ve found that is completely foolproof is the one outlined by Stella Parks.

Ball of pie dough on counter being rolled out.

Blind Baking FAQs

  • What does blind-baking/parbaking mean?: All we are doing here is putting the crust in the oven without filling to get it solid and crispy before including the rest of the ingredients. Most recipes use pie weights or something else (granulated sugar is my favorite!) in the center to keep the dough in place during this process.
  • When do I blind bake my pie crust? This process is necessary when you have a liquid/custard filling, or a filling that is not cooked (like fruit).
  • Why do I need to use pie weights? As the dough bakes, tiny bits of steam build and puff up our delicious crusty layers. This becomes an issue, however, when you want to fill the crust with some awesome chocolate, custard, or egg mixture! Without weighing down the crust during blind baking, the sides will begin to droop before they get flaky, which doesn’t make for the most aesthetically pleasing pie!
  • Where do I find pie weights? In your pantry! I have found granulated sugar to be THE. BEST pie weight; the granules are small so its weight is distributed evenly over the entire surface of the pie, and up the sides. Once cool, place it in an airtight container and reuse it for future pies! (You could use rice or dried beans, as well).
  • How far ahead can you blind bake? During the winter holidays, or the summer fruit rush, making pies ahead of time can be helpful. Once you are done blind-baking pie crusts, you can keep them covered with saran wrap for about three days in the refrigerator before they need to be finished.

Fitting a round of pie dough into a pie plate.

Step-by-Step Instructions

First things first – prepare the dough as directed!  This process works for any crust you may be using, but my favorites are the butter/shortening vodka crust and the all-butter pie crust!

  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press it into a 6-inch round.
  • Lightly flour the top and gently and quickly roll out a 13-inch circle, picking it up and doing a quarter turn after every couple of rolls to keep it from sticking.
  • Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate and press it into the bottom and sides. Trim the dough and tuck so it is flush with the edge of the pie plate, then flute the edges as desired.
  • Refrigerate the dough-lined plate for at least 2 hours.

A dough-lined pie plate with fluted edges.

Now-  we are ready to blind bake!

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line the chilled pie dough with foil and fill the plate with granulated sugar.

Pie dough covered in foil and filled with sugar.

  • If the crust will bake again once filled, then bake for 40 minutes, remove the foil and sugar, and proceed with the recipe as directed.
  • If the crust needs to be fully baked, then bake for 55 to 60 minutes, remove the foil and sugar, and proceed with the recipe as directed.

This is what the crust will look like if you are only partially baking it:

Overhead photo of partially baked pie crust.

The photo at the very top of this post shows a pie crust that has been fully baked.

Ready to try blind baking pie crust? Here are some of my favorite recipes you can use this technique with!

I hope this helps you with all of your pie baking adventures! If you try this method, please stop back and leave a rating and let me know how you liked it! ENJOY! 😍

How to Blind Bake a Pie Crust

Servings 8 servings
Prep 2 hours
Cook 1 hour
Total 3 hours
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

Blind baking your pie crust can feel intimidating but this simple process can help you get the perfect pie every single time. 

Ingredients:

  • 1
    recipe
    single 9-inch pie crust

Directions:

  1. Prepare the dough as directed.

  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and bring it together with your hands, pressing it into a 6-inch round. Lightly flour the top and gently and quickly roll it out to a 13-inch circle, picking it up and doing a quarter turn after every couple of rolls to keep it from sticking.

  3. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate and gently press it into the bottom and up the sides. Trim the dough to 1 inch beyond the lip of the pie plate, then tuck it under itself so it is flush with the edge of the pie plate. Flute the edges or press with the tines of a fork, then refrigerate the dough-lined plate for at least 2 hours.

  4. Blind Bake Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the chilled pie dough with aluminum foil and use granulated sugar to fill the whole pie plate. Bake for 40 minutes; remove the foil and sugar and set the crust aside while you make the filling.

  5. If the crust will bake again once filled, then bake for 40 minutes, remove the foil and sugar, and proceed with the recipe as directed.

  6. If the crust needs to be fully baked, then bake for 55 to 60 minutes, remove the foil and sugar, and proceed with the recipe as directed.

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!

[Photography by Dee Frances]