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A par-baked pie crust.

How to Parbake (and Blind Bake) Pie Crust + Foolproof Flaky Pie Dough


Description

This is the pie dough recipe I use for every tart, pie, galette I make. In this recipe and video, I show how to make the pie dough as well as how to parbake and blind bake it. Parbaking is a step that ensures the bottom crust of your pie will not be soggy. Here are a few recipes that benefit from a parbaked crust:

Notes:

  • Dough can be made up to three days in advance and stored in the fridge or made weeks in advance and stored in the freezer. To thaw, place dough in the fridge overnight before baking.
  • To make a double batch: do not load your food processor with double quantities. Make the dough in separate batches — no need to wash the food processor in between batches.
  • Favorite Pie Plate: I swear by my ceramic Emile Henry 9-inch Pie Plate.
  • Once you parbake your pie shells, let them cool completely; then store in an airtight vessel or bag — an XLarge Ziplock works well. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days. 

Ingredients

  • 2½ cups (320g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (25 g) sugar
  • ½ teaspoon (3 g) kosher salt
  • 16 tablespoons (227g) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons (142g) ice water

For baking and storing:

  • pie weights or dried beans/rice — I always use dried beans/rice. You can store them in a Ziploc and use them again and again. 
  • parchment paper
  • Jumbo Ziploc — the 2-gallon size

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt together. Add the chilled, cubed butter. Pulse at 1-second intervals until butter is the size of peas — should be about ten 1-second pulses. Add the ice water and pulse again about 10 times until the mixture is crumbly but holds together when pinched. (To make without a food processor: In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, and salt together. Add the butter to the flour mixture, and using the back of a fork or a pastry cutter, incorporate it until it is in small pieces. Add ice water and continue to stir with a fork until mixture is crumbly but holds together when pinched.)
  2. Lay two clean tea towels on a work surface. Dump half of the crumbly dough mixture into the center of each. Grab the four corners of the towel together and twist to create a beggar’s purse, pressing the dough into a round. Use your hands to pack and flatten the round. Wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper, place in ziplock or other airtight bag/vessel, and stash in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, but ideally 1 hour or for as long as 3 days. You also can store it in the freezer for as long as 3months.
  3. To parbake or blind bake the pie crust: Heat your oven to 425ºF. If you have a Baking Steel or pizza stone, place it on a rack in the lower third of your oven. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one of the chilled rounds of pie dough, flipping the round over every few strokes, until you have a circle roughly 15 inches in diameter — the thickness should be about that of a Ritz cracker — learned this visual tip from King Arthur Flour. 
  4. Transfer the round to a pie plate. Trim any excessive overhanging pie dough — there should be roughly 1/2 inch of dough overhanging the edge. Save the scraps in an airtight container in the fridge. Tuck the overhanging dough behind itself; then use your fingers to crimp the edge into a fluted pattern — video guidance here. Lay a sheet of parchment across the pie plate and pour pie weights or dried beans into the center until they reach the top of the pie crust. Use your hands to press the weights down and fit them into the edges of the fluted crust.
  5. Transfer the filled pie crust to a parchment-lined sheet pan and transfer to the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the edges are just beginning to color — do rely on the visual cues here. It sometimes takes my crusts a little longer to take on that light color at the edges.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven and carefully remove the pie weights or dried beans (which you can use again and again — let them cool completely; then transfer to a storage bag). Return the pan to the oven. For a parbaked crust, bake the shell for another 2 to 3 minutes — it should take on only the slightest bit of more color all around. For a blind-baked crust, return the shell to the oven for another 10 to 12 minutes or until the crust is evenly golden brown. 
  7. Once you parbake or blind bake your pie shells, let them cool completely; then store in an airtight vessel or bag — an XLarge Ziplock works well. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days. From here, proceed with whichever pie recipe you are making. I use this pie crust for every pie I make. See notes above. 
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Food Processor, Oven
  • Cuisine: American, French

Keywords: parbake, blind bake, pie, crust, flaky