Blind Baking: The Secret to Better Pumpkin Pie

Say goodbye to soggy bottoms with one simple step.

Blind baking isn't a party trick where you bake a cake with a mask on. It's actually an important step on the road to perfect pumpkin pie. After all, who has time for soggy pie?

Think of blind baking as a head start for your crust, which is especially important when it comes to custard pies like pumpkin. It gives the crust a chance to dry out a bit before adding a wet filling—ensuring a crisp, flaky bottom and a pie that holds its shape. Here's how to do it.

Unbaked pie crust
Dawn Perry

Chill the Dough

Once you've rolled the dough, transferred it to your pie plate, and crimped a beautiful edge, go ahead and stick it in the freezer until it's firm, about 15 minutes. Chilling helps the crust hold its shape because the frozen butter takes longer to melt. This goes for all bottom crusts, whether you're filling with fruit and topping with another crust or preparing to blind bake.

Line the Pie

Once the dough is firm, it's time to line. Peel off a big sheet of parchment paper or aluminum foil. (Either will work fine, the piece must simply be bigger than the pie plate with 2 inches of overhang.) Line the pie with the parchment or foil, pressing gently into the corners and fill with pie weights—if you don't have any, use a pound of dried beans, uncooked rice, oats, or sugar. All you're trying to do is weigh down the dough evenly across the bottom and in the corners, so the crust holds its shape as the butter melts in the oven. It will totally be worth it for a sturdy pie.


While many recipes instruct you to blind bake at 400 F, this is too hot. The butter melts too fast, thus creating too much steam so that the crust collapses on itself as soon as you remove your pie weights. Instead, bake at 350 F for even browning and structural integrity.

Blind baking is part of a three-step process. First, blind bake at 350 F until the edges look pale golden. At this stage, some recipes will have you remove the pie weights immediately and continue baking. We like to let the crust cool completely before removing—this prevents the crust from slumping in on itself once it's released from its supports. So, let it cool, then return the pie to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes. At this stage, the bottom of the crust should look dry and start to take on some color.

Remember: It still bakes one more time with the filling in it, so don't worry if you're not to that deep caramelized golden brown yet.

Fill the Pie and Finish Baking

Now that your crust is lightly golden and dry, you're ready to fill. Add your filling and return it to the oven to bake. What you're looking for is a deeply golden crust and a filling that just wiggles in the center when you gently shake the pie plate.

Pro tip: If you're in the market for a new pie dish, we recommend buying an inexpensive glass pie plate. Ninety percent of pies are designed to work in this type of dish, plus you have the added benefit of being able to check the bottom. See that golden brown bottom? That's what you're looking for.

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