How to Bake a Pie Shell the Day Before


Baking the crust for uncooked pies the day before a special occasion allows you to assemble pies quickly on the day of the big event so you can relax and enjoy the day. With these processes, referred to as docking, or blind baking, the crust practically takes care of itself once you line the pans and pop them in the oven. Which method you choose depends on your personal preference, as each produces a golden crust ready to be filled.

Things You'll Need

  • Fork
  • Aluminum foil
  • Dried beans
  • Pot holders
  • Prepare the pie crust following your favorite recipe, or line a pie pan with a pre-made crust.

  • Puncture holes in the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork to dock the pie. The holes allow steam to escape as the crust cooks, and prevent the bottom of the pie crust from puffing up. Adding the holes also prevents the sides of the crust from sagging during baking. This is referred to as docking a pie. Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

  • Cover the fresh pie crust with aluminum foil and fill with 1 to 1 ½ pounds of dried beans per 9-inch pie pan, if you prefer the weighted method for preventing the crust from puffing up. This method is referred to as blind baking the pie. Spread the beans to the edges of the pie crust. The beans work as a weight to prevent the crust from forming air bubbles as it bakes and prevent the sides of the crust from collapsing during baking. You do not need to prick holes in the dough if you are using the weighted method. Bake at 425 degrees for approximately 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and beans when the edge of the crust begins to brown. Bake for an additional few minutes until the bottom of the crust is golden brown.

  • Allow the pie crust to cool, cover with plastic wrap or foil, and store it in the refrigerator until ready to prepare the pie the following day.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some recipes call for a partially baked pie crust. Follow the same procedure for baking the crust, but remove the pie crust when the bottom is white and flaky, before it begins to brown. Partially baking a pie crust takes approximately 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Custard pies, such as pumpkin pies, or food that cooks quicker than the crust, such as quiches, require a partially cooked pie shell to prevent them from becoming soggy on the bottom.
  • Filling that will not be cooked, such as that added to creamed pies, canned fruit filling or pies made from whipped dairy products, require a fully baked pie crust.
  • You can purchase special pie weights for blind baking pies.
  • Use caution when removing the aluminum foil and dried beans, as they will be very hot.

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