Blind baking a pie crust may sound like an unlikey skill you would want to acquire, but making pie shells at home is so much more convenient than running to the grocery store. I learned how to blind bake pie shells back in the 1980’s when quiche was all the rage. I can’t remember how many quiches I have made in my life, but I definitely have blind baking as part of my skill set forever!
Blind baking simply means that you bake the crust so that it can be filled later. Strawberry Pie, Chocolate Meringue Pie and even Grapefruit Pie require an empty baked pie shell to fill. Although you can buy ready made pie shells at the grocery store, blind baked pie shells are fresher and larger, which makes for a better pie that will serve more people!
Don’t Worry About Crust Shrink
Don’t worry if the bottom of the pie lifts slightly off of the bottom of the pie pan after you blind bake it. Even with pie weights, the bottom crust may shrink a bit. Once the filling is added, the pie shell will relax and conform to the shape of the pan. Simply have faith that it will turn out well!
I don’t recommend blind baking a bunch of pie shells and freezing them to have on hand when you need them. Fresh is always best. But you can mix up your pie crust pastry and keep it in the fridge for a day or so before you bake it into a pie shell.
Technique Works Well with Frozen Crust Too
The blind baking technique also works with frozen pie crust rolls in case you have a pie crust “emergency” (ie. guest stop in and you need a quick dessert.) Berries, fresh fruit or even a quiche can be assembled quickly if you know how to blind bake a pie crust.