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What is blind baking?

Placing any fruit with liquid over a raw crust will only make for a soggy crust once baked.
 
Baking blind or pre-baking is the process of baking a pie crust without the filling. Blind baking a pie crust is necessary when it will be filled with an unbaked filling like pudding or cream pies. Also a crust is blind baked if the filling has a shorter bake time than the crust. The process of blind baking a pie crust also helps prevent the crust from becoming soggy from the filling.
The pie crust is first poked repeatedly with a fork to produce small holes; this helps the steam escape and prevents the crust from bubbling up. Next the parchment paper is placed over the raw crust and then filled with pastry or pie weights. But if you don’t have these baking accessories, then dried beans or rice can be used.
                                                                                          
After the pie crust is done, the weight or beans are removed along with the paper. The pie is filled with the prepared filling and is baked according to pie recipe instructions. 

Step 1: Fitting Crust to Pie Pan

Step 1:

After you have prepared your pie dough, place it into a 9-inch pie pan. Use a knife to cut away any dough lapping over the sides of the pie pan.

With a fork, pock several places over the crust, 

 

Step 2: Parchment Paper and Pie Weights

Step 2:

Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the 9-inch pie pan. Place paper down over the crust. Place pie weights over parchment paper, or fill with dried beans. 

Step 3: Baking Crust and Removing Paper and Weights

Step 3:

Place prepared crust into a heated oven (350 degrees) for 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove and allow the crust to cool about 5 minutes. Remove pie weights or beans and parchment paper.

Step 4: Pie Crust Is Ready for Filling

Your crust has been blind baked and is now ready to be filled with your favorite pie ingredients.

The following pie recipes are my favorites.

Step 5: Fresh Pear Pie With Dried Cherries and Brown Sugar Streusel

streusel
4 ½ oz. (1 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
½  cup packed light brown sugar
¼  tsp. table salt
 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
 
filling
3 lb. ripe Anjou or Bartlett pears (5 or 6 medium), peeled and cored, cut lengthwise into 8 wedges and then crosswise into 1/2-inch slices (about 7 cups)
1 ½ tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup granulated sugar
¼  cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. table salt
¼  tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
¾ cup dried tart cherries, coarsely chopped
1 blind-baked All-Butter Piecrust
 
Position a rack in the center of the oven, set a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet on the rack, and heat the oven to 350°F.
 
Make the streusel
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, sugar, and salt. Using your fingers, blend the butter into the flour mixture. The mixture will be moist. Set aside.
 
Make the filling
In a large bowl, toss the pears with the lemon juice. In a small bowl, whisk the sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the sugar mixture to the pears and toss well to combine. Stir in the cherries.
 
Mound the filling into the piecrust. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the pear mixture, pressing the streusel between your fingers into small lumps as you sprinkle.
 
Put the pie on the heated baking sheet and bake until the pastry is golden-brown and the filling is bubbly and thickened at the edges, 55 to 65 minutes. Rotate the pie halfway through baking, and if the pastry or streusel browns before the filling has thickened, loosely cover the top or edges of the pie as needed with a pie shield or a sheet of aluminum foil.
 
Transfer to a rack and cool completely before serving. The pie can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Step 6: Ginger Spice Cranberry Apple Streusel Pie

Streusel
4 ½ oz. (1 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup chopped lightly toasted walnuts
¼ tsp. table salt
6 tbsp.  Unsalted butter, melted
 
Filling
4 (1 ½ to 2 lb.) tart baking apples; use Granny Smith or Pink Lady
6 oz. fresh or thawed frozen cranberries (1 ¾ cups)
¾ cup plus 6 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 oz. (3 ½ Tbs.) all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. finely chopped crystallized ginger
¼ tsp. ground cardamom
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 blind-baked All-Butter Piecrust
 
Position a rack in the center of the oven, set a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet on the rack, and heat the oven to 350°F.
 
Make the streusel
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, walnuts, and salt. Using your fingers, blend the butter into the flour mixture. Set aside.
 
Make the filling
Peel, quarter, and core each apple. Cut each quarter lengthwise into ¼ inch-thick slices and then cut each slice crosswise at ¼ -inch intervals to make tiny rectangles. In a food processor, pulse the cranberries with ¾ cup of the sugar until coarsely chopped. In a large bowl, combine the remaining
 6 tbsp. sugar with the flour, ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon, breaking up ginger clumps with your fingers. Toss in the cranberry mixture and apples. Mound the filling into the piecrust. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the apple mixture, pressing the streusel between your fingers into small lumps as you sprinkle.
 
Put the pie on the heated baking sheet and bake until the streusel is deeply browned and the filling is bubbling vigorously at the edges of the pie, 65 to 75 minutes. Check every 20 minutes, and if the pastry edge or the streusel browns before the filling is done, loosely cover the top or edges of the pie as needed with aluminum foil.
 
Transfer to a rack and cool completely before serving. The pie can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.
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