Do I Bake the Bottom Crust of a Apple Pie Before I Fill it?

Underdone, soggy pie crust can put a damper on an otherwise tasty dessert. Crusts get soggy because the filling, usually fruit, releases juices, keeping the dough from getting crispy even as the pie bakes; pie shells under creamy custards also may remain soggy after baking. To avoid an unappetizing pie, bake the crust before you fill it, treat the dough with certain ingredients or employ a classic baking tip or two.

Blind baking your crust keeps it flaky as the pie bakes. (Image: Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images)

Blind Bake the Crust

Blind baking means baking the pie crust before you fill it to avoid an under-cooked bottom. To blind bake your crust, roll out your dough, transfer it to your pie dish and press it firmly against the bottom and edges. Puncture the bottom with a fork to allow heat and steam to move freely and bake the crust. Then, cover the uncooked pie crust with a piece of parchment paper. Pour dry beans of any type on top of parchment paper to keep the crust from bubbling. Bake the crust in an oven preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Let the pie shell cool, then add the filling and bake it according to your recipe's instructions. You can cover the crust's edges with aluminum foil to keep them from burning while the filling bakes.

Coat With Egg, Brush on Chocolate

Brush your uncooked pie crust with egg -- yolks or whites -- before pouring in the filling recommends The Kitchn website. The egg hardens as the pie bakes, creating a moisture barrier between the crust and the filling. For a no-bake pie, consider brushing the bottom of a cooled, pre-baked shell with chocolate if the taste will enhance your pie's flavor. Let the chocolate cool, which also acts as a moisture barrier, then add your filling.

Bake in Glass Dish

Baking your assembled pie in a glass pie dish is an effective way of monitoring the crust as it bakes. Preheat the oven according to your recipe's instructions. Bon Appetit magazine recommends placing your pie on your oven's bottom shelf, which puts the pie crust closer to the heat source, allowing it to bake completely. Once you've observed that the bottom is golden brown, move the pie to your oven's top shelf so that top can brown as desired.

Drain the Filling

Fruit releases juice as it cooks. To minimize the amount of liquid your pie filling releases during baking, consider precooking the fruit and pouring off the juice. You can use the juice to make a sauce to pour over the pie when serving. If you prefer baking raw fruit in the pie shell, simply mixing it with sugar and letting it sit also causes its juices to release, which keeps the pie crust from remaining soggy during baking.

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