Simple, Easy Baked Pie Crusts

Some pies, like Aunt Alice’s Strawberry Pie or my father’s favorite Lemon Meringue Pie, call for a baked pie crust.

Baked pie crust by Pie Chef Jane Fisher

A baked pie crust, ready for the filling...

Certain pies are best if you bake the crust beforehand, then fill it with the pie ingredients.

Baking a pie crust empty, with nothing in it, it might puff up in the middle and the sides might slip, so you need some weight to keep the crust in place.

First, prick the pie crust all over with a fork; this helps prevent it from puffing up.

Then add some weight to keep it down.

I sometimes put a slightly smaller aluminum pie tin inside for the first few minutes of baking, or I use pie weights.

Pie weights are ceramic or metal beads that do just that—weight down the crust. They’re washable and reusable. Then you simply line the crust with aluminum foil and put in the weights.

You can use dried beans instead of pie weights, but they do eventually need to be replaced.

Bake the crust in a preheated 425°F oven for 12-15 minutes. After 8-10 minutes, you can remove the aluminum pan or foil and weights so that the crust browns a little.

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Good reading while your pie is baking...

Three novels by Tom Brosnahan