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A Question About Pie Crust


Katie Meadow
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We don't do a lot of pie baking in our house. I could put this in the Stupid Questions thread but I don't know if it's stupid enough! Okay. If the filling does not get baked in the shell, and you need a fully baked shell first, do most recipes lend themselves to this type of treatment?

 

We baked the RLB open face blueberry pie. The filling is spectacular. We did not use her crust recipe, instead used one we had never tried before. We did follow her general instructions for pre-baking:  after the dough has been refrigerated in then pan she makes a sort of parchment paper shell that fits over the pie shell, puts in beans or pie beads, and bakes that at 425F for 20 minutes. Then she has you  remove the parchment and beans, prick the bottom and sides with a fork and bake it for another 5-10 minutes until pale golden.

 

Here's my question: can you fully pre-bake most pie crust recipes this way? We used a pie dough recipe we had never used before and it wasn't very good: it looked picture perfect but was tough. It's unclear if the recipe was simply lousy or the recipe didn't take to this treatment. My husband, adept at breads and biscuits, wants to know can he use the Julia Child pie crust he's had success with before and do the same technique, adjusting for her temp specs? Are certain pie crust recipes that are better than others if you want to fully bake first? Thanks in advance! Sometimes it's staggering how little I know about baking pie, but that's because I rarely practice.

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yes, you can adapt that method to your recipe.  and  yes, that blueberry filling is wonderful!  I like RLB's cream cheese crust  myself.

 

If you use disposable pie tins, you can also bake the shell upside down.  Make a sort of crust "sandwich" - line one tin with the dough, chill and when you want to bake it, then put a second tin on top of the dough.   Bake the shell upside for the first part of the baking, then (carefully) flip it over and remove the tin on top of the dough to finish baking.  You might want to spray the (outside of the) top tin so the dough doesn't stick.  We do this with the 3" pie shells we make.

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Thanks, @JeanneCakeUnbeknowst to me my husband ended up making RLB's crust for the blueberry pie, but it's good to know her method for a fully pre-baked crust is adaptable. I like her reasons for using parchment paper instead of foil. Interesting concept using two disposable tins, but I don't have those and from where I sit it sounds like an opportunity for drama that I don't need on Thanksgiving!

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