8 Ways to Prevent Pie Crust Shrinkage (When Blind Baking)

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If you’ve ever made a pie crust that needed to be cooked before adding the filling, you’ve done blind baking. Blind baking recipes include things like lemon chiffon pie and chocolate cream pie. The crust for these pies must be baked, but the contents do not.

Fruit pies work best with a pre-baked crust because if they were cooked with a raw crust, the bottom would get mushy. Tart shells, which are just individual pies, also use blind baking and look and taste excellent when filled with fruit or cream.

Even the most experienced bakers have seen a pie crust shrink or even drop from the edges. Is there anything you can do ahead of time so you don’t have to wait until the crust has done baking to realize you’ll have to start over?

How to Keep Your Pie Crust from Shrinking

1 – Use the Right Pie Pan

Ceramic or metal pie pans are ideal for preventing shrinkage of your pie crust. Because glass pans have a slick surface, the crust slides off easily.

When putting the crust in the pie pan, try to keep the top slightly higher. Crimp it tightly around the edges, forcing it into the pan and preventing it from slipping down.

2 – Knead the Dough Sparingly

When you knead the dough, gluten is formed. That is acceptable, but overworking it will make the dough highly elastic, which makes it easier to deal with but also makes it more prone to shrinking in form. It becomes even more retractable when put in the oven and exposed to heat.

3 – Use as Little Water as You Can

When preparing your own dough, you may come across a section that instructs you to add extra water. This is given to aid in the mixing of the dough.

While this is a vital stage in constructing an excellent pie crust, start slowly and continue to do so until the dough seems ready to bake. You will require less water if you use a high-quality brand of butter.

Putting a tiny quantity of dough in your palm is one technique to evaluate whether your crust needs more water. If it holds together when squeezed, it’s ready to go. If not, start with a tablespoon and work your way up.

When you bake your pie crust, the water will evaporate, causing the crust to shrink.

4 – Let It Rest

If you’ve ever prepared bread, you’ll know that the dough has to rest, sometimes many times before baking. The same is true with pie crusts.

Allow your dough to rest in a cool area for around 30 minutes to ensure that it does not generate too much gluten. While half an hour is sufficient for resting the dough, one hour is preferable.

5 – Hold Down the Crust with Weights

Once the crust is uniformly distributed in your pie dish, add a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil in the bottom and up the sides to cover the dough. Now you can fill it with weights so the pie crust will remain even and not puff up.

You may buy professional pie weights or use dry beans, uncooked rice, or even white sugar. Fill to the crust’s edge.

6 – Make Sure Your Pie Crust Is Ice Cold Before Baking It

Allow the crust to cool in the refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes after you’ve weighted it down. Chilling the dough causes the fat to become more firm, reducing the possibility of shrinkage.

Remove the weights and aluminum foil once it is ready for the oven.

7 – Bake Your Pie with Two Pans

Using an extra pan is a simple technique to protect your crust from shrinking. Once the crust is in the pie pan of your choice, grab another pan of the same size and shape, coat the back with nonstick spray, and set it directly on top of the crust.

Refrigerate the two pans for about 30 minutes. Flip the pans over and set them on a cookie sheet when ready to bake. Because the crust will be upside down, it will be less likely to shrink upwards.

8 – Start at a High Temperature

Baking your pie crust at a high temperature of 400 to 425 degrees for around 15 minutes can help it hold its form. After 15 minutes, decrease the temperature to the one specified in your recipe and bake until done.

Another thing to remember when creating your next pie crust is to puncture the dough with a fork before baking it. This will protect your pie crust from cooking unevenly and forming pockets in sections.

Another thing to keep in mind while making a picture-perfect crust is to keep an eye on the rim of the dough. The pie may bake evenly, but the crust may get overly black.

Cover the edge of your pie with a thin piece of aluminum foil after it has become golden brown. This will prevent the crust from overcooking and becoming too black.

The guidelines stated above may help you produce a delicious pie whether you’re attempting a new recipe, one that has been handed down in your family for years, or even using a store-bought pie crust. Everyone will be amazed by your creation and devouring delectable pie in no time.


What should you do to your pie crust before blind baking it?

Parchment Paper with Pie Weights for Blind Baking

The pie shell is chilled, lined with parchment, filled with weights, and baked for 15 minutes before removing the weights and continuing the bake, much like the bean and rice techniques.

What are two ways to keep pastry dough from shrinking?

5 methods to keep your pastry from shrinking
Use caution while adding water.
Don’t put too much effort into your money.
Allow the dough to rest for at least one hour before baking.
Make sure your pastry is cold (very cold)…
Preheat the oven to high.
Watch this video to learn how to make royal icing.

Do you chill pie crust before blind baking?

It’s critical to start with a cold pie crust before blind-baking. Not only does the gluten in the dough require time to relax, but it also allows the butter to melt at the right pace.

How to blind bake a pie crust without weight?

Instead of weights, nestle a second pie plate — either the same size as or slightly smaller than the crust — within the dough. It holds the crust in place, making it picture-perfect and ready for the filling.

What needs to be done to the bottom crust before blind baking it to prevent shrinkage and bubbles?

Chill the crust for 30 minutes to firm the fat and avoid shrinking. Cook for 20 minutes in a preheated 375°F oven. Remove the pie from the oven and remove the parchment paper and weights. To avoid bubbles, prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork.

What temperature do you blind bake a pie shell?

Most recipes call for defrosting the crust, pricking it all over with the tines of a fork, and baking it at 375°F to 450°F for 10 to 12 minutes.

How do I stop my pastry shrinking when blind baking?

How to Prevent Pie Crust Shrinkage
Don’t overwork the dough.
To the dough, add water.
Make a few holes in the crust.
Make use of pie weights.
Use a pe plate made of metal or ceramic.
Bake at the proper temperature.
The pie crust should be frozen.
Increase the thickness of the crust’s edges.

How long should you blind bake pastry?

Fill the tart pan with ceramic baking beans or dry pulses after lining it with baking paper. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the dough is firm, then remove the beans and continue to bake for another 5 minutes, or until golden brown and biscuity. Before filling, trim any extra with a little serrated knife.

Why does my pie dough shrink so much?

Pastry requires liquid to activate the gluten in the wheat in order to keep its form when baking. Fat is also required for a flaky, delicate texture. The proportion of these two elements is crucial. Too much fat causes the crust to lose its structure and shrink; too much liquid causes it to become hard and leathery.

How far in advance can you blind bake a pie crust?

It’s worth noting that you may blind bake a crust up to three days ahead of time. Allow the crust to cool before wrapping it in plastic wrap to keep it fresh. Place on the counter until ready to fill and serve.

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