Intermediate
How to make Perfect Pie Crust (for beginners)

Blind cooking method INSUFFICIENT! Perfect for both beginners and experts.

Instead of baking the pie crust at two different temperatures, the pie crust is baked for a longer time at a lower, more consistent temperature. This technique is the one recommended by Star Parks Also.

This allows the pie crust to set and brown gently while still being weighted down. This almost completely prevents the pie crusts from collapsing and shrinking!

Preheat oven to 350 F/180 C (conventional oven). Position the rack in the lower third of the oven. For best results, place a pizza stone OR baking sheet in the oven and let it preheat for at least 30 minutes before baking the pie.. This will help cook the bottom of the tart.

When you’re ready for blind cooking, prick the bottom of the tart with a fork.

Take a piece of baking paper or foil and crumple it into a ball. Then open it and place it on top of the cooled pie crust.

A piece of crumpled paper or aluminum foil will conform to the shape of the pie crust and fit easily around the edges of the pie crust.

Fill the pie crust with weights, making sure they come at least ¾ of the way up, but preferably all the way to the bottom. A common mistake beginners make is to only fill the bottom, which can cause the sides of the crust to slide down and shrink. Making the weights go all the way to the bottom of the pie crust will keep the sides and bottom intact and in place. My recommendation is to start with rice or sugar as weight.

Make sure the foil or parchment paper extends over the crust, this will protect the crust naturally and prevent the crust from browning too much too soon.

Place the cake pan in the oven, on top of the pizza stone or baking tray, and bake for 60 – 65 minutes.

After 60 minutes the crust should start to brown slightly. Remove the shortcrust pastry from the oven and very carefully remove the baking paper/aluminium TOGETHER WITH THE WEIGHTS. Do this step very carefully, so you remove all sugar/rice/cake weights. Otherwise you will end up with a mess. Keep an empty bowl next to you so that you can immediately transfer the baking paper/cling film to it.

I like to prick the crust one more time with a fork and return the pie crust to the oven.

For a baked crust – Bake for an additional 5 – 10 minutes, until the bottom of the crust appears opaque or dry. It shouldn’t brown too much, but a light golden color is fine.

For a completely blind baked crust – Bake for another 15 – 20 minutes until the crust is golden brown all over the surface. Tor take a nice shiny finish, brush an egg wash all over the crust before the last 5 minutes of baking.

Either way, if the edges of the pie crust start to caramelize too much, you can use aluminum foil to cover the edges, or you can also purchase silicone pie crust liners. However, in my experience I have never needed to do this.

Baked pie crust on top and fully baked pie crust on bottom to compare coloring.Baked pie crust on top and fully baked pie crust on bottom to compare coloring.
The difference between a baked pie crust (top) and a completely blind baked pie crust (bottom).

Tips for a Double Crust Pie (or Filled Pie)

For pies that will be baked with the top crust, both the bottom and top crusts are not pre-baked. This will make it easier to hold the dough together.

You can use a whole piece of dough as the top crust, or use a pastry cutter or knife to cut shapes or ribbons to create a lattice top or other decorations. If using a full top crust, be sure to cut holes or shapes for ventilation.

The biggest challenge in baking pies that already have a filling is how to ensure that the bottom also cooks properly without becoming soggy or remaining raw.

A foolproof way to perfectly bake a double crust pie or pie with filling.

Bake the cake in the preheated oven, on a baking stone or baking tray. Make sure the cake pan is in the bottom third of the oven, so closest to the oven’s main heating element. Bake the pie at 425 F / 218 C for 10 minutes, then at 375 F / 190 C for 50 – 60 minutes for that perfect golden crust on top AND bottom!

Specialized equipment that will be useful for making shortcrust pastry (but not all of them are essential).

  • Baking paper or non-stick film.
  • Cake Weights (Sugar works great too – just remember that sugar MAY contain some melted butter.)
  • Spray bottle – for spraying water to get the right dough consistency.
  • Stone or metal pizza pan.
  • Silicone pie crust liners (you can also use a shaped sheet).

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