Hey now! It’s time to bake a custard pie. As you scroll through (and pass over) recipes that call for blind baking, we want you to know what separates the amateurs from the pros and ensures you have a crisp, flaky crust from crimp to bottom.
-First, make space in your freezer. Giving the dough some time to chill after it rolled out and placed in the tin is the best way to get your crimping to stay nice and tight between shaping and baking.
-Once your dough is rolled out, placed in the tin, crimped and frozen (minimum: 10 minutes, max- a few weeks in the freezer), you’re going to support those pretty edges with pie weights.
-Pie Weights: use dried rice/beans/expensive ceramic pie weights- all of these work great. We re-use the same dried beans and rice over and over again without fail. You’ll need to line your cold crust with parchment paper or foil- make sure to leave at least 2″ of overhang so you can pick up all the weights easily, even if they’re hot. Once lined, fill the pie all the way to the top (DO NOT skimp or use the silly string of beads here) so that the edges of the pie are fully supported while the pie bakes without its filling. Make sure your pie is on a cookie sheet before you bake it (your smoke alarm will thank you).
-Bake! Flaky things bake at 375F or hotter- I like to blind bake my crust around 380F until the just get golden on the edges. Remove the pie from the oven and let it sit for about 10 minutes with the pie weights still in there. Remove the pie weights.
-ReBake! Here’s where you get the pro tip- blind baked pies should always take a second trip in the oven- without the pie weights- before you pour in a custard so that no one has to endure a soggy bottom. After you remove the pie weights, prick the bottom of the pie crust generously with a fork. Return the crust to the oven until the bottom is golden.
-Ahhh—custard! Your crust is now a lovely shade of golden blond and ready for your pumpkin, buttermilk, pecan or other custardy goodness filling. Turn your oven down to 325F and bake with the filling until the custard is just set.