Wednesday, July 17, 2013

How to: Bake an Empty Pie Crust

Have you ever wanted to bake an empty pie shell? Perhaps you have a recipe for creamy or fruity filling that doesn't require baking. In GriggsDakota, pies have been made for decades and this is my favorite method.
First, a confession. I usually bake pies in disposable pans. The reason is simple, I can give them to family and friends without concern over getting my pie pan back. Pie bakers, myself included, are obsessive about their favorite pie pans. I  have mourned the loss of quite a few pans over the years. Many pie fans just don't understand. 
So I invested in a big box of my favorite size aluminum disposable pans and now my favorite pans never leave GriggsDakota. Battle over, I surrender.
 Once I get the pie crust into the pan,
I place an empty pie pan on top of it. 
I have used a non disposable aluminum pie pan as the top pan in this method, even when I use a glass pan of a slightly different size to hold the crust.
Next, put dry beans into the pan. Pinto beans are plentiful in GriggsDakota, but any dry bean will work just fine.
The amount of beans depends on the size of the pan, but at least a couple of cups are needed to provide enough weight to keep the crust from puffing as it bakes.
I keep Pie Crust Beans in a tin and reuse them until they are well worn, about a year. Be sure the dry beans cool completely before you put the cover on the can and return to storage. 
Bake the crust for about 15 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. I use an electric convection oven that is 16 years old. Ovens vary, so watch carefully. 
After 15 minutes, check the edge of the crust to see if it has started to brown slightly.
Remove the pans of beans and set aside to cool.
Return the crust to the oven to finish, about 3 to 5 minutes. Watch carefully. The crust should be golden brown on the edges and baked to the middle. It is better to have a crust that is slightly overdone, to one that is under baked, soggy, and limp, so don't under bake. If any bubbles appear you can push them into place as you remove the crust from the oven. Cool on a rack, fill as you wish.
That is how we bake pie crusts in the kitchen of GriggsDakota.


  1. I hope we get to see what goes IN those beautiful crusts!

    ...and thanks for reminding me that I have to go collect my pie pan from the last place I took a pie...

  2. you poke holes in the crust before you put the pie pans on top?
    and...can I pin this on Pinterest?

    Love this idea by the way!