Piechiatrist Tip: Blind Baking
Q: What is blind baking and do I need to do it with the light off?—Signed, It’s Too Dark in Here
A: Dear Dark- Blind baking is a pie making technique where a crust is baked separately, completely cooled, and then used for a filling that will not need further cooking in the oven. Examples would be cream pies, chiffon pies, and lemon meringue pies, although in the case of a meringue topping, the pie will go back into the oven for a few minutes to brown the egg white peaks.
You’ll need to dock (pierce) the dough with a fork all over the bottom and sides. Then place it in the freezer for a chill. Even 10 or 15 minutes will help with dough shrinkage when it is baked. Remove from the freezer and place a piece of foil or parchment paper inside and fill with pie weights. You can buy ceramic pie weights or use dry rice or beans (a combo is just fine) or coins. They all can be reused time after time after time. Bake at 425F for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully remove the weights to be used for another time. Turn oven down to 375F and bake for another 6-10 minutes to dry out the crust a bit more and give it a nice color. Let cool completely before using.
One final tip: Keep the light on when you are docking the dough lest you slip and dock your hand.