This is a kitchen basic, and on my blog not because it’s anything “special” but so I never have to pull out my recipe box and double check for the temperature and timing! I hope it helps someone else, too.
Make pie crust as usual. Roll out pastry, place in pie plate and trim to 1/2 inch overhang. Roll the overhang over so it is flush with the pan lip.
Flute as desired, making sure it stays well on the rim of the pie plate to eliminate shrinkage. Refrigerate for one hour or freeze for 20 minutes. A well chilled pie crust holds it’s shape better on baking. Move the an oven shelf to lower middle, making sure there is plenty of room above (to accommodate the foil or parchment.) Preheat oven to 425 degrees at an appropriate time.
Carefully line the pie crust with a sheet of heavy foil or a piece of parchment. (The edges should go up, not be folded over the edge of the pie crust) fill with beans or pie weights. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes until the edges just begin to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and remove foil (leave oven on) by slowly and carefully gathering it up toward the center. If it seems to stick and pull away the pie crust, place back in oven for a minute or two longer.
Place foil and screaming hot beans in a repository like a large bowl or another pie plate.
Return pie crust to oven. For a partially cooked pie crust, bake until the bottom looks dry and flakey, just a few minutes. For a fully cooked crust, bake until the bottom turns golden brown.
You will most likely need a pie shield when working with a blind baked crust – you’ll need one to make sure the top edges don’t get too dark before the bottom is done if you’re fully cooking or before your pie is done if making something like a quiche or pumpkin pie. Many recipes will say to use a shield “if needed” and you’re stuck last minute trying to drape pieces of foil over your pie. Do one ahead of time, trust me on this!
I make mine out of aluminum foil before I put the crust in the pie plate. They can be bought but are a little awkward to store, and my home-made works beautifully and folds up right in the container with my pie beans.
To make your own pie shield:
With very little measuring skill and an interest in being frugal, the easiest method I’ve found is to make the pie shield before any baking is attempted. Simply place a sheet of foil over the pie plate – the foil should hang over about two inches on all sides.
Press it down so the markings from the edges of the pie plate show, then fold over triangles of the foil so that there is a double edge and the edge hangs over the outside of the pie plate by about 1/2 inch and overlaps about a half-inch on the inside. If the original demarcation from the pie plate is not clear, repress.
Using a scissors, cut out the center, making sure to leave the 1/2 inch overhang towards the middle. Straighten the shield out and have ready. It won’t be beautiful, but it will work.