When you make a pie with a filling that requires little baking time, such as pumpkin or chocolate cream, pre-baking, or "blind-baking," the crust ensures that your pie doesn't end up soggy and undercooked. Blind-baking has its own problems: Without the weight of the pie filling, steam from the moist pie dough can cause the crust to bubble while baking, leading to cracks or a misshapen pie shell that can't hold all of your filling. A couple of preventative measures can keep your crust from bubbling and allow you to pack it with all the delicious filling called for in your recipe.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit or to the temperature required by your cooking method.
Prick tiny holes in the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork or the tip of a sharp knife to allow steam to escape and prevent it from causing the crust to bubble. The holes will close up, for the most part, as the crust bakes, so your filling will not leak through.
Line the unbaked crust with foil, pressing it lightly against the dough. Fill the bottom of the foil with pie weights, dried beans or coins. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until the crust is slightly darker and drier when you lift up the edge of the foil.
Remove the weights and the foil and return the crust to the oven. Continue baking for another five to 10 minutes, or until the crust is light golden brown.
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- If your oven has a window, keep an eye on your pie during the baking process and gently prick any developing bubbles with the tip of a sharp knife.
- Pour the filling into your blind-baked pie crust while it is still hot and bake the finished pie immediately. If you let the crust cool completely before adding the filling, it may become soggy.
- If, despite your best efforts, a large bubble forms in your pie crust, gently press it down with a towel after removing the crust from the oven.
- If the upper edges of the pie crust are browning more quickly than the bottom and sides, remove the pie from the oven and wrap strips of foil around the edges to protect them while the rest of the crust continues to darken.
Anika Torrance joined the "Mobile Press-Register" in 1997 as an advertising assistant and quickly moved into the newsroom, where she was a staff writer and copy editor for almost 10 years. She holds a Bachelor's degree with a double major in journalism and history from the University of Southern Mississippi, and completed a Master's degree in English at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.