November 30, 2021

GM Foods

Delicious Food And Cooking Tips

Parbake and Blind Bake Pie Crust

About this time of 12 months final 12 months, Erin McDowell’s The Ebook on Pie made its manner into the world. It’s a gorgeous e-book, overwhelming in its breadth and wonder, a tome crammed with recipes and strategies for making any pie your coronary heart wishes, a complete information promising to reply any pie query to have ever crossed your thoughts.

For me, the massive query was: Is parbaking pie crust crucial?

To forestall a soggy backside, parbaking is a step required of many a Thanksgiving pie, and it’s a step I dislike for a number of causes, together with: 

  1. Pie weights are ineffective. Many time I’ve gone by way of the hassle of filling my pie shell with weights (or dried beans) solely to have it shrink as quickly as I take away these weights.
  2. Overbaking. Whereas parbaking would certainly guarantee a crisp backside crust, I at all times discovered the uncovered crust to get overcooked. 

My lack of parbaking success over time has led me to skip the step altogether — to be trustworthy, nobody appeared to note. It additionally pushed me squarely onto staff galette

However final 12 months, studying by way of Erin’s e-book, I noticed I used to be doing it mistaken: I’ve been severely overbaking my parbaked pie crusts. On web page 46 of the e-book, a photograph depicting a accurately baked, underbaked, and overbaked parbaked pie crust confirmed me my error: the underside of a accurately baked parbaked crust ought to be barely toasted, largely blonde with the faintest trace of brown; the perimeters ought to be frivolously golden.

Erin’s methodology requires baking the pies with weights (or dried beans) for 15-17 minutes and for simply 2 to three minutes extra with out the weights. I had by no means seen such a short while body for parbaking, however I examined the tactic on my favourite Thanksgiving pie, Ronnie Hollingsworth’s most glorious squash pie, and the tactic labored fantastically! Do you see how properly golden however not overly so the crust seems to be?:

The back of a baked pumpkin pie.

Pals, I’m so excited to have this piece of the pie (ha!) resolved. However this isn’t all I’ve realized. Let me share a couple of extra findings.

The Significance of Chilling Your Pie Dough

After you make your pie dough, you must let it relaxation within the fridge for no less than half-hour or higher, one hour, earlier than you roll it out. Why? For 2 causes:

  1. As famous in The Ebook on Pie: “In case your dough isn’t chilled sufficient at this stage, the fats can be tender and more likely to smush into the dough throughout rolling, leading to a shorter, crumblier texture somewhat than the specified tender, flaky impact.”
  2. Furthermore: Chilling the dough after mixing makes it simpler to roll out. It is because chilling permits the pure protein stands (i.e. the gluten) that type when flour is hydrated to melt and loosen up, making the dough simpler to roll out.

Why You Shouldn’t Freeze Your (Rolled-Out) Pie Dough

Though pie dough freezes fantastically in portioned discs, when you roll it out and match it into your pie plate, you shouldn’t freeze it. It is because:

“Freezing can mess with the way in which fats acts within the oven. Whilst you do need dough to be chilly, whether it is baked from frozen, it could take some time for the butter to melt and thus delay the flaky puff-up impact that happens when the dough hits the oven warmth. This could result in the butter melting out of the crust, making a greasy and/or smoky mess in your oven and a tricky crust.”

I examined this idea by baking one shell instantly after rolling it out and one I had frozen for twenty-four hours. I had suspected that the frozen one would maintain its form higher, however I used to be mistaken! It really shrunk extra, and, as Erin famous, made a smoky mess within the course of as a result of the butter melted out of the crust.

Two Parbaking Suggestions

  1. Don’t bake pies instantly on the rack — butter will seep out and when it hits the oven ground (or Baking Metal), it can make a smoky mess. As a substitute, place your pies on sheet pans and use parchment paper, if you want, for straightforward clear up. 
  2. In case you have a Baking Metal or pizza stone, use it. As a result of Steels and stones retain warmth nicely, they encourage correct and even browning on the bottoms of pie. In addition they assist hold the oven temperature’s at the same time as you open and shut the door to test in your pie. 

Pals, there are a couple of images beneath, however I feel the video can be most useful right here. It begins with my favourite foolproof meals processor pie dough recipe, which employs a tea towel trick I realized from a French girl years in the past, and ends with a parbaked shell.

I’m nonetheless getting my 2021 Thanksgiving submit collectively — keep tuned! — however this 12 months, I’ll plan on making my pie dough the Tuesday earlier than Thanksgiving, rolling it out and parbaking the shells on Wednesday, and filling and baking the pies very first thing Thursday morning. 

I can not wait. I really love nothing greater than waking on the morning time on Thanksgiving morning, tying my apron, brewing the espresso, and tackling the entire day’s to-do’s. Hope you do, too. In case you have any parbaking knowledge to share, please do.

This pie shell is about to enter the oven. Notice: It can save you these dried beans and use them repeatedly: allow them to cool; then stash them in a Ziplock bag.

An unbaked pie shell filled with dried beans about to enter the oven to be parbaked.

It is a just-baked parbaked pie crust.

A parbaked pie crust.

That is Ronnie Hollingsworth’s Most Wonderful Squash Pie, which I made with a can of pumpkin purée rather than the roasted squash for this current experiment. It was good, however I missed the squash.

A slice of pumpkin pie on a plate with a dollop of whipped cream on top.

Are you able to see how flaky the crust is?

A slice of pumpkin pie on a plate with a dollop of whipped cream on top.
The back of a slice of pumpkin pie.
A slice of pumpkin pie on a plate with a dollop of whipped cream on top.


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That is the pie dough recipe I exploit for each tart, pie, galette I make. On this recipe and video, I present make the pie dough in addition to parbake and blind bake it. Parbaking is a step that ensures the underside crust of your pie won’t be soggy. Listed here are a couple of recipes that profit from a parbaked crust:


  • Dough may be made as much as three days upfront and saved within the fridge or made weeks upfront and saved within the freezer. To thaw, place dough within the fridge in a single day earlier than baking.
  • To make a double batch: don’t load your meals processor with double portions. Make the dough in separate batches — no want to scrub the meals processor in between batches.

  • 2½ cups (320g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (25 g) sugar
  • ½ teaspoon (3 g) kosher salt
  • 16 tablespoons (227g) unsalted butter, minimize into small items and chilled
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons (142g) ice water

  1. Within the bowl of a meals processor, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt collectively. Add the chilled, cubed butter. Pulse at 1-second intervals till butter is the scale of peas — ought to be about ten 1-second pulses. Add the ice water and pulse once more about 10 instances till the combination is crumbly however holds collectively when pinched. (To make and not using a meals processor: In a big bowl, whisk flour, sugar, and salt collectively. Add the butter to the flour combination, and utilizing the again of a fork or a pastry cutter, incorporate it till it’s in small items. Add ice water and proceed to stir with a fork till combination is crumbly however holds collectively when pinched.)
  2. Lay two clear tea towels on a piece floor. Dump half of the crumbly dough combination into the middle of every. Seize the 4 corners of the towel collectively and twist to create a beggar’s purse, urgent the dough right into a spherical. Use your palms to pack and flatten the spherical. Wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper, place in ziplock or different hermetic bag/vessel, and stash within the fridge for no less than half-hour, however ideally 1 hour or for so long as 3 days. You can also retailer it within the freezer for so long as 3months.
  3. To parbake or blind bake the pie crust: Warmth your oven to 425ºF. In case you have a Baking Metal or pizza stone, place it on a rack within the decrease third of your oven. On a frivolously floured work floor, roll out one of many chilled rounds of pie dough, flipping the spherical over each few strokes, till you might have a circle roughly 15 inches in diameter — the thickness ought to be about that of a Ritz cracker — realized this visible tip from King Arthur Flour. 
  4. Switch the spherical to a pie plate. Trim any extreme overhanging pie dough — there ought to be roughly 1/2 inch of dough overhanging the sting. Save the scraps in an hermetic container within the fridge. Tuck the overhanging dough behind itself; then use your fingers to crimp the sting right into a fluted sample — video steering right here. Lay a sheet of parchment throughout the pie plate and pour pie weights or dried beans into the middle till they attain the highest of the pie crust. Use your palms to press the weights down and match them into the perimeters of the fluted crust.
  5. Switch the crammed pie crust to a parchment-lined sheet pan and switch to the oven for 15-20 minutes or till the perimeters are simply starting to paint — do depend on the visible cues right here. It generally takes my crusts a little bit longer to tackle that gentle coloration on the edges.
  6. Take away the pan from the oven and thoroughly take away the pie weights or dried beans (which you should utilize repeatedly — allow them to cool utterly; then switch to a storage bag). Return the pan to the oven. For a parbaked crust, bake the shell for one more 2 to three minutes — it ought to tackle solely the slightest little bit of extra coloration throughout. For a blind-baked crust, return the shell to the oven for one more 10 to 12 minutes or till the crust is evenly golden brown. 
  7. From right here, proceed with whichever pie recipe you make. I exploit this pie crust for each pie I make. See notes above. 

  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Prepare dinner Time: 25 minutes
  • Class: Dessert
  • Methodology: Meals Processor, Oven
  • Delicacies: American, French

Key phrases: parbake, blind bake, pie, crust, flaky

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