Learn how to pre-bake a crust for quiches, custard pies, and cream pies. This process is also known as "blind baking." Blind baking a pie crust prevents soggy pie bottoms by partially baking the crust before the liquid filling is added.
What You'll Need
You'll need your generic tools for baking a pie, but also some aluminum foil and pie weights. (You can use rice, dried beans, or even sugar). Note that you shouldn't use the rice or beans in a recipe; don't throw them out, though. Just cool them and save for using as pie weights again. You can, however, use the sugar. It will take on a deeper, toastier flavor, which could actually work in your favor.
How to Pre-Bake (Blind Bake) a Pie Crust
1. Follow the instructions for rolling out your dough and lining a pie pan in our how to guide for making a pie crust. Chill the crust, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for at least half an hour. This lets the dough relax and will help prevent it from shrinking in the oven. Place a baking sheet on a lower oven rack and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 C)
2. When the pie crust is chilled, it should be firm to the touch (shortening won't firm up as well as butter, so transfer shortening crusts to the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes). Pierce the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork to prevent air pockets from forming.
3. Line the crust with a double thickness of aluminum foil, making sure the foil is all the way to the edges of the bottom of the pan.
4. Fill the foil with pie weights or dried beans. Make sure they're distributed all across the bottom and partly up the sides of the foil-lined crust. The weights ensure that the crust holds its shape during baking and doesn't slump in the pan or bubble up.
5. Put the pie plate on the preheated baking sheet and reduce the oven temp to 400. Bake until the edges of the crust are starting to turn golden and the bottom of the crust has lost its translucent "raw" look, 10 to 12 minutes (carefully pull up the edge of the foil to take a peek). Remove the baking sheet and pie pan from the oven. Lift up the edges of the foil and set the beans aside. Return the pie and baking sheet to the oven. Save the beans for the next time you bake a pie, or discard them; they're no good to eat once they've been baked.
6. If you'll be baking the crust once it's filled--for a quiche, pumpkin pie, Key lime pie, or others--bake the crust until the bottom is just beginning to color, 6 to 8 minutes. If you're making a cream pie or refrigerated pie, bake it until the entire crust is golden brown, about 15 minutes longer.
7. Remove the pie shell from the oven. To help prevent soggy pie or quiche crusts, brush the inside of the crust with egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water) to create a seal. Return the crust to the oven until the egg wash is dry and shiny, about 3 minutes.
8. If you're making a cream pie or icebox pie, let the crust cool completely before proceeding with your recipe. For pies that will go back in the oven, like lemon meringue pies or quiches, the crust can still be warm when you add the filling.